How to Find the Perfect Makeup for Dark Skin Tones

September 03, 2020
By: Diana Crisan | by L'Oréal
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Makeup for Dark Skin Tones
People with dark skin tones can pull off some seriously pigmented makeup colors. From berries and pinks to reds and purples, bright shades complement darker complexions. While deep skin tones can have all the fun with bold lippies and colorful blush, shopping for the essentials like foundation doesn’t always come quite as easily. Not to worry — we’re here to help you out. Ahead, we’re sharing the ultimate guide to finding the perfect makeup matches for your skin tone.

How to Find the Perfect Makeup Shades for Dark Skin Tones

Work With Your Undertones to Find Foundation

Whether your skin tone is fair, dark or anything in between, the key to finding the right makeup is knowing your undertones. But when it comes to shopping for the right foundation for dark skin, things can get a little confusing. For example, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Lasting Foundation comes in Suede W (warm), Suede C (cool) and Suede N (neutral). If your complexion has pink, red and blue undertones, you’re cool. If it has yellow or golden undertones, you have warm undertones. If your skin has balance of both, you have neutral undertones. If you’re unsure what your undertone is though, try one of these tests to find out. 

The White vs. Cream Test

Grab two articles of clothing, one white and the other off-white. While wearing no makeup, decide which color complements your skin tone best. If it’s the pure-white shade, your undertones are warm. If the cream color suits you more, you have cool undertones. If both flatter you just the same, you’re neutral.

The Vein Test

Look at the veins on your wrists. If they’re green, then you have warm undertones. If your veins are blue, you have cool undertones. If you have both colors or they appear to be blue-green, then you have neutral undertones.

The Jewelry Test

If gold jewelry enhances your complexion, you’re likely on the warmer side. If silver jewelry looks best on your skin tone, you have cool undertones.

Choose the Right Blush

Dark skin tones call for deep mauve shades like a cranberry or even bright orange blush. Don’t let the bold colors intimidate you, either. They’ll look more subtle than they appear in the pan. Bright fuchsia also works wonders on dark skin with warmer undertones, while tangerine will flatter cooler undertones. We suggest the NYX Professional Makeup Sweet Cheeks Soft Cheek Tint in shades Showgirl or Almost Famous. 

Find a Great Bronzer

Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t rock bronzer. A sun-kissed glow works for every complexion. You want to look for a product that will highlight and enhance your skin tone for that lit-from-within glow. Look for a neutral bronzer like IT Cosmetics Sunshine in a Compact. Apply it to your forehead, temples and upper cheekbones for an instantly warmer complexion.  

Opt for Jewel-Toned Eyeshadow

Any rich eyeshadow shade will really make your eyes pop. Jewel tones like purple, bright blue, emerald green or a deep burgundy stand out against your complexion. We’ve been loving the Urban Decay Naked Ultraviolet Eyeshadow Palette. Gold and bronze tones instantly warm your skin tone and brighten up your eyes, too. Steer clear of white, pale or frosty colors, though, as they can give your skin an ashy or dry appearance. 

Pick a Flattering Lipstick Color

Just like the bright blush colors, dark skin tones can have just as much fun with lipstick! We suggest opting for a glossy pink or a matte berry lip color to warm up your complexion. Women with warmer undertones also look stunning in peach, orangey-red and even chocolate brown shades. For this, we’ve been loving the Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick Coffee Edition shade range. 

The Ultimate Makeup Tutorial for Darker Skin Tones

STEP 1: Test out your foundation shade before you apply it. We recommend swatching each shade on your jawline and blending it out to find a perfect match. Try the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare. It has options available for deep skin tones in a range of undertones. 

STEP 2: Reach for a highlighter that has golden undertones rather than silver or pink. We’re loving the NYX Professional Makeup California Beamin’ Face & Body Liquid Highlighter in shade Golden. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.

STEP 3: Using a product like the Maybelline New York Face Studio Master Contour Face Contouring Kit, Medium to Deep, apply a contour two shades deeper than your natural skin color. Apply to select areas of your face like your cheeks, jaw and hairline.

STEP 4: Use a brow pencil that’s a few shades lighter than your hair color to fill in your brows. We love the Maybelline New York Brow Extensions Fiber Pomade Crayon.

STEP 5: Opt for an eyeshadow with a shimmer or demi-matte finish, like Scorched from the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, to boost your skin’s natural glow. Apply a lighter shade to your brow bone, like Chaser, and then use a deeper shade, like Ashes, in your crease. Finish your eyeshadow by patting the lightest shade (in this case, Chaser), into the inner corners of your eye for a bright-eyed look.

STEP 6: Using a liquid eyeliner like the Maybelline New York Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner, start from the outer corner of your eye and work inwards to create the line. Then fill in the gaps working outwards. Use a black pencil eyeliner like the L’Oréal Paris Le Liner Signature Easy-Glide Mechanical Eyeliner to line your waterline and lash line.

STEP 7: For added drama, trace over your wing with a black liquid eyeliner like the NYX Professional Makeup Matte Liquid Liner

STEP 8: Have fun with a bold lip like a long-lasting shade of Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick.

Courtesy of PopSugar Studios

Read more