Let’s be honest:

One of the biggest challenges you may have encountered when applying makeup for dark skin tones is getting your makeup to standout. Finding dark shades for African American women can be a serious pain and may become even more frustrating the darker complexions:

If you’re still reading, odds are you may be able to relate to one of the following:

  • You’ve tried different makeup products that didn’t match up with your skin tone.
  • Or after applying your makeup (maybe even spending hours doing so), your work doesn’t come close to any of those flattering makeup looks you see online leaving you feeling left out.
  • Or, worst of all: you’ve tried out some of the numerous so-called African American makeup tutorials you found on YouTube, with less than desirable results leaving you frustrated.

You’re not alone.

Whether you’re a black girl with tan, brown, or ebony skin or an upcoming makeup artist learning to do makeup for darker skin tones, you aren’t the first to face this situation.

But there’s good news to you lucky readers!

We at Avura Makeup are going to pull back the curtain of the makeup industry and share some of our most valuable tips and tricks on how to apply makeup for medium — dark skin tones. You will learn some of the life-changing secrets we and other makeup artists are using to create flawless makeup looks for dark skinned girls that turn heads in any crowd!


Warning: We want to make sure you get all of the details you need for your best look! So while these tutorials may be lengthy, you’ll get everything you need to walk away with high-end beauty looks you crafted with your own two hands. (Complete A – Z beginner tutorial with baby steps).”


In this guide, we’ll provide you with solutions to some of the problems you may be facing. We’ll take you step by step and show you how to:

  • Avoid dark skin makeup disasters many of African American woman make
  • Correct many of the makeup mistakes women of any race are prone too
  • Choose the makeup products that are right for your skin
  • Showing you step-by-step some of our most valuable makeup tips for dark skin complexion
  • Apply some of the techniques many professional makeup artists are using on areas like the face and neck.


For beginners, it’s important to note that when you’re planning to do makeup there are usually two parts:

  • Product Selection
  • Product Application

We’ll go in depth and show you how to make the best decisions for choosing great dark skin makeup brands (product selection) for simple everyday makeup for dark skin (product application).


How apply makeup for dark skin tones

Here are the topics Avura Makeup will go over with you in detail as well as the different brushes and products you’d need to make the most of each step!

  1. Decide on Today’s Look
  2. Prep Your Skin
  3. Shape/Slay Your Eyebrows
  4. Foundation Matching
  5. Conceal: Blemishes be gone!
  6. Eye Makeup—Windows to the Soul (and the Slay)
  7. Apply Your Eyeshadow
  8. Apply Great Lipstick
  9. Contour Like a Pro
  10. Bonus Step: Final Touches


There actually aren’t as many rules to makeup as you might think. But without a doubt the biggest rule is to focus on your skin tone. While there aren’t any “absolute” rules about what you can use, it is best to go with the colors that are flattering to you personally. For dark skin tones, a lighter foundation can create an ashy look (more on skin tones later in this tutorial) which is an obvious huge red flag. It is imperative to use makeup brands that offer a wide variety of foundation and concealer colors to get a fresh look. If it doesn’t blend, leave it alone!

You’ve probably heard many experts say: “The first thing you need for a flawless makeup is a good foundation – one that is perfect for your skin”. As true as that is, it’s totally WRONG in this sense. It’s actually not the first thing to consider for a great makeup finish. It’s not even the second!

As you read on, you’ll discover why that is wrong (and it may explain why you aren’t getting your best look).

Let’s cut to the chase and show you exactly how to apply makeup for dark skin tones the right way and step-by-step!


Step 1: Decide on Today’s Look

Makeup For Dark Skin Tutorial


The versatility of makeup has made it so there is a lot to choose from! The first thing to do is to decide what looks you want to go for. We have choices ranging from glamour to high fashion to bridal and so much more depending on the occasion/function you want to attend. If you’re just trying to achieve a simple everyday look for dark skin, some of the steps in this tutorial won’t be necessary.

According to Rafi Chowdhury, the first thing is to decide the right kind of look you want before selecting the appropriate cosmetics in the right shades. When he wrote about different types of face makeup looks to ensure you’re always ready, he stated a clear understanding of the type of makeup you want will serve as a blueprint in creating a flawless makeup finish.

Once you’ve made a decision, the possibilities are endless. You’re now ready to move over step #2 of our dark skin makeup tutorial.


Step 2: Prep Your Skin

One of the key aspects when trying to achieve a natural and gentle look, is preparing the skin. Starting with hydrated skin is the best way to have a flawless makeup finish. A good preparation ensures that your makeup will last longer and look more natural. Even if you do not use makeup, it is good practice to follow proper skin care techniques to protect yourself from environmental irritants and premature aging.

