Seven Cosmetic Tips for African American Women

Natural African American makeup looks beautiful.

Following a few basic makeup tips for African American women will ensure women of color make the most of their beauty.

African American women have skin tones ranging from one end of the color spectrum to the other. They can follow the same rules for applying makeup as women of other ethnicities (such as proper blending or choosing colors based on undertone). The biggest difference may come in where colors are concerned and selecting the best makeup shades based upon your complexion.

Seven Cosmetic Tips for African American Women

When you get ready to make yourself up for the day, adhere to some guidelines so that people notice you and not your makeup. Use your cosmetics to enhance your natural beauty instead of hiding it. These tips may help:

  • For the most complementary look, start with a good foundation. If your complexion is flawless, you can skip this step if you want to. However, make sure you choose makeup compatible with African American skin tones. This is key for avoiding an unattractive ashy undertone that can show up with a base that's too light. There are several cosmetics brands that cater to black women, but even among mainstream lines that are targeted to all women, you can find a range of foundation shades from light to dark. MAC Cosmetics is a great line that carries high-intensity colors suitable for women of all skin shades.
  • For women with clear skin, simply use concealer where needed, such as under the eyes or to hide dark spots. Follow with a light dusting of loose powder for a natural look.
  • Stick with the right palette. Knowing your skin's undertones is important for choosing the right makeup colors for you. African American women, like all women, have undertones in their skin that range from cool, neutral or warm. When you know what your undertones are, you're able to select makeup colors that are most compatible with your skin tone.
  • Go bold if you want to. One of the great things about having a deep complexion is being able to wear bold shades that can overpower women with fair skin. This includes gold, bronze, orange, fuchsia and silver makeup. Just be sure you wear these bright colors judiciously; select a feature to draw attention to and focus on that, leaving the rest of your face neutral.
  • Focus on your best features. What do you love best about your face? Whatever part it is, accentuate it. If you love your eyes, wear an attention-getting eyeshadow and two to three coats of mascara. Or line them in Cleopatra-style for dramatic effect. If your lips are your best feature, wear a bright shade of lipstick, followed with gloss (save heavy gloss for nighttime as it may be too much for the office).

Avoid These Looks

  • Don't go too dark. Even if you have a very dark complexion, you don't have to stick to dark makeup colors. In fact, this can make your entire look too drab. Instead, experiment with various shades, even colors you thought weren't right for you. Spend an afternoon at a department store makeup counter and let an expert apply various colors on your face to see which ones you like (it's always considered a courtesy to buy something afterwards).
  • Don't line your lips in black. Some women have a preference for lining their pretty lips in black or a nearly black lipliner and then applying red or another bright shade of lipstick. This is not an attractive look. Lipliner should match your lipstick color as closely as possible. Lipliner is not there to draw attention to itself-its job is to contain your lipstick so that it doesn't feather and bleed.

Makeup Fun

Above all, cosmetics should be a fun part of a woman's life. Following a few makeup tips for African American women will help to bring out your ebony beauty in a flattering way.

Seven Cosmetic Tips for African American Women