Makeup

The Ultimate Brown Girl Makeup Guide

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So many shades to choose from … but which ones are perfect for me?

Have you ever found yourself asking this question while navigating the drugstore and department store aisles? We’re pretty sure you have.

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Long before South Asian women (and, men!) dominated YouTube and Instagram, brown girls were largely on their own when it came to navigating the makeup aisle. Finding the right products, like highly pigmented lipsticks and concealers, in shades that looked great on our skin tones became an arduous process of trial-and-error. (And more than a few rupees wasted on “universal” products that don’t actually suit everyone!)

But as more cosmetic brands take South Asian skin tones into consideration — and as more YouTube and Instagram accounts pop up with tutorials created specifically for this skin tone  — the options are getting better and better. Indeed, there are a number of things, now, you need to ensure you get that flawless face that does not look too cakey or too much overdo. Here are some of our tips to help you navigate the world of makeup and find the best products to suit your skin.

Primer
The first step to find the perfect primer is to determine the problem areas. Look at the pores and any texture on the skin. Generally problem areas occur near the T-zone. For the problem areas, it can be a good idea to go with a thicker, silicone based primer or a dimethicone based primer that will fill in any pores and other bumps to create a smoother surface. Go for a lighter primer for the other parts of the face.

Foundation

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Matching your foundation can be a clever task, so always test a patch on your cheek to match your skin tone.You shouldn’t go for something that is too light or too dark. If you have a color that does not match perfectly, it is necessary to ensure you apply the foundation to all the parts of the body that is exposed or lightened or darkened, with the contour and highlight colors. If you have oily skin, a matte finish or a natural finish foundation is better, while for a drier skin, you will need something that is more hydrating. A foundation that has an orange undertone in it, could be tried.

Concealer
One of the issues that most brown girls face  is that sometimes concealers can look ashy on brown skin. There can be two ways to bypass this situation. Choose a yellow undertone concealer, which can cancel out some of the darkness, or you can color correct before using the concealer. Using a salmon or peach color corrector can help neutralize the darkness in the skin. Also always set your concealer with powder to prevent it from creasing.

Contour
It is necessary to look at the undertones for the contour you want to apply. Look at the wrist; if you have green veins, it is cooler, while for blue veins, it is a warm undertone. Finding the perfect contour color is dependent on the undertone and can really help to pull the look together.

Bronzer

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Unlike the contour, it is very necessary to find the perfect warm toned bronzer which adds the perfect bit of warmth back into your skin to ensure that you look healthy and tanned.

Blush
Choosing the right blush is incredibly important for that perfect bit of flush to the skin. Also it adds some color back into the skin. A color that is very universally flattering, such as a peach or a peachy pink, has that slight bit of warmth and a flush of color. Indeed! They  accentuate the entire look and balances the hues perfectly.

Eyeshadow
For a simple, everyday glam look, a bronze or brown based eyeshadow palette can be a perfect pick. They make your eyes look fresh and poppy. For a little more oomph, pack some glitter on the lid and you are good to go for more festive looks.

Brows
It is often tricky for brown people to find the perfect brow product. Chocolates often look too warm, while ashy colors can look way too well, ashy! Instead, find a cool toned brown or a darker ashy color which can mimic your brows. It is not recommended to go in with a black as it can look too overpowering.

Kajal and Eyeliner

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A kajal is every brown girl’s best friend. Find a good, smudge-proof kajal that can work for both everyday looks and give a smoky touch to the high glam days.

Lipsticks
Finding the perfect lipstick that works for your skin tone can be difficult, however, you can’t really go wrong with a cool toned red. Nudes can be harder to find, but a good trick if your nude lipstick is a little too light is to pair it with a darker lip liner.

Final Tip: After applying the correct products, always set your makeup with a good makeup extending setting spray, for your look to set in. Once done, you are good to go.

Product Recommendations:
Here’s our list of some of the must-have makeup products for brown skin.

About the author

Monika Doshi

Digital content writer, dancer and an avid reader of thriller fiction. Have an obsessive urge to travel and explore whatever comes in my way. With an even inescapable love for my stack of lipsticks!