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How to Apply Makeup for Dark Skin (Girls)

Five Parts:Finding FoundationApplying FoundationPicking Eye ShadowsApplying BlushChoosing Lip Colors

Finding the right makeup can be a challenge for girls with darker skin. From picking out the right shade of foundation to getting an eyeshadow that will pop, knowing what makeup will look good on you is an important skill to have. Makeup that accentuates your beauty can give you confidence for an amazing night out.

Part 1
Finding Foundation

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    Use the right foundation for your skin type. Different types of foundations work with different skin types, so decide whether your skin is more oily or dry before picking a foundation. If your face is always shiny, you breakout easily, and you tend to have larger pores, you probably have oily skin. If your face has rough or red patches, barely visible pores, or flaking skin, you probably have dry skin. If your face has parts that seem oily and other parts that seem dry, you have combination skin.[1]
    • If you have oily skin with larger pores you should use a matte foundation to help dry up your skin’s natural oils.
    • Girls with dry skin should moisturize first, and then use a creamy foundation rather than a matte one. This will keep your skin moisturized and looking fresh.
    • If you have combination skin, you should pick a foundation that will give you your desired end effect.
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    Match foundation to your skin’s undertones. Undertones are the base of your skin’s color, and they are divided in three different categories: cool, warm, or neutral. Your foundation color should be in the same category as your skin’s undertones. You can do some simple tests to figure out what undertones you have.[2]
    • The white vs. cream test: get two articles of clothing, one white and one off-white. Hold them up to your face, look in the mirror, and decide which color complements your skin tone better. Make sure you don’t have any makeup on when you do the test. If the white looks better, you have warm undertones. If the off-white looks best, you have cool undertones, and if both look great, then you have neutral undertones.
    • The vein test: Look at the veins on your wrist and try to see if they look green, blue, or blue-green. Green veins means you have warm undertones, blue veins means you have cool undertones, and blue-green veins means you have neutral undertones.
    • The jewelry test: Get some gold jewelry and some silver jewelry to do this test. Try on both sets of jewelry and decide which jewelry flatters you the most. If wearing gold jewelry looks best, you have warm undertones, but if the silver jewelry looks best, you have cool undertones. If both types of jewelry flatter your complexion, you have neutral undertones.
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    Find the perfect color of foundation. Sometimes dark skinned girls have a difficult time finding the right color foundation because many girls are naturally two toned and have a complex color. The best way to find the perfect foundation is to use several different colors together to match your skin.[3]
    • You might find that your skin is lighter towards the center of your face and darker towards the outer edges. Using two different colors on the different parts of your face and then blending them together where they meet will help you get a very natural look with foundation.

Part 2
Applying Foundation

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    Start with a clean and moisturized face. You need to wash and dry your face before applying foundation. If your skin is dry, apply moisturizer prior to putting foundation on. If your skin is oily, try using a face priming gel to prep your face for the foundation.[4]
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    Use a foundation brush to apply the foundation. A foundation brush is a larger makeup brush with a rounded edge. Using a brush will apply your foundation consistently and smoothly on your face. Put the foundation only on the tip of the brush to avoid over saturating the brush.[5]
    • Make sure to rinse the brush after every application to keep it clean and sanitary.
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    Shake the bottle of foundation. Before every application you need to shake the foundation bottle well. The colors of liquid foundation can slightly separate and create an uneven tone if not mixed before applying.[6]
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    Apply the foundation starting in the center of your face. Start in the center of your face and blend the foundation out and up. Continue applying until your entire face is covered and evenly blended.[7]
    • If you are using two different colors of foundation on your face, apply the lighter tone first, then apply the darker tone, and then use the brush to blend them together where they meet.
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    Buff your face. Use a buffing brush or sponge to blend the foundation into your skin. Gently brush or sponge your face in a circular motion to blend the foundation and soften the look.[8]
    • Make sure to buff around your jaw line and neck so you don't end up with a foundation line.

