The Best Eyeshadow Colors for Dark Skin Tones

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From neon eyeliners to the edgy cat-eye, the beauty industry isn’t short of makeup trends to try. Still, it can be unnerving trying to dive face-first into the latest fads if you’re not a makeup connoisseur.

While you might appreciate the classic Cara Delevigne cat-eye look, you might still be fraught about getting an eyeshadow palette that breathes life into your eyelids. You know, one that doesn’t make you look like you’re coming down with some form of scratching disease. The task seems straightforward, doesn’t it?

Well, with a trip to your local beauty store, you might be surprised to find yourself overwhelmed with the options, especially when you don’t know what to go for. There’s nothing quite devastating like being faced with a wall of eyeshadow shades and palettes to make you question why you even need eye makeup in the first place.

Lucky for you, we get it. That’s why we’ve narrowed down some of the most incredible eyeshadow shades every woman of color should try this season.

Basic Colors

Eyeshadow for black women - basics and neutrals
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Almost every eyeshadow shade in the neutral camp flatters dark skin tones, provided that the finish is a demi-matte or soft shimmer.

Many MUAs recommend steering away from any light shades with a matte finish, like a pink cream-colored shadow, since it can seem mismatched and unembellished on your eyelids.

If you want to achieve a matte finish for daytime, pick deeper shades like light chocolate, taupy caramel, or signature brown.

Bright Colors

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There’s nothing quite frustrating as paying a pretty penny on an eyeshadow palette that looks chalky and streaky with crummy pigment. Wouldn’t you agree?
Well, according to beauty experts, most brown beauties tend to miss the mark when it comes to bright eyeshadow colors.

So, rather than going for the bright yellow palette, choose some vibrant jewel tones. A peppy indigo blue, rich green, or radiant royal purple shade, applied wet to enhance intensity, will look epic on darker skin.

Bonus tip: Try these hues as eyeliner for that wedding or birthday dinner. You’ll thank us later.

Show-Stopping Shades

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If you’re looking to stand out, richer eyeshadow hues are your best bet. Shades of deep mauve, balmy burgundy, dark charcoal gray, deep amethyst and cocoa brown in a shimmer or matte finish give you that sultry and edgy look.

You might also want to try knock-out hues like rusty red, shimmery cranberry, or rose quartz since they perfectly complement dark skin tones.

Metallic Shades

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The texture and finish of light undertones are flattering, but that shouldn’t stop you from rocking a true metallic shade. So, if you’re looking to go for an evening date or paint the city red with your girls, a silver metallic shade, warm metallic gold, or golden bronze shimmer would be perfect.

Shades to Avoid

In as much as we’re embracing color diversity in makeup, whites, pale pinks, and pale green hues are not flattering to dark skin tones. They make you look ashy. The best way to test out eyeshadow is to try it out on your hand first if you don’t know which color to pick.

However, you can get around this by complementing pale shades with colors that do work well with your skin’s over and undertones. Again, test colors out on different parts of your body to really see what will work for you. 

Now that you’re equipped with eyeshadow finesse, it’s time to get your eyelids popping! Let us know what eyeshadow looks you’ve tried from the list, and which ones you’d like to give a go in the near future in the comments below! 



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