Black and brown women have been strongly under represented in beauty spaces for some time now. This isn’t at all anything new to us, even though for the rest of the world the topic may come as a surprise. One thing i’ve noticed in my career as a makeup artist is that many WOC that sit in my chair have a lot of questions concerning makeup techniques for their specific skin tones. Lots of beauty blogs, youtubers and influencers cover a wide variety of topics, yet we still are either left out of the conversation as a whole or its difficult to take the info given and translate it in a way that will benefit us.
So I wanted to give a few quick beauty tips that all black and brown women should know, nothing to advanced but still helpful. Hopefully this will make the task of makeup shopping and even choosing which influencers to follow a bit easier.
Brows. Its so true that brows frame the face and can help add some structure and lift. The biggest mistake I see black women make with brows is using black eyebrow pencils or powder to fill in as well as using concealer that if far too light to clean up or sculpt the brow shape. The fact of the matter is both of these things look too harsh and unnatural for our complexions. Instead, try using dark brown pencils or powder to fill in and add definition to the brow, and when cleaning up make sure your concealer in only one shade lighter than your natural skin tone. Going two shades lighter is fine if you are wanting a more dramatic look, however it still needs to be in the same shade range as your natural skin tone.
Lip Pencils and Nude Lipsticks. I for one love a good nude lip! The problem? Most nudes I come across are far too light for my skin tone and end up making me look ashy and washed out. Ive seen this happen with many other black women as well when searching for the perfect nude. The solution here is to use a darker lip liner to help the lipstick blend better with our skin tone. I highly suggest checking out Chestnut for deeper skin tones or Cork for lighter skin tones as options for lip liners. Both of these are sold by MAC cosmetics and they are awesome, now you can wear those nude or light shades with confidence!
Foundation and Concealer. Black women come in all different shades, so naturally our skins undertones are never just one color. For the topic of foundation, I always suggest matching your shade against the perimeter of the face and matching concealer to the center of the face. Most times the center of the face is lighter than your overall natural skin tone so matching the foundation to the middle of your face will leave you looking too light especially in comparison to your chest. Also, because we deal with hyper pigmentation, its important to keep in mind that the purpose of foundation and concealer is to even the skin tone with its natural color. Don’t make the mistake of trying to match your foundation to the color of your discoloration, if you do, you’ll end up too dark.
Bronzer. If you are anything like me, then at some point you’ve asked yourself, “why would a black girl need bronzer?” The purpose of bronzer is to add warmth back into the face and if you contour, bronzer can be used as a way to blend out your contour for a more natural finish. When you apply things like foundation all over the face, you’ll notice that you loose dimension. Adding bronzer to the sides of the face can help bring back those features as well as warming up the skin wear concealer may have caused us to be too light.
Seeking Professional Help. With so many questions and concerns about black and brown skin tones, types, textures and the like, I always suggest finding a makeup artist in your area who is well versed in helping WOC with their specific needs and setting up a makeup lesson with them. This way you will gain a hands on experience and can ask all the questions you need to with someone who specializes in working with WOC. If you aren’t able to take a personal lesson, use your black beauty influencers for guidance. I will say that both of these options require you to really reach for a well trained for knowledgeable artist but it is totally worth it!
Feel free to drop a comment below if you have any questions at all about certain makeup techniques, products or whatever you need help with. I would love to discuss and offer more insight were I can. Thanks for reading boo, see you in the next one!