Choosing the right makeup shades for your darker-toned skin requires a delicate balance of matching both your complexion and your undertones, and even checking out the colors in the right lighting—white versus warm versus cool—can make a huge difference. Many of us will become more richly melanated with the more time we spend in the sun this spring and heading into summer, so we wanted to make it even easier to find your match.
We asked global freelance makeup artist Bashirah K. Moore for her best tips for helping women with darker skin tones find amazing products in their perfect shades. Bashirah has been a makeup artist in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area and internationally for nine years so she knows a thing or two about choosing makeup shades.
Three Expert Beauty Tips from a Makeup Artist
1. You should always choose foundation based on whether it matches your cheek, your jawline, and neck/décolletage
2. Paying attention to your skin’s undertones matters when choosing colors
3. Although rich in melanin, darker skin tones should still wear daily SPF protection. She recommends 30-50 SPF.
With these expert tips in mind, we sought out some of the best brown-girl-friendly makeup (and the recommended SPF) to help you find foolproof product matches this spring.
Address your undertones
We can’t stress enough how important it is to address your undertones when seeking your ideal hue, and CoverFx got the memo. Their Power Play Foundation comes in 40 shades, artfully addressing both. Try N120 if your darker-toned skin has neutral undertones; P120 if your deep brown skin has red hues and pink undertones.
[READ MORE: How to Identify Your Skin’s Undertones]
For Concealing on the Go
This multi-use concealer pen comes in 33 shades, like NW60, a rich espresso shade with rosy undertones. Our makeup expert, Bashirah, says that for darker women, the proper concealer typically ranges from peach to orange in color.
Just the Tint
If you like the ease of having a set of matching products chosen for you, this beauty kit from TLB will fit the bill. Shop your ideal tinted moisturizer from a range of six shades from ebony to ivory, and the TLB website will coordinate concealer and finishing powder.
Contouring Made Easy
This contour palette helps you contour, sculpt, and highlight with three richly pigmented colors in their ‘dark to deep’ shades. If you’re new to contouring, follow the guidance on the package and then blend to perfection.
Instant Glow Up
The best part about shopping this warm weather staple from Fenty Beauty is that it comes in nine shades that you can choose based on both color and undertone. Options range from warm to neutral to red. Deep skin tones with a neutral tint might like Thick Mint.
A Blush Double-take
This blush duo by Black-owned, UOMA Beauty, will have your summer glow on 1000 with its soft focus filter effect. One side showcases a satin matte and the other gives a beautiful shimmer effect. The Black Pearl colorway will give the perfect pop of color to darker skin.
Effortless, Amplified Eyes
Mented knows how you want to show up for a night on the town, and they’re giving you glam for warm weather nights out with their Everynight Eyeshadow Palette. It boasts a neutral selection of five shimmers and five blendable mattes to help you fine-tune your eye makeup in harmony with your foundation and concealer.
Lightweight Feel with Vibrant Color
“Line and define” with the NARS Iconic lip bundle. You can customize your lip by choosing from over 40 shades and complementing them with a coordinating lip liner. We recommend matte neutrals like Tonka and Pigalle.
High Glam Gloss
This extremely high shine, high glam, glass-look gloss comes in 33 shades. And the best part? You can “see it on your skin tone.” While shopping the Pat McGrath Labs website, it’ll base it on whether you fall into a light, medium or deep range. Stick close to your lips’ natural color with shades like Nude Négligée and Flesh Fantasy, or go bold with their deep red, Blood 2.
Made for Your Melanin-Rich Skin
We’ve all experienced the ghastly white layer left behind by the wrong sunscreen, but Black Girl Sunscreen was made specifically with darker skin in mind. Not only does it help block harmful rays, but it also moisturizes to boot. You get all the benefits of SPF protection but none of the messy aftermath of application.