A Good Makeup Combo For Dark Skin

12:27:00 PM

One of the biggest makeup struggles for us black girls is finding good quality foundations in shades that actually match our complexions  a dilemma most of us still deal with today as brands continue to offer women of colour very limited options when it comes to shades. But there are a few brands who've recognized and acknowledged this, and have now launched some pretty amazing foundations.

This includes...

  • Lancôme  who now offers blue-black foundation.
  • Maybelline  whose Dream Satin Liquid foundations have provided women of colour affordable face makeup options.
  • And lastly Elizabeth Arden, a brand that does need to extend their foundation shades a little more but does offer a great range for black women with lighter complexions, specifically those with yellow undertones.

A good makeup power couple for dark-skinned girls?

When it comes to face makeup, you can't go wrong with a liquid foundation paired with a cream concealer. In the past, quite a few of my clients or models have expressed that their primary makeup concern is that a lot of the foundations they buy or try don't offer the type of coverage they'd like  coverage that conceals pigmentation or scarring really well.

This is where the foundation and concealer pairing comes into play cause I honestly believe you can't use one without the other if you're aiming for a smooth and even foundation finish.


I always recommend thick liquid foundations that have a creamy consistency. Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation (R499), Maybelline's Dream Satin Liquid (R135.96) and Elizabeth Arden's Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24HR Makeup (R395) are perfect examples.

All three foundations come in pump bottles, are heavily pigmented and also contain SPF, which is super-important. Lancôme and Elizabeth Arden's foundations set to a beautiful suede finish, making them great buys for those with oily skin who desire a foundation that'll diminish shine while leaving your skin with a matte feel. I really love Lancôme's Teint Idole; I know the term 'flawless' is so overused but that's honestly the type of finish this particular foundation provides. Moisturise and prime your skin really well before applying and you'll notice your skin's luminosity and dewiness come through the foundation's velvet texture.

Maybelline's Dream Satin Liquid on the other hand, sets to a semi-matte finish with a soft, natural-looking glow that leaves your skin looking hydrated and fresh. The one thing I love about it is how strong its pigments are  two thin layers will provide a good amount of coverage and most importantly, it's comfortable on your skin  when worn it doesn't feel like you have foundation on.

All three can be applied with a foundation brush and a damp beauty blender (try UBU's Blender Baby Foundation Sponge  R125 at Clicks), but I also suggest using your fingertips to apply these formulas over small areas (such as your chin, down and around your nose as well as around your eye area).


Hands down, one of my favourite concealers for dark skin is INGLOT's Freedom System Cream Concealer (R119 each). Just like the foundations I described above, they're very pigmented but incredibly creamy in texture  like melted chocolate, which I love.

Pigmentation is often an issue that women with darker complexions experience  I have a few dark patches on my face, which I can't stand. That's why INGLOT's cream concealers are so great, cause their thick texture covers EVERYTHING and they also even out skin ridiculously well.

When to apply concealer?

Always apply concealer after your foundation. I've never really understood people who do the opposite. By applying a foundation first you will lightly conceal dark areas and imperfections, lessening the amount of concealer you'll use afterwards.

The best way to apply concealer?

By pressing it over dark areas with your fingertips. There's often no need for a concealer brush to be honest. I prefer using my fingers, as the warmth of your skin helps sustain the concealer's creamy texture as you're applying it, and also patting it down will ensure that the concealer is evenly spread. Pat McGrath layers concealer this way, so if the queen of runway makeup does then so should you!

TWO concealer tips every makeup artist wants you to jot down...

1 Always colour-correct first
Apply an orange concealer or orange lipstick over the bags underneath your eyes and over any pigmentation before adding your skin-toned concealer. The orange will neutralise and reduce the appearance of dark, uneven tones as well as counteract blue under-eye circles. Peach-coloured concealers are best for women with fairer complexions while orange concealers are well-suited for dark skin.

2 Set with powder
Powder is your best friend.  It'll diminish the shiny appearance of your concealer, set it in place so it doesn't shift during the day as well as mattify it, which will then prevent creases from forming.

And that's it, everything you need to know about getting the perfect foundation finish.

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