Our beauty editor Tracey has identified the top mistakes we make when applying make-up to darker skin.
Here are her tips for looking fabulous and flawless.
1. Lush Lips
With all the colours of the rainbow to choose from, it can be overwhelming to choose the right lip shade for you – that’s when we tend to try them all – a complete no go.
DON’T: Use metallic lip shades and really light pastel colours – you don’t want to make your lips the real stand out feature of your face (in the wrong way, not the type that’s flattering)
DO: you can still use bright shades, but stay away from anything to glittery or shiny. Deep, rich plums and reds always work well, but a bright pink or purple can be really on trend too.
Blush has a way of really adding a natural hint of colour to the face, but the wrong one can really wash you out.
DON’T: Wear light pinks or bright reds – this will make your skin look tired and dull.
DO: Opt for more browns, deeper reds and dark oranges – these colours will add a light radiance to the skin without washing out your face.
Having a glamorous eye always brings your whole look together. The key with the different hues is to not be afraid to see what works best for you.
DON’T: Try stay away from greys and whites. They don’t do anything for your eyes, apart from wash them out.
DO: Play with colour. Darker skins are at an advantage with the fact that colour pops off your skin. Anything from purple, to pink, orange and even yellow can look so fashionable. Mix and match. Go colour crazy if you have to. Eye shadow is there for us to play with.
Most African skin types are prone to oiliness, which is actually a heaven sent considering the fact that all the oils prevent external factors from damaging the skin; in return preventing premature ageing.
DON’T: use white translucent powder all over your face to control excess shine. You’ll give yourself the ‘floating head’ kind of look – where your face is around ten times lighter than the rest of your body. This is because the powder sits on top of the foundation, instead of being absorbed into it.
DO: use a powder that’s the closest to your foundation colour. You only really need it on your T-zone. It’s unnecessary to apply it all over your face unless you use it in place of your foundation.
I am a huge believer in filling in your brows – you can completely change the look of your eye shape, but also flatter your face shape (if you fill them in correctly)
DON’T: Use a black pencil or eyeshadow. No matter how dark your hair might be, always go for a dark brown. Black shades will always look way to harsh and unnatural.
DO: Start out lightly pressing with a pencil or shadow if you’re a newbie to filling in your brows. You don’t want to overdo it and make yourself look ‘surprised’. Just be sure to follow the natural way in which your hairs grow. Shadows always look more natural, but pencils blend a lot easier and last longer.
I think at some point we have always struggled (and maybe still do) to find a foundation shade that suits us best. Keep in mind you want to match your foundation to your chest area, as your face is always lighter than the rest of your body. Darker skins tend to be lighter in the centre of the face, and get darker towards the hairline and jaw – so decide which colour you want to emphasize more, and run with that.
DON’T: Test your foundation colour on your cheek or under fluorescent light. Natural light, like the sun, will always give you the truest colour of that shade as it bring out the undertones.
DO: Find a brand that works for you. Not every woman will find the same foundation works for her, like it might her friend. Also keep in mind your skin type. Oily skin suits powders best as it prevents any excess shine, and dry skin tends to hold liquid foundation better, without looking ‘caked’ on.
Digital Editor at woman&home magazine, F1 Fan, Chocoholic.