How to Apply Makeup for African-Americans

Applying makeup to an African American complexion can be a little tricky as far as determining the best shades and hues to bring out your natural beauty. Choosing the right products is important in creating a natural appearance, however, with so many products on the market, it can be confusing to determine which is right for your skin. With a few simple guidelines, applying makeup to your face can be easy.

Things You'll Need

  • Moisturizer
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Mascara
  • Eye shadow
  • Blush
  • Lipstick


    • 1

      Wash and moisturize the skin. The first step in applying makeup is washing and moisturizing your skin. This will ensure that you face is clean, soft and ready for makeup application.

    • 2

      Apply concealer. Purchase a concealer that is 1 to 2 shades lighter then your skin tone. Apply the concealer under your eyes and on problem spots.

    • 3

      Apply foundation. Select a foundation that is a perfect match to your skin. This is easier to accomplish when visiting a department store and having a color match done. However, you can also achieve this by testing the foundation on the inside of your wrist or along your jawbone. Look at the color in the natural light to determine if the foundation is a good match.

    • 4

      Apply blush to your checks. Darker blushes usually look the best on African American skin tones. Cream blush is good for African American women with dry skin and a powered blush is best for those with an oily complexion.

    • 5

      Apply eye makeup. A dark black mascara looks best with darker skin and eyes. Apply one or two applications of mascara to the top lashes only. This opens up the eye area and makes your eyes appear brighter.

    • 6

      Choose an eye shadow. The best colors for darker skin tones are shades of gray, brown and mauve. Lightly sweep the eye shadow across the top eyelids for daytime use.

    • 7

      Apply lip color. For daytime use, choose a berry lip gloss. For an evening look, go for a mauve or rose color. Use a lip liner to outline the lips before applying lipstick. After your lips have been lined, fill in the outline with the gloss or lipstick.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider the seasons when selecting colors. Choose your makeup selections based on the season. For example, spring and summer warrants lighter colors while fall and winter call for darker colors.
  • Don't let colors overpower your natural beauty. Remember that makeup should be applied to enhance your natural beauty, not overpower it. Try to keep color selections as natural as possible.
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