If your skin is well cared for, the makeup blends with it and becomes less noticeable. For natural looks, it’ll look like you’re not wearing anything at all! This is arguably, one of the most important steps in this entire tutorial.


How to Prepare Your Skin

Tools you will need:
  • Facial scrub –or– Facial Brush and mild facial cleanser
  • Toner or astringent
  • Moisturizer
  • Primer


  1. Exfoliate: Exfoliating your skin frees your skin from dead cells and impurities that clog the pores. You should use a very gentle facial scrub or face brush at least twice a week or as directed by the product.
  2. Cleanse and tone: Ideally, you should cleanse and tone your skin twice a day. In the morning you should cleanse your skin, eliminating secretions produced while you slept the night before. At night it is important to remove all impurities that accumulate (pollution, sweat, dirt, etc.) throughout the day in addition to whatever makeup you’re wearing. You must remove everything! Clogged pores are a one way ticket to acne and blemishes that make achieving flawless skin more difficult. Once you’re done, you can apply cold water or a toner or astringent to close the pores and prevent dirt and other impurities from getting in. Toner also picks up any of the dirt or oil that your cleanser may have left behind.
  3. Moisturize: Even if you have oily skin it is vital to keep it moisturized. Look for creams suitable for your skin type (more on skin type later in this tutorial) and you can complement your cream with other treatments and serums. Learning how to moisturize your skin before makeup is a great and important step to your best look!
  4. Prime for a perfect complexion: If you have scars, marks, or other blemishes use primer to smooth out your complexion. A green-based primer can also be used to counteract redness, while a lavender-based one can brighten dull, lifeless-looking skin.


Step 3: Tweeze/Shape Your Eyebrows

We can’t stress enough how important perfect eyebrows are to a truly flawless face. Your eyebrows don’t just frame your face, they define the base of your expression for the entire day. No matter how well the rest of your face is blended, bad eyebrows destroy your entire look and create a disconnect from the rest of your face.

Beautiful, well-designed eyebrows can provide a deeper, more attractive look when doing makeup for medium — dark skin.

If you want to know how to shape your eyebrows without having to undergo painful hair removal sessions,


Tools you will need:
  • Eyebrow brush
  • Angled brush
  • Tweezers
  • Eyebrow pencil the color of your eyebrow hairs
  • Concealer
  • Setting powder or Finishing powder
  • Eyebrow gel


How to make perfect eyebrows step-by-step:

  1. Evaluate your eyebrow. The most important thing you need to know is the shape of your natural eyebrow. Symmetry and proportionality is perceived automatically by the human eye as beautiful. To make sure that you have the best eyebrows according to the shape of the face, you should learn the initial and final points of your natural brow shape.


Here’s how to measure your eyebrow:

First, you’ll need a special eyebrow brush to line up vertically from the center of the tip of your nose with the eyebrow bone. This is the starting point of your eyebrow.

Then take the brush and align it from the tip of the nose through the center of the iris and the bone of the eyebrow. This is the highest point of your eyebrow arch.

Finally, hold the brush from the corner of the nostril to the outer corner of the eye and over the bone of the eyebrow. This is where your eyebrow should end.


  1. Shape with tweezers and color them in, but be careful! Once you have done your evaluation, you can remove excess hairs that are out of the eyebrow frame. One of the recurring issues with DIY eyebrows is that many of us aren’t listening to our eyebrows to serve as a guide, so we may wax off a little too much from each side.

 It’s imperative to note that just two or four hairs can make a big difference to the face frame! To make the biggest impact, once you have finished waxing, tweezing, or threading create a line over the lined eyebrow and bow and using a matching color powder. Be sure to use a pencil eyeliner to fill in the more “unpopulated” areas.


  1. Brush/comb eyebrows. Next, let’s learn to tame those stray rebel hairs. Brush your eyebrows with a special eyebrow brush. These brushes are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Brush in an upwards motion (yes, up!) and trim the ends of the longer hairs along the natural line (or the pencil line you made earlier) of your eyebrow. Brush outward and to the side of your face to put your eyebrow back in place. Repeat if you missed any long hairs.


Brush down: Now it’s time to trim the long hairs in the downwards direction. Repeat the same process but this time brush the hairs of your eyebrows down. Get rid of any long ends that extend past the base of your eyebrow.


  1. Fill ‘em in! In case the eyebrows are too thin, use your eyebrow pencil to fill in now that you’ve finished trimming your eyebrows. Use a darker shade than the natural color of your eyebrows to fill the spaces that need a little extra love.


