While I am a self-proclaimed skin care guru, I can admit that my makeup skills are a bit basic. When I was a teen, the only resource I had was my precious Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty book—and let me tell you, I wore that book out, despite its limited makeup tips for girls with deeper skin tones. As I got older, I relied on M.A.C makeup artists, and in today’s day and age, I get all of my makeup tips from social media beauty gurus. Want to know my favorites? Check them out below!
1. Blush Is Essential
One of the things I never understood when I was younger was reading all of the fashion and beauty magazines telling people that they should match their blush to the color of their cheeks after they finish exercising. Well, as a Black woman, I don’t really get flushed, so this idea was completely foreign to me. I didn’t think I needed blush at all! But turns out, I was wrong.
Blush adds a touch of color and a ton of depth to your makeup look. I personally love a peachy/coral shade, but if I want more drama, I go for a berry hue.
2. Your Face Isn’t the Same Shade Everywhere
Black women are faced with a unique dilemma when it comes to shopping for foundation: We aren’t the same shade everywhere on our faces. Typically the lightest point of your face is the very center and gets darker towards your hairline.
When matching or applying your foundation, you want to start from the center of your face and work outward. That way, you create a natural highlight without having to use a whole different product.
3. Embrace the Rainbow
I remember when I was younger and it was nearly drilled into my head that Black women shouldn’t wear bright pink lipstick or blue eyeshadow because it wasn’t flattering to our skin tones. I’m not sure where this lie came from, but it remained firmly in my consciousness until I was well into college. Maybe some of the stigma comes from undertones—remember it wasn’t until very recently where brands started making products to cater to all skin tones.
But let’s be clear, women blessed with extra melanin can wear all shades of makeup, pale pink lipstick included. To avoid it looking ashy, simply line your lips with a dark pink or red lipstick and voilà! You have a custom shade that looks perfect on your skin.
4. Bronzer = a Natural, Sun-kissed Glow
Another product of an upbringing in a time of non-diverse beauty was thinking that bronzer was meant for white people only. I remember when I was younger desperately wanting a “sun-kissed glow” that all the magazines described, only to head to the store to find bronzer that was six shades too light for me. But Black girls can (and should!) use bronzer to warm up the skin and add depth.
Don’t add it all over, simply apply around the perimeter of your face in a “3” shape—start at the center of your forehead, sweep down along your cheekbone, and then back to your jawline.
5. Sunscreen Is Essential
Yes, sunscreen isn’t makeup, but it is an essential, timeless beauty tip. I grew up thinking I never needed to wear sunscreen daily because my skin tone protected me from harmful UVA/UVB rays, and that is decidedly false. And contrary to popular belief, Black people can (and do) get skin cancer, and since it typically takes longer to diagnose, it is usually more fatal.
No thanks! Now, not a day goes by that I don’t wear sunscreen. It’s basically embedded into my DNA at this point. Make sure you’re using a broad spectrum sunscreen (the SPF in your makeup doesn’t count!) and reapply with a spray every couple of hours if you’ll be outdoors.
Share with me some of your best makeup tips for deeper skin tones you’ve learned from social media!