Let’s be honest, women with dark skin, sometimes it’s hard to find products, tips, and tricks that cover all of our concerns when it comes to skincare and makeup.
We have to get through a few obstacles to find a foundation that doesn’t turn us orange or looking for tips that may actually help with our hyperpigmentation—it can be a lot! Luckily, there are so many more brands and beauty influencers dedicated to catering to our needs these days, so with just a little research and some ideas I’ve picked up from personal experience, here are 7 beauty tips and hacks for women with dark skin.
Buy Foundation Based On Your Undertone
“Dark skinned” is an umbrella term. Having a dark complexion is one thing, but that doesn’t mean we all can wear the same shades of makeup–especially foundation. Everyone has a specific undertone in their skin: warm undertones give red, orange, and pink shades to your skin while cool undertones are blue and purple, and neutral is somewhere in-between as an olive tone.
Find which undertone matches your skin tone the best and buy a foundation shade based on that. To make the process easier, do the gold and silver test; gold typically looks better on warm undertones while silver complements cool.
Watch How Your Makeup Oxidizes
In simpler terms, “oxidized makeup” is when your makeup is exposed to oxygen for an extended period of time– it’s typically what makes your well-matched foundation look orange after a little while. Foundation that cater to women with dark skin already has a bad rep for being on the orange side, so we need to be particularly careful when dealing with this.
Using a setting powder or spray, and priming before applying foundation typically prevents this, though.
When Evening Your Skin Tone, Go Natural
“Skin evening” and lightening products typically use hydroquinone as the active and most effective ingredient, and sometimes this is to the dismay of consumers. My advice? Try natural remedies like tumeric masks, tea tree oil, JBCO, and other things.
Figure out what your skin likes, implement it into your regular skincare routine, and go for it!
Use Products w/ SPF
The biggest myth when it comes to black folks and skincare is that we do not need to use sunscreen, and that simply isn’t true. Protecting your skin from harmful sun rays is not only beneficial on a health level, but on a cosmetic level too. Too much sun exposure can worsen hyperpigmentation, irritate blemishes, and even though melanin is extra protection against it, you can still be sunburned!
Using products like foundations, sunblock, moisturizer, and body balms with at least an SPF 30 when you go outside will get the job done.
Ditch Your Extra Light Concealer
First time make-up wearers probably learned that your concealer should be a shade or two lighter than what would actually match your skin. This is why we’ve seen a whole lot of us (yes, girl, you too!) walking around with really light color under our eyes or around our eyebrows. In all honesty, it’s not even necessary! Go get a concealer that’ll actually conceal and blend into your skin, correctly.
If you’re worried about your face looking monotone, use contour or a concealer that is just one shade lighter to add definition to your face.
Try Brands That Cater To You First, Other Brands Later
Black-owned brands or brands that were created with women of color in mind should always be your go-to because their mission was to solve our beauty woes from the very beginning. Sleek, Iman Cosmetics, Black Opal, Beauty Bakerie, Fenty Beauty, and Juvia’s Place are great examples of brands who deliver high quality products just for women like us.
Other brands have also put in effort to expand their shade range as well as cater to all different needs and wants of dark-skinned women specifically. A good place to start would be with your favorite beauty influencers (like Jackie Aina!) Many of them are starting to collaborate with well-known brands to roll out great products based on your feedback!
Take Care of Your Neck
Your face gets all of the attention because it’s obviously the most important part of skincare and beauty, but you can’t forget about your neck! Whether it’s blending your foundation down your neck so everything matches or exfoliating your neck during your night time routine, you need to pay attention it!
Your neck doesn’t require any extra work or treatment, so don’t get too worked up about it. Just treat your neck like your face in your regular routine and you’ll start to see the benefits!
Lead photo @nymatang