  1. Conceal/Highlight. After you’ve gotten your eyebrows nice, full, and in the shape best suited to your face go ahead and use a concealer a couple of shades lighter than your natural skin tone and apply it right under your brow. Avoid super light concealers that exaggerate the eyebrow too much. Makeup artists not sensitive to African American skin often highlight/conceal with colors that don’t fit your natural tones. Women of color can get away with using concealers just a tad lighter than their natural skin color and get gorgeous results!


After concealing, use a bit of powder to give it a slightly more uniform color and fix the concealer in place. Your makeup *can* move. Using a powder after each step can reduce or eliminate this, especially if you have oily skin. You will notice a great finish your eyebrows will look perfect.


Keep in mind that the color of the pencil should be very similar to the color of your eyebrows. Pro tip: make short strokes to imitate the actual length of eyebrow hair. Avoid long or deep, dark strokes that could give your eyebrows an artificial look.


  1. Intensify or soften the curve of the eyebrow. If your eyebrows are too straight or arched, you can correct the shape by outlining the curve of the eyebrow above or below if they are arched. Get creative here! A little trial and error can help you decide how drastic you’d like to be.


  1. Extend or thicken the eyebrow. Take a step back here. How do your eyebrows look? Do they need to be adjusted? If your eyebrows have become too thin or short use the natural line of the eyebrow to subtly add some color using the same pencil that you used earlier. This will allow you to gain length or volume in them.


  1. Last but not least! Finally, with the help of an angled brush and a bit of compact powder of similar color, define a little more the shape of your eyebrows. Combine them again to blend the colors and soften any harsh lines. You should always fix your fresh eyebrows with an eyebrow gel, either clear or dyed. This will make your eyebrows water resistant and will make your picture perfect brow shape last all day!



Pro tip:

If you have clearer hair or thinner eyebrows you may want to consider making your eyebrows darker using a dyed gel. If you have dark hair, you should pick lighter tone to make sure that the darkness does not dominate the face frame.

Eyebrows that are not well drawn will reduce expressiveness and attractiveness to your face. The eyebrows should be adjusted according to the factions and oval of each person and not just some fashion trend, especially if they are thin. If your eyebrows are very thin, they may not grow back properly (or at all!) so you may want to avoid that part altogether.


Step 4: Choose the Right Foundation


Foundations are either liquid, cream, or powdered makeup that provide full sheer, medium, or full coverage in the same color of your skin. There are a host of different foundations to choose from based on how much coverage you want and what your skin type is.

It is best to apply your foundation over a moisturizer especially for full coverage. Full coverage foundation is ideal for you if you have problem skin.

You may hear that “the basis of a great complexion is a good foundation,” however, foundation matching can be a struggle for upcoming African American makeup artists and those learning how to apply makeup for light — brown skin tones. That is because many brands offer very limited colors in darker shades leaving women of color with very little to choose from.

Too often, many so-called “experts” will tell you to choose a good foundation that is only based on your skin type. The results? Very terrible! WRONG approach!

The problem with this approach is this – you’ll end up having a good product formula with the wrong foundation color. And here is an example from one those lamenters who posted on Yahoo! answers.

simple makeup for dark indian skin


A tip going around on YouTube instructs viewers to match the foundation with the back of your hand. This kind of advice can land you in another makeup disaster like the example below:


How you look when you wear the wrong foundation...oops!


Here’s another unhelpful titbit: “try multiple shades from the drugstore.” This is bad advice because it doesn’t consider the L-Factor (more on L-Factor later in this tutorial). Here’s what can happen with that one:

When you buy a foundation without considering the L-Factor


How can you find the right shade of foundation without making these big mistakes?

Again, Avura Makeup has you covered!


How to choose the right foundation for dark skin

A good foundation should blend with the skin on your face and neck. Afterall, you don’t want your face to look like it belongs to someone else. There are 3 main areas to consider when choosing a foundation that will be suitable for African American makeup.

  1. Know your skin type
  2. Understand your skin tone
  3. L-Factor (lighting)

Let’s look at these areas closely.


Skin type

Before developing your everyday makeup routine for dark skin, you need to know your “skin type” to make smart purchases that will enhance your beauty. Buying a super matte foundation for already dry skin can have as disastrous results as purchasing a very dewy, shiny foundation when you have oily. In the first example, your skin can look as dry as a desert and in the second you could look like your makeup is purposely trying to drip from your face.


What’s Your Skin Type?

Let’s consider the four skins types (no matter your race). Understanding your skin type goes a long way in helping you choose the best makeup product and how to apply them.