Part 3
Picking Eye Shadows

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    Be bold with bright colors. Girls with darker skin can wear very bright colors on their eyes and look great. The best bright colors for dark skin are bright jewel tones like blue,emerald, or purple. Bright colors really pop against dark skin and give you a dramatic look.[9]
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    Blend complementing colors. Using two complementing colors on your eye will create a fun, dramatic look. Try pairing gold and purple by applying the purple on your eyelid and layering the gold on top, closer to your eyebrow.[10]
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    Try using neutral colors for a subtle look. Wearing neutral eye shadows in shades of brown or nude can highlight your eyes and still look very natural. Blending several different neutral colors can create a unique look to wear everyday.[11]
    • Stay away from whites or very light neutral colors. These colors can create a dry or ashy look on darker skin.
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    Use metallics to add some fun. Metallic, or shimmering, eye shadows look amazing on dark skin because they are such a contrast to your rich, dark skin color. Eye shadows with shimmer really gleam on darker skin making it a perfect choice for a date night.
    • Try using metallic jewel toned eye shadows to give you a dramatic look.
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    Finish the look with eyeliner and mascara. Eye liner can make your eyes look bigger and create a dramatic look. Black and brown eye liners are great for a natural look, and colored eyeliners are fun to use to create a more dramatic look. Use mascara to lengthen and thicken your eye lashes to complete your flawless look. Find a good black mascara to use daily to enhance your lashes.

Part 4
Applying Blush

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    Use bronzer as blush. A great trick for girls with dark skin is to use a bronzer as blush or applied over a neutral blush. Bronzer gives the cheeks a little extra color and highlights the cheek bones.[12]
    • Apply the bronzer right under your cheekbones to create sculpt on your face.
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    Wear bright blush for a pop of color. Bright colors can look great on dark skin if they complement the skin’s undertones. Bright pinks and corals are great colors to try out.[13]
    • For a round face, apply the blush on your cheekbones and extend it up to your temples.
    • For a heart shaped face, apply the blush below the apples of your cheeks and pull it to your hairline.
    • For a long face, apply the blush below the apples, but don't extend it all the way to your hairline.
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    Combine blush and bronzer. Using both blush and bronzer can give you a beautiful and elegant look. Apply a matte blush to your cheekbones and then sweep the bronzer over the blush to finish it off. You can also add more bronzer underneath your cheekbones to create a sculpting effect.[14]

Part 5
Choosing Lip Colors

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    Wear bright colors. Bright colors look exceptionally well on girls with dark skin. Reds, oranges, and deep purples all are great choices for your lips.[15]
    • To look the best, make sure the color matches your skin’s undertones. For yellow undertones, stick to warm colors like oranges or chocolate browns. For pink undertones, use cool colors like purples or colors with a blue tone in them.
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    Find a neutral close to your skin color. If you want to wear neutral colors make sure you find a color that’s close to your natural skin tone. Light-colored nudes like white, tan, or pale browns may look less natural.[16]
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    Finish with lip gloss for a luscious look. Applying lip gloss on top of lipstick can be a great way to finish off you look. The lip gloss can help keep your lips moisturized throughout the day or night.
    • You can get a clear lip gloss or a colored gloss to enhance the lipstick.
    • Try using an oil like coconut oil as a natural lip gloss.


  • Applying a lip primer can help make your lipstick last longer and be applied smoother.
  • Use a moisturizer before applying makeup if you have dry skin. This will help prep your face for foundation.
  • Use a black mascara to accent your eyelashes and a black or brown eyeliner to enhance your eyes.
  • Wear neutral colors as your everyday makeup and save bright and deep colors for going out at night or special occasions.
  • Practice doing your makeup at home with several different colors to find what looks best on you before wearing it out.


  • Too much makeup can sometimes look overwhelming so make sure you use the least amount necessary to achieve the look you’re going for.
  • If you’re under 18, make sure you talk to your parents about wearing makeup and listen to their advice about how much and when it’s appropriate to wear it.
  • Follow the guidelines about throwing out old makeup. Over time, makeup, especially eye makeup, can harbor bacteria and give you infections when used, so it’s important to replace your makeup as needed.
  • Many people are allergic to some ingredients in makeup, so test any new makeup products by applying a small amount on your face and making sure you don’t have a reaction to it.

Article Info

Categories: Makeup