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Makeup Tips for Deep-Complected Beauties

Last night, on the cusp of Fashion Week, model Alek Wek introduced her eponymous autobiography at a soiree. I've always thought she has a striking face with beautiful features and a lovely, deep complexion.

If your skin is as deep as Alek's, you already know that finding suitable makeup can be a challenge, to put it mildly. Sad to say, lots of cosmetic companies don't make foundations in appropriate shades, but others do—and because many are specifically made for women of color, they're more likely to have nuanced and flattering shades. For my makeup tips for deep complexions,



  • This may be controversial, but if a certain company doesn't make foundation in your shade, I say skip 'em entirely. Why bother giving your money to a company that doesn't recognize your skin tone?
  • Look for foundation and concealer specifically made for women of color. Iman is a wonderful line in general, but its foundation is nuanced from shade to shade. If you're on a budget, Cover Girl Queen has foundations for deep skin tones, and it comes with a money-back guarantee.
  • Dark skin looks beautiful when it's complemented by sheer cosmetics (as seen on Alek here). Look for honey-toned lip glosses, soft gold eye shadows and rich plum blushes.
  • Red lips can look glamorous, but look for a shade with a blue undertone to complement your skin.

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BellaBrownSuga BellaBrownSuga 4 years
To Prplegem21: "help" regarding light skin?... why would you post on this specific article? We as black women get little if any attention, and it seems that you are bringing the conversation right back to yourself.    To Raptinrainbows: For 400 years white people have been telling us that our skin, hair, bodies, and facial features are ugly. "Dark", like BellaSugar said, is almost always associated with "evil" or "bad" or "ugly". Are you SERIOUSLY complaining that saying "deep" instead of "dark" may be insensitive toward light POC and white people? Like, REALLY? Go take a nap and think before you say ANYTHING. 
BellaBrownSuga BellaBrownSuga 4 years
OK, for the non black women with skin like "Rosario Dawson" or who ask for "help" regarding light skin... why would you post on this specific article? We as black women get little if any attention, and it seems that you are bringing the conversation right back to yourselves. Rosario Dawson and other women with her skin tone are starting to be considered as beautiful as whites. They get entertainment work regularly. Black women hardly EVER do (unless they look like Halle) and especially if they look like Alek Wek. Can we please focus on black women for, like, one second? I know it hurts, but...
BellaBrownSuga BellaBrownSuga 4 years
Thank you for using the word "deep" not "dark". 
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Good question, Raptinrainbows. I think deep and dark are both OK, but I usually say "deep" because I've had a few friends explain that "dark" has been used in not-so-uplifting ways to describe their skin color—for instance, the title Heart of Darkness uses "dark" in a negative way (and the story itself is, uh, pretty negative about Africans, too). So to be clear about my admiration of complexions such as Alek Wek's, I used "deep." Prplegem21, If you are fair-skinned (not shallow! :)) you might like this guide to blushers for your complexion. And no matter what your skin color is, you can probably find a good concealer from Becca, who makes 34 shades! It's a little overwhelming at first, but when you find the right color, it's so gratifying.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Good question, Raptinrainbows. I think deep and dark are both OK, but I usually say "deep" because I've had a few friends explain that "dark" has been used in not-so-uplifting ways to describe their skin color—for instance, the title Heart of Darkness uses "dark" in a negative way (and the story itself is, uh, pretty negative about Africans, too). So to be clear about my admiration of complexions such as Alek Wek's, I used "deep."Prplegem21, If you are fair-skinned (not shallow! :)) you might like this <a href="http://bellasugar.com/tags/fair+skin">guide to blushers</a> for your complexion. And no matter what your skin color is, you can probably find a good concealer from Becca, who makes 34 shades! It's a little overwhelming at first, but when you find the right color, it's so gratifying.
prplegem21 prplegem21 8 years
well she is very pretty ..what can i find for light complected skin
raptinrainbows raptinrainbows 8 years
by the way, why "deep-complected" instead of "dark-complected"? i mean, do we say "shallow-complected" for light-skinned and fairer folk?
raptinrainbows raptinrainbows 8 years
i love alek! was just thinking of her the other day . . . .
miss-britt miss-britt 8 years
thanks for posting this.It's so fustrating to find foundations and powder for my skin tone.And finding tips in mainstream magazines is unheard of. I remember when i was younger i brought Covergirl powder and it made me look green and sickly. LOL what a nightmare. When i started to heavily start wearing make up i used Prescriptives but it's so expensive to constantly buy their products.I just started using Iman's line which i think is by far the best. thank god for her.
miss-britt miss-britt 8 years
thanks for posting this.It's so fustrating to find foundations and powder for my skin tone.And finding tips in mainstream magazines is unheard of. I remember when i was younger i brought Covergirl powder and it made me look green and sickly. LOL what a nightmare.When i started to heavily start wearing make up i used Prescriptives but it's so expensive to constantly buy their products.I just started using Iman's line which i think is by far the best. thank god for her.
Munkeyhed Munkeyhed 8 years
Alek has the most beautiful glow about her-great skin!
blondebombshell blondebombshell 8 years
Thanks for recognizing people of all skin color - you do a great job of that on this board. I have really fair skin, but I think all skin tones are beautiful and should be appreciated over the darkly tan (orangeish glow) that Hollywood has gone to.
Neuroticone Neuroticone 8 years
Women of color do have it harder finding the right color. I'm lighter than Alex; somewhere around Rosario Dawson complexion, but trying to find makeup with the right undertones is taxing.
nikecold nikecold 8 years
I have dark skin although not nearly as dark as Alek's, I'm somewhere between Rihanna and Beyonce and I don't have a problem finding powder (I never use foundation) I use clinique and I've found its been the best. I do agree that darker women have a difficult time with foundation and powder though its hard to not look ashy or like you're off to halloween.
megafie megafie 8 years
I agree that most cosmetics companies don't carry foundation/powder for dark complexions. I personally have light olive skin but I used to work for a high end skincare/cosmetics line and our dark shades were discontinued. I would always take my customers over to MAC or Prescriptives to get foundations.
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
I was just trying to think of this chick's name the other day and boom there she is. Thanks! Also btw : Covergirl's Queen line is just coming out so keep looking and you'll find it soon enough.
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
I was just trying to think of this chick's name the other day and boom there she is. Thanks!Also btw : Covergirl's Queen line is just coming out so keep looking and you'll find it soon enough.
Ikandy Ikandy 8 years
Its so hard to find founations or powders which match my complexion...without heading to a department store...Not only are they expensive, but in this day and age, why isnt there colors for darker skin tones available at the pharmacy. If they do cater to black women, they're usually too dark for me, there just isnt much of a selection...Ive never seen the Cover girl 'Queen' line.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
She's gorgeous, and her skin is AMAZING.
Laily Laily 8 years
Alek is so beautiful !
Laily Laily 8 years
Alek is so beautiful !
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