Overview of the four skin types:
  • Oily Skin
  • Dry Skin
  • Normal Skin
  • Combination Skin


It is very difficult to find two people with the exact same skin type. That’s because the condition of your skin will vary from day to day depending on different factors such as the weather condition, your diet, your health status and emotional state, etc. Knowing what skin type category you fall into can prevent further problems if you’re going to apply makeup for dark skin tones.


What kind of makeup should be used for your skin type?

Oily skin: Choose a makeup products that do not contain fats or oils, as they can clog your pores causing aggravating blemishes like acne. They can also cluster in the eyelids shortly after application. If you have oily skin, consider using products that may give you a matte finish.

Dry skin: Let’s do a 180 and look at the opposite of oily skin, dry skin. A typical characteristic of dry skin is flaky skin since the skin has such a hard time retaining moisture on it’s own. Be sure to use a moisturizer that hydrates your skin to eliminate the dullness that also comes with dry skin. There are some foundations out there that can moisturize your skin, but your moisturizer should do most of the work to improve its elasticity.  We suggest using creamy foundations that give a dewy finish so consider creamy eye shadows as well. To make sure your eye makeup lasts all day, use primers to make the makeup more visible.

Combination skin: The best choice for combination skin is to use two types of foundations with different textures – oil free, matte foundation for the T-zone (chin, nose and forehead) and a moisturizing foundation for the outer parts of the face that are prone to dryness. This can get a little tricky to match in color so we recommend staying within the same brand when you do this if possible as they are more likely to have foundations with similar colors in at least a few of their lines.

As with oily skin, combination skin needs to be thoroughly cleaned before and after applying the makeup and you should always aim for balance. You don’t want any look that will be too greasy or too dry.

Normal skin: Normal skin do very well with light and moisturizing foundations. Normal skin is also rarely limited by eye shadows and flushing. Pay attention to the moisture levels of the skin to determine whether to use cream or powder foundation.

Sensitive Skin: Many cosmetic experts recommend that if you have sensitive or problematic skin, you should not wear makeup at all but we can see how it could be hard to follow that advice.

Look for foundation that contain skin-healing minerals. Some mineral-foundation products allow the skin to breathe while protecting it from bacteria and fighting inflammation. And let’s not forget your skin also needs to be protected against the environment. With good mineral based foundation you get both the benefits of healing the skin and the fun of using makeup!

Note: Mineral makeup may react with the flash of your camera and you may see the ghost face in your photos.


Pro Tip:

Seek out formulas that will complement your skin type. Oil-free formulas are best for acne-prone or oily skin, and hydrating formulas are best for normal to dry skin types. Those with sensitive skin should look for ‘non-comedogenic’ or ‘hypoallergenic’ formulas as these claim to not clog pores.


Understand your Skin tone:

Knowing your skin tone is the key to finding that perfect shade of foundation if you’re going to create flattering African American makeup.

What are undertones?

Skin undertones are the underlying colors beneath the surface of your skin. They can be categorized into three basic groups: cool, warm, and neutral.

Skin undertones are especially handy for choosing the best foundation, blush, and concealer shades for your unique complexion. Let’s take a look:


What is Your Skin Tone?

You are going to find out where you stand on the colour wheel.


Cool undertones

Quick to blush and prone to sunburns?

  • If your skin is more likely to burn than tan (yes black women can burn), you’re probably cool toned.
  • Blue-based 0s look stunning on you.
  • Enhance pink pigment with pale or rosy pink and plum blush.
  • Try silver or white-gold jewelry paired with cool-colored stones.
  • Accentuate lips with rose-red, pink, and purple hues.

Take a peek at your wrist. You have cool undertones if your veins appear blue or purple under natural light!


Warm undertones

Burning not a problem?

If your skin tans a beautiful golden brown, you likely have warm undertones.

  • Earthy eye shadows
  • Complement your skin’s natural yellow glow.
  • Highlight warm-toned cheeks with coral, peach, or brown blush.
  • Pair gold, copper, and brass jewelry with warm-colored stones.
  • Enhance lips with a splash of orange-based red, coral, or brown.

Take a look at your wrists.  Are the veins there tinted green under natural light? You’re probably warm toned!


Neutral undertone

If your complexion radiates both pink and yellow hues, you might be smack in the middle of cool and warm. You have a lot of flexibility in what you want to do with your makeup.

  • Enhance brown, green or hazel eyes and brown hair with warm toned shadows and clothing shades.
  • Complement the blue and green undertones with peach, apricot, or burgundy blush.
  • Accentuate your lips with flirty coral, rich berry, and vibrant red lip color shades.

