- Natural makeup is always a popular look but it can be difficult to achieve with a darker skin tone.
- We talked to two makeup artists about how to create a no-makeup makeup look for deeper skin.
- Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to create a natural makeup look, with product picks.
While makeup trends may come and go, the always-on-fashion look is a natural “no makeup” makeup look. It’s a tried-and-true look that we can come back to over and over when we need a break from bolder styles. Why is natural makeup so persistent? The idea of looking like yourself, just a little more polished (or with a little more sleep, anyway) is tempting to everyone.
However, a desirable natural makeup look can be easier said than done for people with darker skin. It is sometimes difficult to find the right shades to give just enough color without feeling overkill. (As a dark-skinned person, I think the search for the ultimate nude lipstick will continue until I’m on Social Security.)
To help other people with deep skin break down how to create a natural makeup look, I looked to several professional makeup artists for expert advice. Keep reading for details on how to choose the perfect palette for skin, eyes, lips, and cheeks, as well as how to create a natural makeup look on darker skin tones.
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Suzy Gerstein recommends “Be sure to put three shades on your jaw and check for daylight.” “It should disappear right into the skin and harmonize with the color of your shoulders.” Once the face and shoulders match, you’ll throw bronzer or foundation onto the neck (which tends to be lighter) if necessary. And as she says, remember that it’s good to have the multiple undertones in your skin visible.
Sometimes she’ll use two to three shades on the client—a darker color around the perimeter of the face and a shade lighter in the middle—to enhance those natural hues. Some of her favorite dark color brands are Fashion Fair, Nars, and Ben Nye. Another great pick: Jones Road Face Pencil ($25) that comes in a range of shades and is great for concealment.
Are you looking for something more fresh and natural? “I love mixing foundation with moisturizer for a more sheer, healthier, hydrated look,” says makeup artist Ingeborg. Try adding a hint of color to a cream like Bioeffect Moisturizing Cream ($115), which helps keep skin soft and dewy.
Don’t overuse your face powder
Matte is an appearance, but it is not necessarily a natural one. Let your shine shine through – a little sparkly dew is a good thing. If you’re using powder, “think of it as soft, luminous highlighting, so choose orange and tones that lift and brighten under the eyes and down the middle of the face,” Gerstein suggests.
As someone with dark skin, I may not go all out with blush, but cheek color always comes into play when I’m creating a natural makeup look. As Gerstein says, the goal is to mimic the appearance of blood under the skin. Apply blush to your cheeks (smile big, which is the prominent round part) in an upward motion with a brush. You can also use your finger – just make sure to mix well.
A creamy plum or dusty rose formula like Jones Road Lip and Cheek Stick in Tawny Nude ($34) melts into an array of skin tones. Mix blush with moisturizer for an extra dewy, toned glow, says Ingeborg. Blush is usually applied after foundation, but for a super subtle look, you can try applying it beforehand to spread the color.
Use a subtle color to beautify the lips
To gently improve the natural color of the lips, the professionals say to just use a few shades darker than the color of your lips; However, Gerstein encourages experimenting with different shades. “Remember that you can modify it with pencils,” she says. “For example, often I will mimic the light brown color of a woman’s lips with a cool brown pencil, on top with a warmer brown lipstick, and then fill in the center of the lips with pink gloss.”
Speaking of glossiness, this is what will give you the sheer look and color. Try products like Ami Cole Lip Therapy Oil ($20) or Roen Kiss My. Luminous Liquid Lip Balm in Boye ($26). Otherwise, opt for a satin texture like La Bouche Rouge Lipstick in Nude Brown ($40) or a tint. We love the texture of Make Beauty Serum Balm Intense ($26), which is like a shimmer and slick hybrid.
Go Earthy eye makeup
As with lip color, you should be two shades darker than your skin tone for eye shadow. Think smooth chocolate, caramel, and latte-like shades. Gerstein even loves to use a cream bronzer on her eyelids. To make it stay put, she suggests applying a primer underneath and covering it with a dusting of translucent powder like Fashion Fair Set It Loose Powder ($34).
Another option: Opt for a powder shade quad like Tom Ford Eye Quad in Desert Fox ($89). Use a pale orange as an all-over base, a warm brown from your lash line to the crease, a darker brown at the crease and outer corner of the eye, and a pop of shine (use the tip of your finger) right in the middle of the eyelids. Finish the mascara and make sure it’s real black. “The darker the shade, the better your eye framing,” says Gerstein.