Hello and welcome. This is an article that is GREATLY needed. At least I think it is. I started wearing make-up around the age of 14 and when I started, it was the WRONG shade for my skin tone. So! I am trying to speak out for all the Beautiful, Brown-Skinned Black Women that have as hard a time finding make-up as I do. So, let me give you a little background on me.
First of all, Black is beautiful, and the darker the berry the sweeter the juice! That being said, at 14 I was a little blackberry without a clue. When I first started wearing make-up it was just lipstick and it started out being my mom's Fashion Fair. My mother who is light-skinned and has a daughter who is dark-skinned. Needless to say her lipstick did NOT match at all. I was even referred to as a dark-skinned Ronald McDonald by a previous ex-boyfriend!
So, I believe that us brown-skinned and dark-skinned women need a little extra help because it is more difficult for us to find make-up that matches in drugstores, or make-up that is affordable.Plus Cosmo and Glamour and all of them always be talking about great make-up for spring, but uh, hello did you forget black girls like make-up for spring too? So, I feel your pain. I am a self-appointed make-up aficionado, and would like to offer my experiences as well as some products that are FABO and not so much fabo. So... without further ado, let's get started!
JUST AN FYI: These are all make-ups that I have had to use through trial and error so I am sharing from EXPERIENCE!
FACE: I find it hard to find a good foundation, and full-coverage make-up that is affordable so here are some wonderful finds that I have found that are both.
1-Cover Girl Queen Collection Natural Hue Liquid Foundation- Spicy Brown
PROS- it is good at matching skin tones that have yellow or red undertones, spreads easily and if you only need moderate coverage gives you a good bang for your buck. It is affordable ranging about 6-8 bucks, and you can find it in most drugstores, and grocery stores.
CONS- If you have dark spots and blemishes, this will NOT offer you the coverage you need! Not even close, okay? It also wears off quickly so you would need to reapply often. The bottle is upside down with a little spout, so if you pour out too much, you cannot put it back in the bottle and in these times of economic crisis er' little bit counts am I right ladies?!
Also, if you have problems matching your skin tone because you have BOTH yellow and red, or maybe blue and red undertones, this collection may not be for you because there is not a vast selection to choose from, so you might need to move on. Other shades that are good for brown-skinned to dark-skinned gals, and some of you fellas! Rich Mink, Sheer Espresso, and True Ebony.
2- Cover Girl Queen Collection Natural Hue Compact Foundation
PROS-It will give you more coverage than the Liquid Foundation. That's it. That's about all I can think of.
CONS-Unfortunately, it rubs off QUITE quickly. It is also tinted slightly differently than the liquid foundation so I found it harder to match my skin tone. Also, when it was warm outside it wipes RIGHT off, and revealed every blemish on my face! LOL, it also wipes off on your clothes, stains your hands, the whole bit. It's moderately priced as well, so if you want to look nice for a date at night, going somewhere cool, it's a quick fix, but I wouldn't wear it to the club, or a carnival, anywhere that will be warm, or sweaty. It also comes in the same.
3- Black Opal True Color Liquid Foundation - Black Walnut
PROS-Awesome Coverage. There is quite a bit in the bottle so it will last you quite a while. It is an upright standing bottle with a generous opening, so if you pour out too much, it won't be too difficult to get back into the bottle, so you can SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! I wear foundation every day, sometimes wash my face and re-apply if going out that night, and this bottle lasts me about a good two months or so. You will find that it ranges from about 8-12 bucks... depending on where you live. So it is a great buy.
CONS- If you have combination to oily skin, WEAR POWDER, and keep it with you! During these upcoming warm to hot days, you may look really greasy in the face. But if you keep Blotters with you, or powders, you should be okay. Also, it might just be that MY skin tone changes, so if that is the case disregard, but I find that when I go to buy a new one, the shade might not match like the previous one, so be mindful of that.
Another con is that Black Opal Products may be a little harder to find in stores than other products that I mention. I don't know if it's that they're not that popular, or what, but whenever I look I always find them in either Rite-Aid, or CVS. So, happy hunting. Other colors good for brown-skinned girls... Carob, Suede Mocha, and Ebony Brown..... And for you borderline caramel to brown-skin girls, Hazelnut!
4-Maybelline Pure Make-Up (Shine Free Foundation with H2O) - Cocoa (Dark 3)
PROS- Very affordable, easy to find. Located in Most drugstores, supermarkets, Wal-Mart. Costs range about 5.99-10 bucks, depending on your region. Full coverage, doesn't clog your pores, spreads easily.
CONS-Upside down tube, so you will have to be exact about how much is needed for your face, cause if you use too much... it will go to waste. Limited colors for darker skin tones. They only have THREE shades for women of OUR color. Dark 1- Tan, Dark 2- Caramel, and Dark 3-Cocoa. I have used the Cocoa. It is way too dark for my skin-tone.