Because neutral-toned beauties have a mixture of cool and warm undertones, wrist veins can appear both blue and green under natural light!

Annmarie Skin Care showed 10 Ways to Determine Your Skin Tone.



Note: Despite what a certain stereotype says, African-America women can experiment with color in their makeup. Don’t be afraid to pick up a shade that you think may only work for light skin. Be bold! Be Daring & be beautiful, watch this youtube video to see how to pick the perfect foundation to apply flattering makeup for dark skin tones.



Let’s discuss the L-Factor (Lighting)

Lights, camera, action!

Highlighters add instant “soft lighting” where you need it most.

The rules of highlighting are almost universal across skin colors. Apply a small swipe down the center of your nose and along the top of the brow bone underneath the eyebrow for an instant lift. You can also highlight across the top of the cheekbones or in the Cupid’s bow (the little dip right at the top of your upper lip) for a full face highlight. Blend well and you’re ready for your close-up!

Lighting plays a huge role in how your foundation will turn out! As a rule of thumb: If your foundation looks natural in Natural Daylight, then your foundation fits and will look like your own skin under any type of lighting. You may think your foundation is a good match based on surface color, but you can see how off the undertones are in natural daylight.


Pro Tip:

If possible, always do your makeup in natural lighting like in front of a window if possible. This will give you a better idea of how you really look and will look in other lightings as well.


Pro Tip:  (Picking the right foundation)
  • When looking for a new foundation to use for dark skin, avoid the “back of the hand” technique. We don’t recommend trying to find your shade by testing it on the back of your hand since the color of the hand and the face can vary a lot more than this technique suggests.
  • Do not test your foundation shade on the nose or cheeks either as they tend to be more reddish because of blood circulation. The extra redness can confuse your color selection process and you may walk around with the wrong shade altogether.
  • We recommend your jawline as the best place to match your foundation.
  • Walk into natural light and check out your reflection. The shade that disappears is the winner!
  • Check the ingredients label for a ‘non-comedogenic’ note which means that the foundation will not clog your pores. You want your skin to be able to breathe!
  • Your skin tone gets lighter and darker from season to season and can sometimes change with age. Upgrade your foundation color regularly so it never looks too light or dark.


Applying your foundation

Your foundation after application, should look like you aren’t wearing any makeup (unless you purposely want a dramatic look). Also try to minimize your blemishes (pimple scars, dark spots, black/white heads) as much as you can that is still natural to the eye. We’ll cover some of the best black makeup brands later in this tutorial.


Materials needed:
  • Foundation
  • Foundation brush
  • Makeup palette
  • Setting powder
  • Powder face brush


How to apply foundation on dark skin:

  1. Drop foundation onto the back of your clean hand or onto a makeup palette.
  2. Using the tip of a foundation brush, lightly pat the foundation onto your skin.
  3. Work your way around your face and all down your neck.
  4. Be sure to blend into your ears to keep the color progression gradual.
  5. Blend your entire face with the brush for a flawless finish.
  6. Set your makeup with your powder and powder brush to keep your makeup in place all day



Quick Tips
  • Never, ever forget your neck while applying foundation.
  • After you’ve blended your foundation into your face and neck check you work in natural lighting. How does it look? If even after you’ve blended it doesn’t look natural, you’re using the wrong foundation color. We’ll give you a list of the best foundation for black skin for 2017 to eliminate some of the guess work.


Step 5: Conceal – Blemishes be gone!

Concealers are essential cosmetics that are our best friends in disguising and covering dark circles, scars, blemishes, redness and all kinds of skin imperfections. Whether you are going to do makeup for medium dark skin or makeup for light dark skin, a good concealer can make a difference in the overall appearance of any face. You can use less foundation by adding concealer where needed and blending it into the area well.

The first thing worth noting is that there are many types of concealers you can choose from. Let’s go over them so you can decide which best suit your skin and give you the effect you want.


Type of concealers

Below are the various type of concealers available for all makeup expertise levels. If you’re a beginner learning to do make up for dark skin, here are the types you should know:

Bar: Cover imperfections well but you have to apply a small amount in the area you wish to conceal to avoid making expression lines. When selecting a bar concealer, choose a lighter shade than your skin. It is ideal for young skin.

Cream: Its full coverage is great for dark circles and deep imperfections. Cream concealers are great for a variety of skint types.

Liquid: Is the easiest to use and offers a medium coverage to cover dark circles and other small imperfections like blackheads. Not particularly suitable for oily skin.

Powder: Despite powder concealers having lighter coverage they’re great at covering granites in oily skin.

