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The best makeup for darker skin tones

The best makeup for darker skin tones
Hannah Pourhady
Writer and expert3 years ago
View Hannah Pourhady's profile
Last updated: 7/3/2024

As black beauty brands continue to make a powerful statement within the industrywith big names such as Camille Rose and Pat McGrath becoming staples for many– inclusivity and diversity within the beauty markethave (quite rightly) become the norm. Not sure which is the best makeup for darker skin tones? We’ve put together an edit of our favourite cosmetics that are made for melanin-rich skin – and they’re ones you’ll only wish you found sooner! 

The best foundations for darker skin tones

If you’re a beauty lover, you will more than likely be aware of the hype around the Beauty Bakerie’s InstaBake Aqua Glass Foundation. Available in an extensive range of shades, the foundation suits any skin tone, creating a flawless, dewy complexion that leaves an enviable glass finish. Boasting full coverage and long-lasting wear, the skin-perfecting formula works to conceal the appearance of blemishes, imperfections and uneven textures.  

For a flawless base (because who doesn’t want that?), why not try Bobbi Brown? With an iconic foundation range that caters to all skin types, the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation formula conceals imperfections without masking your natural beauty. Choose from more than 30 shades for a silky and weightless foundation that leaves skin looking radiant with a matte finish.  

Another famously pigmented foundation is the KVD Beauty Good Apple Full-Coverage Serum Foundation, which comes in over 33 shades with the brand’s signature full coverage and lightweight texture that builds and blend seamlessly on the skin for a flawless finish that’s transfer-proof and flashback-free. Ideal for both combination and oily skin types, it’s no wonder this foundation went viral on its launch! 

The best concealers for darker skin tones

When it comes to concealer, Pat McGrath is a top contender for the most diverse, influential and in-demand makeup artist. Creamy and feather-light, the Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer features a multi-purpose formula that blurs, highlights and brightens the complexion. The full-coverage concealer offers a radiant matte finish that enhances your natural beauty. 

NYX Professional Makeup strikes again with a formula that promises a flawless coverage, blending seamlessly into the skin. The Can't Stop Won't Stop Contour Concealer helps to mask the appearance of blemishes and imperfections to create a smoothing solution. Available in an extensive range of shades, the concealer leaves a matte finish that’s perfect for oily skin types. 

The best lipsticks for darker skin tones

Unsure on what lipstick shade best complements your complexion? We have you covered! If you’re looking for the perfect true nude to suit darker skin, try the iconic MAC Whirl Lipstick. The warm-toned, medium-dark brown with a classic matte finish helps to sculpt, shape and define your lips leaving you with the perfect nude pout with the unmistakable colour.  

Alternatively, if you want to pack a punch with a bold red lip try the NYX Professional Makeup Shout Loud Hydrating Satin Lipstick in shade Red Haute, with a creamy formula that boasts an intense colour pay-off in just one swipe. Delivering long-lasting wear and an outstanding pop of vibrancy to effortlessly upgrade your look, the blue-toned red lipstick is a perfect match to suit darker skin tones. It’s even infused with mango and shea butter for all day nourishment, complete with a custom-designed heart-stamped bullet for a super cute addition to your makeup bag. 

For a multifunctional beauty treat, try the NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip and Cheek Pencil, available in a various of different shades perfect for darker skin tones. Create endless looks with the creamy and versatile formula that can be used as a lipstick, lip liner or blush. Just swipe on the apples of your cheeks and blend for a subtle blush, or line the lips as normal and use the pencil to fill in the full lip for a luscious makeup look.  

The best blushes for darker skin tones

Speaking of blushes, if you’re unsure which colour will suit you best, a good tip is to match your natural lip colour. Shades that suit your lips usually complement your cheeks too, so pick a shade in a similar colour family for a cohesive and flattering makeup look.  

Famous for their tongue-in-cheek shade names, NARS Cosmetics Blush is a great option to add a natural-looking rush of colour. With more than 10 shade to choose from, the award-winning formula sweeps over the skin to leave a lit-from-within radiance that instantly enlivens your complexion.  

For a more luminous finish, go for the MAC Mineralize Blush: a lightweight powder blush that delivers a sheer wash of colour with a pearlised finish for a glowy touch. Or, if you want to move away from traditional powder blushes, you can try the Revolution Pro Hydra Bright Cream Blush. Infused with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and shea butter, the cream formula is packed with light-reflecting pigments to create a radiant-looking complexion with a long-lasting dewy finish. 

The best bronzers for darker skin tones

Finally, complete your look with the perfect bronzer to suit darker skin. Go luxe with the Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Hyperbronze Powder, a matte formula that warms and defines your complexion. Enriched with skin-loving ingredients like limetta, a plant derived from YSL’s Ourika Community Garden, the bronzer helps to keep skin feeling hydrated and smooth. 

For a cream-based formula, the NARS Bronzing Cream, inspired by the bestselling Laguna bronzer, features a silky blend that smooths seamlessly onto the skin, leaving a sun-kissed finish, whatever the season. Similarly, the L'Oréal Paris 'Back To Bronze' Matte Bronzing Powder is a buildable and blendable bronzer that works to enhance your natural radiance. 

Shop all makeup at LOOKFANTASTIC. 

Hannah Pourhady
Writer and expert
View Hannah Pourhady's profile
Coming from a large family of mainly women has made me passionate about all things beauty; from routines passed down from my grandmother, to trying the latest products and trends. Starting over 7 years ago when I was an MUA at MAC Cosmetics, my love for makeup has now evolved into making sure my skincare creates the perfect canvas for any look. I love anything that can make my skin feel fresh & bright while accentuating my features – Bobbi Brown's Face Base is my favourite at the moment! My makeup sits so beautifully on top and make my skin feel so fresh and hydrated!