We can all agree that not all makeup products are made with dark complexions in mind. From foundations that leave an ashy cast to dull-looking eyeshadow shades and more, it can all be frustrating to deal with. So, when it comes to finding the right makeup for Black women, you need to know what works and what doesn’t make the cut. While it may seem difficult to pinpoint the right makeup looks for Black women, the good news is there are plenty of options to choose from—trust us.
Ready to take your Black girl makeup game to the next level? Keep reading for the 14 best makeup for dark skin looks, all of which will flatter your complexion beautifully.
1. NUDE MAKEUP
One makeup look for Black women we love? Nude makeup. While nudes are often associated with pale skin, we know that nude isn’t representative of a single color. Good nude makeup comes in shades for everyone. Nude makeup is the perfect way to put your gorgeous skin tone on full display. Here’s how to get the look.
STEP #1: PRIME, PRIME, PRIME
The key to getting any makeup look to go the distance is to use makeup primer. This beauty staple works wonders to give skin a smooth base for a seamless application and helps makeup go the distance. Kick things off with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer, and apply a thin layer over your skin.
STEP #2: PERFECT YOUR COMPLEXION
Next, it’s time to perfect your complexion with foundation. Since so many offerings can leave an ashy cast on your skin, it’s essential to use the right foundation for dark skin tones. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight, which provides medium-to-full buildable coverage that lasts all day and allows the skin to breathe. The formula is available in 40 shades. Use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender and blend the product onto your skin in rolling and dabbing motions.
STEP #3: CONCEAL & SET
To score that gorgeous flawless glow you love, you’ll need to add some concealer into the mix to disguise any imperfections you may have. Pick up the L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer and use a shade that’s one tone lighter than your skin for seamless coverage and a highlighted effect.
Once complete, set the areas with concealer using a tinted setting powder like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Tinted Loose Setting Powder in Translucent Medium Deep. Simply use a fluffy brush and dust the powder over your skin.
STEP #4: PAINT YOUR LIDS
Now it’s time to show your eyes some love. Sticking to the nude aesthetic, sweep the medium or dark nude shade from the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude in Nude all over your lid and onto your lower lash line.
STEP #5: COLOR YOUR POUT
What’s a nude makeup look without a stunning pout? Keep the momentum going by using the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Ultra Matte Highly Pigmented Nude Lipstick in Ultra Nude or Cutting Edge Cork to liven up your lips with a “my lips but better” color.
STEP #6: SEAL THE DEAL
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the finish line! All that’s left to do is lock your nude makeup look into place. Spritz the L’Oréal Paris Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray in ‘X’ and ‘T’ motions over your face for a “just-applied” makeup look that lasts. Voila!
2. FULL BROWS
There’s no denying that brows work wonders to frame your face. And when it comes to Black girl makeup, full brows are the standard. Not to mention, they complement any eye makeup look beautifully. To get the look, all you need is a brow gel like the L’Oréal Paris Unbelievabrow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel to transform your eyebrows.
Starting with clean brows, use the brow gel to fill in sparse areas. Next, outline your brows with an angled brush to define and shape your arch with feather-light strokes. Finish up by combing your brows with a spoolie, and your look is complete.
3. GLOSSY EYES
If you love an eye makeup look that calls attention to your peepers while providing high shine, glossy lids won’t steer you wrong. A great way to give your eyes a sensational pop of color without technicolor hues, glossy lids are the gift that keeps on giving. Not to mention, this look is super easy to create. Head on over to our article, How to Rock a Glossy Eye Makeup Look for all the details.
Editor’s tip: Keep in mind, earth tones are an excellent match for dark skin tones. Shades like dark green, brown, and gold work wonders to enhance deep undertones. So, don’t be afraid to create an earthy-toned glossy eye!
4. METALLIC EYES
Speaking of eyeshadow shades for dark skin that give eyes a vibrant appearance, you can’t go wrong with metallic eyes. Known as a true eye makeup staple, metallic eyes give your lids a shimmery touch that won’t go unnoticed. Give the trend a try by sweeping the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Crushed Foils Metallic Eye Shadow in Crushed Stone all over your lid.
5. PURPLE LIPS
As we mentioned above, rich, vivid colors are the essence of Black girl makeup. If you’re looking to make a bold lip the center of your look, a purple pout won’t steer you wrong. Not only does this shade work to perk up your pout, but it also comes in handy to complement your undertones perfectly. See what the hype is about with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Ultra Matte Highly Pigmented Nude Lipstick in Berry Extreme, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick in Matte-Jestic or Matte-gic, or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Les Macarons Scented Liquid Lipstick in Blackcurrant Crush.