Mousse: Mousses are concealers of light textures and wide coverages that become powder once in contact with the skin.


Besides all the different textures, did you know that concealers are also distinguished by their color? The most common and effective are concealer in beige, green, yellow and orange or salmon, each one for a specific use but all conceal imperfections. It is important for you to familiarize yourself with them if you’re going to use concealers to get the perfect slay!

Beige: Brightens and evens skin tone to cover those darker areas of the face (bye, bye dark circles!)

Green: Covers redness, pimples, small scars or veins.

Yellow: Hides those areas of more intense color by pulling violet or purple, it is perfect to cover dark circles or even bruises for those of us in the clumsy crew.

Orange or salmon: Camouflages dark circles under bluish tones.

Once you’ve found the perfect concealer and have done away with those blemishes, you should follow the essential steps on how to prepare skin as shown below before applying them. The face has to be completely clean and hydrated so that the final result is unpolluted especially when you want to do makeup for dark skin.

Another important thing is to know how to apply it in the right way as it will be decisive in the final effect of our makeup. We’ll go over some great black makeup brands that can work for you. Follow this Avura Makeup article on how to use your concealer to amplify your already amazing Black girl magic!


Materials needed:
  • Concealer
  • Concealer brush
  • Setting powder/Finishing powder


How to apply a concealer

Follow the steps below closely to make the most of your concealer:

  1. Take a small amount of the concealer and tap it with the ring finger or with a special brush. Apply small delicate taps to the area you want to conceal.


Pro Tip:

Blend using gentle circular movements. Be sure not to use too much pressure to avoid premature wrinkles.


  1. For dark circles, choose the concealer that is closest to the color of your skin or a slightly lighter tone to brighten around the eyes. Apply a few droplets in the lower part of the eyes and blend out it with more tapping motions. Do not drag the product!


Pro Tip:

It is very important to blur (blend) the ends. Blending is everything in makeup! You don’t want everyone to know exactly where you concealer starts and ends.

  1. Finally, set the product with a translucent or colored powder to make sure your concealer (and ultimately your entire look) lasts!




Step 6: Eye Makeup—Windows to the Soul (and the Slay)

If you’ve done your homework on YouTube tutorials you might notice that women spend more time on the eye area than any other area of the face. Between the eyebrows, priming the eyelid, the various eyeshadows and blending is necessary for any of the countless looks you can make and then lashes and mascara, etc. there’s a lot that goes into your eye look! Knowing how to make the most of your makeup for dark skin — beginners can be a bit confusing. Fortunately, Avura Makeup can take you step by step here:

How To Get Your Perfect Eye Makeup

It is all too easy to apply too much or too little eye makeup. Here’s how to get the ideal in-between.


  • Wrinkle reducer or eye serum
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow
  • Mascara
  • Setting powder/Finishing powder


Eye makeup tips for dark skin

  1. First, prep your eyes. If you need to cover bags under the eyes or imperfections, try a wrinkle reducer.No this isn’t just for older women, it’s for all of us. The earlier you start, the better your chances are when you’re older. And while it’s true that black doesn’t crack, we should also take all the necessary precautions in taking care of Black skin. There are plenty of serums and gels on the market. So chances are, there’s one out there for you!


  1. Next, decide what you want to do. There are plenty of women out there who enjoy experimenting with different eye patterns everyday. They’re fun and offer a new dimension of drama (even if it’s subtle) to your face (more on that later). If you want a more natural look, try black eyeliner and a shadow in a tone that is similar to your skin. Your mascara is also key! For simple everyday makeup for dark skin, black (or whatever color matches your lashes) mascara is your best friend and regardless of color clumps are never cute. For a more glamorous look you can try with a thick pencil and a shimmering cream shadow.


Pro Tips:
  • Don’t leave any marks on the crease of your eye. Remember, little mistakes here and there show in your final look.
  • Look for pointed tips for a sharp eyeliner finish.


  1. Apply the eyeliner first. Yes, this may seem a little counter intuitive but think of it this way: if you make a mistake, it is easier to clean or correct when there isn’t any makeup in between. This is the preferred method for a more blended look so you don’t show the lines as much (like in a smokey eye). We found that this way works for a lot more people than YouTube bloggers show. If you’re going for something with a little more drama where you want all the lines of your eyeliner to pop more, apply the eyeliner after.


