The recent #blacklivesmatter movement has really exposed the inner racial bias in the beauty industry and the lack of fundamental knowledge most makeup artists lack. What's upsetting, is that most artists refuse to work on people of color or just make a hot mess because they don't know any better. I work regularly with clients of all shades and undertones and stock a good range including adjusters within my kit. Below, I have my top 5 techniques for working with darker skin tones to add to your arsenal.
1. Eyeshadows. First, look at the skin in front of you. See the undertone (cool,warm,neutral) and choose colors that compliment the undertone. If going for a bold look, then do the opposite. Use an eyelid primer or a base to first even the base color on the lid before any eye shadow. I love using MAC paint pots (groundwork) as they don't crease and stay put all day.
2. Use quality foundation shades that match the undertone. This sounds easy, but lack of experience and diversity in most retail brands means that the only two dark shades available are not good enough. More often than not, they leave you looking ashy and muddy because they don't match the undertone. The darkest of African skins can throw a strong red or grey undertone. By using reds, magenta, and mauve, you compliment the undertone. For medium dark skins eg, Caribbean or Indian, they may have red or blue undertones. For lighter colored skin, they may cover the yellow or dark olive shades where they are very warm and would benefit from earthy browns and peach colors.
3. Correct and conceal properly. For many people of color, uneven skin tone, hypo pigmentation, hyper pigmentation, is a real challenge. Focus on bringing light to the middle of the face and having shadow as a natural contour where you would like it. If there are darker spots in the areas of contour, don't fight them but work with them. Under the eyes may be a specific concern and a place you will need to bring light to. Using peach or orange correctors and concealers under the eyes then pressed in with a banana powder, like the original and the best Ben Nye Banana powder will disguise the blue darkness under the eyes and make them look light and refreshed. For concealing other areas, i like using tarte shape tape which comes in 30 shades. (psst. BONUS, tarte is vegan, cruelty free, and this link also gives you 15% off your purchase, your welcome) 4. Get the right foundation. Like i said above, the retail scene, especially in Australia is dismal when it comes to variety. Ranges i find that are accessible and have a decent offering in the medium to darker shades include Fenty Beauty Pro filter foundation at sephora $A52 or black opal true color liquid foundation A$29.95 at shades of ebony (BONUS, 20% Off Sale With Code EOFY20).
5. Have fun with color. I love working on deeper skin tones because the variety of color that looks amazing against their skin is huge. You can really experiment and have fun wearing different colors from warm gold, to emerald greens, to glistening silvers and blues, and rich reds. Have fun and experiment with color. So there you have it. No excuses now, get busy practising those skills and I hope these tips help you improve your makeup game.