6. BROWN LIPS
Prefer to keep your lip makeup on the neutral side? You may want to add brown lipstick to your makeup bag. Brown lips naturally enhance your complexion for a perfectly done up look without the dramatics. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain in I Explore or I Stand, the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick in He Thinks He’s Matte-Cho, or the L’Oréal Paris Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Shake Down.
7. WHITE EYELINER
White eyeliner has been making major waves in the beauty world, and it’s a solid pick when it comes to makeup for Black women. See, you may have been told to steer away from white, cream, and frosty shades, but white eyeliner works wonders to provide gorgeous contrast while adding a fresh and bright look to your eyes. Head on over to our article, 9 Ways to Use White Eyeliner, to upgrade your makeup for dark skin.
8. BRONZED MONOCHROMATIC MAKEUP
If you want makeup looks for Black women that help to level up your natural glow while defining your features, bronzed monochromatic makeup is just the ticket. Bronze shades work wonders to warm up your complexion and give your makeup a sun-kissed touch. Here’s how to get the look.
STEP #1: PRIME YOUR FACE
You already know the drill! Make sure you prime your face for a smooth and even base.
STEP #2: PERFECT YOUR COMPLEXION
Next, you’ll need to create a flawless foundation. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup, finding the shade that complements your complexion perfectly. Apply it using a makeup blender in rolling and dabbing motions for even coverage.
STEP #3: DEFINE YOUR FEATURES
Now, it’s time to welcome bronzer to your look. Dust the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer in Deep onto the hollows of your cheeks to prevent your makeup from falling flat. Follow up with the L’Oréal Paris True Match Blush in Sweet Ginger on your cheeks for a bronze flush of color.
STEP #4: COLOR YOUR LIDS
Of course, bronze eyeshadow is a must-have! Apply the L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow Makeup in Bronze Light all over your lids to brighten up your eyes.
STEP #5: AMP UP YOUR LASHES
Add some drama to your lashes with the help of volumizing mascara. Coat your eyelashes with the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Washable Mascara, Lasting Volume for curled, lifted lashes.
STEP #6: SEAL THE DEAL WITH BRONZE LIP GLOSS
Tie your look together perfectly with a few swipes of bronze lip gloss.
9. CONTRASTING EYESHADOW
Down to play with color? A contrasting eyeshadow look will pair well with your subtle face makeup for dark skin. This trend is all about mixing opposite, vibrant hues to give your eyes a stunning flush of color. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Sunset Sheine and apply the shade on your eyelid. Follow up with the Teal Couture shade and blend the color onto your lower eyelid to make your eyes do all of the talking.
10. PURPLE EYES
With vibrant eyes on the brain, it’s only right that you give purple eyeshadow a chance! An excellent way to give your lids the rich look you seek, this shade harmonizes perfectly with your skin tone for chic dimension. For inspiration, check out our article, 4 Trendsetting Purple Eyeshadow Look to Try in 2020.
11. SMOKY EYES
You can never go wrong with classic makeup looks, and smoky eyes are no exception. While this trend can be worn in a myriad of color combinations, it’s essential to find the right shades. Don’t assume every smoky eye has to be made up of black and silver shades—even if those aren’t the colors that complement your skin. When it comes to makeup looks for Black women, it’s all about brown smoky eyes. This neutral shade gives your eyes depth and warmth for a look that will go the distance. Head on over to our article, How to Create a Brown Smokey Eye.
12. GLOWING SKIN
Glowing skin is always in! And when it comes to makeup for Black women, a gorgeous glow is all you need to make a big impact. While applying highlighter on the high points of your face may be your go-to, you can also sport a glowing-from-within look by mixing a few drops of the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops with your primer and smoothing it all over your face. Follow up with foundation to seal the deal.
13. SOFT CONTOUR
There’s no denying that a flawless contour can enhance the shape of your face and call attention to your features. While many beauty lovers adore the look of a sculpted and chiseled contour, all you need is a soft variation to elevate your makeup for dark skin. Want to learn how to contour your face the right way? Try This Easy Contour Tutorial with Concealer to get the job done. Keep in mind, your concealer only needs to be one to two shades darker than your skin tone to use it for sculpting.
14. SUNSET EYES
It doesn’t get much more gorgeous than sunset eyeshadow. Blending shades of purple, orange, yellow, and pink together to mimic a stunning early nighttime sky, this is a trend that will really pop against your skin tone. Take the look a step further, and add gold eyeliner along your lash line for a luxe touch.