Pro Tips:
  • When using liquid eyeliner, consider drawing lines with a pencil first. That way, you’ll have something to trace over and you won’t irritate your eyes by constantly erasing your mistakes.
  • Do not try to clean off your liquid eyeliner when it is cool. You’ll risk it running and ruining your clothes.
  • For a natural look, we recommend a thin line on your upper eyelid, but not the lower one. For a more dramatic look, feel free to line both! As always with liquid liner, be careful! It can get into your eyes and/or stay between your lashes. In our opinion, a smooth look is always best.


  1. Apply the eye shadow (Detailed Step-by-step guide found in Step 7)If you used liquid eyeliner before this step, make sure the liner is dry before going any further. Application is everything in eyeshadow. Depending on the look you want to go for, you can get away with some eyeshadow on just the lid or you may want to climb up into the crease. Very bold makeup looks even blend eyeshadow past the crease and into the eyebrows and into the temples! Your options are unlimited and it all depends on how much attention you want to bring to the eye area. Experiment with colors and see what work best. We suggest getting a cheap palate to start with just until you get comfortable doing more with your eyes. Once your skills have graduated, we have a list or the best black makeup brands you should look into!


Sometimes, if you are looking for a less natural effect, do not apply shade over the entire eyelid. Carefully draw a line over your eyeliner. If you are not wearing eyeliner, make the line on your eyelid with a medium color that is eye-catching and looks good. We would recommend wearing a bright shade for skin is dark.


(Take into account that dark skin does not always look good with shade in a shade according to your hair.) Light and fair coffees look good with coffees, golds, minerals and light colors.


  1. Add some mascara. If you have naturally long or thick eyelashes, you may not need mascara at all! If you have short, thick eyelashes look for mascaras that will lift and separate the lashes. No one wants their mascara to clump and if they’re already thick, it’s very easy for them to bond together. Though mascaras can give you length, there’s no miracle mascara in the world that’ll instantly grow your lashes 20 times longer than they are. Once you’ve found a good one, stick to it and learn to love your beauty. If you’re very interested in length though, false lashes (falsies) are great alternatives. Many people do not apply mascara on the lower lashes, but it can give you a striking effect if it is well done.


Pro Tip:
  • Be careful not to let your mascara brush touch your actual eyelid. The transfer of the mascara is a pain to remove and may ruin all the work you just did on your eyelid.
  • Choose a mascara color that is similar in tone (if not the same) to your eyelashes.


  1. Use a brown or black or very dark eyeliner with bright eye shadows to play with your eyes. Have fun with your eyes! Try use two or more colors and practice blending them in to one another, the results may surprise you.


For example, dark-skinned women can try to create a two-tone look using gold and purple. Cold shades are ideal because they add the light needed to wake the eyes, especially the cool tones ranging from blue to mauve.

Eugene Lee Yang shared 10 basic eye makeup styles will give you life!


  1. Finishing (corrections). Lastly on our eye makeup tips for dark skin girls, take your time and analyze the work you’ve done so far. Go over and touch up any areas that may have some minor mistakes. Don’t worry if your look didn’t come out perfectly the first time, practice makes perfect!


Do this at the end to cover imperfections, bags and makeup run. Do not apply a lot of concealer in an area that you cannot match afterwards with other makeup as it can look unnatural. Gently stretch the skin underneath your eyes down to cover any wrinkles. Try not to run the eyeliner. I hope that by this time, your mascara is dry. And of course, don’t forget to set your look with a setting/finishing powder!




Step 7: Apply Your Eyeshadow

At first applying eye shadow will seem complicated, but with these tricks and a little practice you will discover that it’s actually very simple! Don’t be afraid to play, experiment, mix colors. You’ll be a pro in no time if you follow this eye makeup for dark skin step-by-step (Guide).


  • Eyeshadow brush
  • Blending brush
  • Angled eyeshadow brush
  • Eyeshadow (however many you wish to use. For this look, you’ll need 3.)
  • Eyeshadow primer
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara


How to apply your eyeshadow for dark skin tones (you’ll fall in love!)

To create a pro look, you’ll need 3 eyeshadow colors.

  1. Apply your eyeshadow primer. This step covers up the small veins you may have in your eyelid and keep the eyeshadow in place and prevents creasing. The primer ultimately makes your makeup last longer.


  1. Choose the perfect shades for you: have you noticed the work of professional makeup artists? They all use the same technique, which you will learn next, to achieve this you need to use three colors:
  • A main tone:This is your focus color. It is the one people will see the most. Don’t afraid to be bold! You can have neutral colors, flashy colors, or simply try to match your clothes.
  • A darker eye shadow:It will give impact and depth to your look, it can be black, brown, or shade darker than the main one.
  • A Lighter shade:This should be the lightest shade you choose. Some good options to create flattering eye makeup for dark skin are white, silver, gold or beige.


