Makeup Recommendations for Dark Skin Tones

By Pooja Chimata

Growing up as a dancer, makeup has always intrigued me. The bold shades of eyeshadow that I would wear to match with my costume, the fierce eyeliner that elongated my eyes, and of course the loads of “translucent” powder that my mom caked on me before going on stage were all staple dance makeup items. However, when my mom turned me into Casper the ghost in 8th grade, I decided I needed to figure out how to do makeup on my own (no offense Mom!) As I started to learn how to do more natural makeup for everyday wear and to enhance my facial features, I was drawn to YouTube makeup tutorials. I would search up “brown girl friendly makeup,” and although these videos were helpful as a beginner, none of those products ever seemed to fit my skin tone. The word “dark” is extremely subjective based on where you’re from, but it took me thousands of YouTube deep dives and hundreds of dollars worth of makeup to truly find the very best and affordable products for my dark skin. Without further adieu, here are some of my favorite makeup products that I believe suit dark brown skin, along with the shades that I use.

Live Tinted Hue Stick – Found $24
Color correcting is an extremely underrated part of the makeup process to cancel out gray and ashy tones, especially on brown skin. The Hue Stick comes in multiple different shades for face, eyes, and lips and is so creamy and blendable. And it’s created by Indian-American beauty blogger Deepica Mutyala!
Mac Fluid Fix Foundation – NW 45 $33 
This was the first foundation I ever bought back in 8th grade and the wide selection of warm undertones combined with the skin-like formula is just *chef’s kiss*. I highly recommend it for beginners looking for a medium to full coverage foundation. It’s so versatile; I can use it on stage for sweaty dance performances or a natural look!
Maybelline Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder – Deep $7.99
I wish my mom used this powder back when she used to do my makeup! This powder has never left me ashy and controls the shine on my face without drying out my skin. I can also use it to bake under my eyes without looking like Casper the Ghost. Love love love it so much!
NYX Sweet Cheeks Creamy Powder Blush – Red Riot $7.50
This blush is so beautiful and pigmented and is one of the only blushes that actually shows up on my skin. It makes me look a little bit rosy as if I’m actually blushing!
Black Radiance Pressed Bronzer – Ebony $5.79
Bronzer is the hardest makeup product to find for dark skin, period, no debate about it. This shade and formula actually shows up on my skin and allows me to bring back dimension into my face. It’s so good and so underrated!
Mented Cosmetics Everyday Eyeshadow Palette $28
I was recently gifted this palette for Christmas from my lovely friend and this is the first eyeshadow palette I’ve used where I can wear every single shade without looking washed out. This makes sense, considering it’s a woman of color owned business that has dark skin in mind when formulating!
Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter- Wisp $8
This highlighter has been living in my makeup bag for almost 5 years and it’s still so creamy and sheer, giving me that perfect “I woke up like this” glow. Although it looks extremely pale in the packaging, it works beautifully for deep skin tones, buildable, isn’t ashy at all, making it the only highlighter I have ever used!
Mango People Multistick – Tabla $24
The small, new South Asian-owned company makeup Multisticks in gorgeous shades with 100% natural formulas. Finding a nude lip color has been impossible for me, but Tabla is the perfect deep nude shade that I could wear every single day and is long-lasting (I’ve eaten Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner without this lipstick budging!)
Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream – Copenhagen $6.50
This is another product that has been rotting in my makeup bag for who knows how long, but the formula is still great. It’s a deep red that makes me feel like I own every room I walk into. This has also been my go-to for long, sweaty dance performances and I used this lipstick for my Arangetram, so to say it’s long-lasting is an understatement!
Elf flawless face brush $6
I own a million makeup brushes, but to be honest, this is the only one I actually use. It’s perfect for powder, blush, and bronzer and is good quality, never sheds, and can be found at Target.

These products are my absolute ride or die’s, so if you have a deeper skin tone like myself, I hope you enjoy these recommendations! Also, huge shoutouts to YouTubers like Jackie Aina, Deepica Mutyala, and Arshia Moorjani for providing makeup advice and tutorials for POC’s like myself and teaching me everything I know about makeup!

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