However, the Caramel Dark 2 is too light. So, if you are pressed for money and don't have the money to experiment, I wouldn't waste my time on this product. They have FIVE shades dedicated to light, FOUR for medium and only three for us darkies??!!! Leave this product alone, unless you happen to match EXACTLY. Good luck evading the lady who tries to watch you when you try to sample the products in the store!
5- Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free Liquid Make-Up- Cocoa Bean
PROS-Very affordable! VERY! Somewhat accessible. Costs about 5.99-10 bucks, and you can find it in a lot of Beauty Supply stores, CVS carries it. Spreads evenly, good coverage, get quite a bit for your buck. Also, comes in a jar with an open spout, so if you have too much, you can put it back in there. Gives you a nice matte finish.
CONS- Cocoa Bean does NOT match my skin tone! But I also have strange undertones going on with my skin, so that could be why it is so difficult to match. When you apply this make-up it dries a different color, it's crazy. There's this... weird... applicator thingy, not sure what to do with it, but it just got in my way basically. Says it is good for all skin types, but I have very sensitive skin on my face, and I found that within thirty minutes my face was suffocating and I needed to wash it off. Other shades to try are Brownie and Mocha Honey.
6- L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Make-Up- Nut Brown
PROS-Oh my goodness you guys this make-up was awesome! Spread really, really great! Matches wonderfully for a yellow undertone. Really does a brown-skinned girl justice. Light, so your skin can breathe. Good coverage for girls with blemishes. Pretty easy to find, and I say that with hesitance, because 7 times out of 10 they will carry all BUT the shades for brown-skinned. Um, I find them at Wal-Mart, Walgreens..and that's pretty much it.
CONS- This product has SPF and I am VERY allergic to sun block so it broke me out something terrible. Kind of hard to find. It's a little more expensive than the previous products mentioned. MMM, I would say about 10.99 and up. You may be able to find it on sale. Also, there is not a whole lot in the bottle, so use sparingly if you can. Other shades to try.... Soft Sable and Cocoa.
7- Revlon Color Stay Make-Up with Soft Flex - Mahogany
PROS- Pretty easy to find in most drugstores. Colors are good for brown-skinned girls. Kind of affordable. A little on the higher end but about 9.99-12.99 for this product. The coverage is okay... Not the best, but if you are looking for light to moderate coverage this is a good product.
CONS- Now, I found that Mahogany did not match my undertones that great. I know.... Again with the undertones. It dried and made my skin look a little grayish and chalky. There is not really a good selection to choose from for darker skin tones. Has SPF6, bad for me, but good for anyone who is not allergic. Also, again, if you don't have the undertone problem.... Other shades to try... Cappuccino and Mocha.
And lastly but CERTAINLY not least...
8- Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse - Cocoa (Dark 3)
PROS- OH MY GOSH...... loving this product!! (sing song voice) this is the current make up I am using now! It def does what the commercial says. It covers your pores, and gives you a great finish! Maximum coverage! Need NO concealer, well... maybe a little bit, but I don't use any. It is very affordable, anywhere from about 7-10 bucks. I found it right at the Kroger grocery store, so it should be available at most drug stores. It has a nifty little nozzle that squirts out and it's really convenient. It is also whipped feeling, and I apply with my fingers.
It just glides right on, and begins covering all my pores and dark spots, and its not too heavy, I don't have to put on a bunch. The top also comes off, so if I over-squirt, I can put it right back in the bottle. There's lots in the bottle, and you don't have to use a lot for coverage. I think I bought this bottle a month ago and I still have a little more than half a bottle left. It's great! I love it. Hopefully this will be the end of the road for me, but usually it isn't!
CONS-Again, it's Maybelline, and you know they don't cater to the brownies, so there are only three shades of this color which is aforementioned Dark 1, Dark 2, Dark 3. Dark 3 of this particular make-up works really well for me. Weird the other Maybelline product Dark 3 didn't work, but oh well. That's the only con I can come up with for this product so far.
So, in closing, I know a lot of people are saying well what about MAC? MAC, well first, MAC isn't exactly what I would call easy or easily accessible. MAC is usually found at a counter in a dept store, or MAC store in the mall, and both close around 9 pm. I am a girl on a budget, and I can't afford to pay 15-25 bucks for make up that doesn't seem to last very long, actually. And also, with my sensitive skin, MAC gives me a rash. I have tried the Studio Tech Compact in NW50. If you don't mind paying a little bit more then here are some other shades to try... NW45, NW47, NC50, NC55, and NW55.
PS, I have tried Clinique, the shade wasn't worth mentioning because it made me look gray and gave me a rash. Fashion Fair is good too if you can find it, but again, a little out of my budget right now, and usually can only be found in a dept store or the mall. I haven't worn it in years, so I do not remember the shade. But Fashion Fair offers a BUNCH of shades for us chocolates!
I hope this article helped a lot. I will continue to discuss blushes, concealers, lipsticks, and glosses, mineral powders, bronzers, eye shadows....ahh! Most DEF eye shadows, my favorite, and beauty tricks... some ghetto.... Hope you enjoy! Happy hunting ladies.