  1. Apply the main shadow: crease, is just where your eyelashes are when you open your eyes.Apply the dark shadow into your crease. Your brow will appear more dipped and your eyes bigger for a more dramatic and engaging look.
Pro tip:
  • Pass the brush only once or twice, it should not be exaggerated,nor should it reach the actual eyebrow. Small gestures that make all the difference! Pass a clean brush right where the main shadow with the dark shadow join to blend the pigments together in that area.


4. Glitter (optional). Apply the lightest shade into the inner corner of the eye, and just below your eyebrows to highlight your eyes. Use an angled eyeshadow brush for this since you’ll need to get pretty close into your corner to pull this off. An angled brush also makes highlighting below your eyebrow easy!


Step 8: Apply Great Lipstick

Now applying lipstick is relatively straightforward if you’re using tube lipstick that is already shaped to be used on the lips, but for some women it can be hard avoiding getting lipstick right above or right below your lip. You want your lip color to be full with whatever color you choose. A half-painted, dried or stained mouth doesn’t look good no matter what color skin it’s on.

So if you want that intense red lip or much more, take note of these simple but effective tips when it comes to lipstick on dark skin. Avura Makeup will teach how to get them perfect and your lipstick will last much longer.


  • Cotton ball/pad
  • Makeup liquid or bar
  • Powder Makeup
  • Brush
  • Lipstick of your choice


How to prepare your lips for lipstick

  • Since the skin of the lips are very delicate, they can dry out and peel very easily. If you do not hydrate them properly, you can end up with cracked lips which is a nightmare for applying lipstick. We recommend moisturizing your lips daily. Keep a lip balm handy or apply some ointment or even petroleum jelly before bed.


  • Try this tick to moisturize lips before makeup: soak a little cotton ball or pad in hot water and tap it on your lips. You will notice how smooth your lips look instantly!


  • Apply your lipstick with either the tube or a lipstick brush. Work on your bottom lip first then move up to your top lip. There’s no need to rush so take as much time as you need to first line your top lip with the lipstick and then fill in your lips with the color.


  • Keep applying the color until it’s to your desired intensity. Press your lips together and rub the lipstick in a bit to distribute the product. To seal, apply a little translucent powder with a small brush.


Voila! Perfect lips! Keep practicing until you’ve got this down. Again, you don’t have to rush through it. You’ll get better with practice and have hydrated and colorful lips every time. Experiment with all the colors you want! Try nude lipsticks too! The only person who can limit themselves is you.


Step 9: Contour Like a Pro

The rule for contouring is simple: add a slightly darker powder where you wish to create shadows can help define your face. Sounds easy? It is! As long as you follow this part of the dark skin makeup step by step tutorial.


  • Contour brush/Small angled powder brush
  • Powder–or- your foundation darker than your skin tone
  • Powder brush (for setting your final look)
  • Setting/Finishing powder


How to Contour Like a Star

  1. Take the small angled powder brush or contour brush and tap it into the powder you wish to contour with. If you’re using a liquid or cream foundation, transfer a bit of it onto your brush. If you’re using a stick/bar foundation, strategically place the foundation right above your temples and along the base of your hairline on your forehead.



Many dark skin makeup brands offer a great variety of colors that work well for dark skin women so your contour comes out perfect paired with this great technique.


Bonus Step: Makeup for Dark Skin (Final Touches)

Don’t forget your bronzer!

Bronzer can give you a beautiful glow regardless of the season. It adds a great new dimension to your overall look and adds subtle color with vivid effects. Though it’s totally optional, but as part of our makeup tips for dark skin complexion, we recommend it if the makeup look you chose can pull it off. Many dark skin makeup brands have some great options for excellent bronzers!


  • Bronzer
  • Powder brush
  • Setting/Finishing Powder


How to apply bronzer:

  1. Using your powder brush, lightly tap the brush into your bronzer. Some bronzers can be very intense and so a little goes a long way. Start off with a light application and add more if necessary.
  2. Pay attention to where the sun would naturally hit your face like your forehead, around your cheekbones, down the center of your nose and along the sides of your face. Apply the bronzer there.
  3. Blend the bronzer into the rest of the makeup in your face. Be sure not to leave any harsh lines. Try to get the color progression to be as smooth as possible all around your face.
  4. Again, set your face with a setting/finishing powder! This time it’s optional because bronzer is typically a powder itself but we recommend it anyway!


Practice! practice!! practice!!

Do you like this makeup tutorial for dark skin? I would to love to know which step you think has improved your knowledge/skill, please let us know in the comment!


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