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We all want to look our best, don’t we? And some days, makeup might be part of that package that helps us feel confident and stylish.
Makeup shopping is supposed to be fun. But as a black woman, it can be difficult to know which brands are going to cater to you. Walking in store after store, not finding anything that matches your skin tone, can be demoralizing.
But don’t worry. We’ve got your back.
We’ve looked around so you don’t have to, and now we can present you with our top 6 makeup brands for black skin.
IMAN Cosmetics For Brown Skin
Supermodel Iman (who’s also an actress and entrepreneur) is known as something of a pioneer in cosmetics for black women and other women of color. The Somali-American model, real name, Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid, is the founder and CEO of IMAN Cosmetics. Since 1994, her company has gained a wider and wider audience of women of color, bringing them cosmetics that suit their skin tones perfectly.
Among IMAN’s offerings you’ll find foundation creams, eyeshadows, lip pencils, and just about everything you’d need for a complete makeup collection.
Let’s take a look at a couple of their products.
IMAN Cosmetics Second To None Stick Foundation
This Iman stick foundation is in a beautiful dark shade called Earth 7. It’s oil-free, with moisturizing jojoba and nourishing antioxidant vitamins to keep skin healthy. This stick foundation for black women gives a long-lasting matte color for a completely natural looking complexion.
IMAN Cosmetics Luxury Pressed Powder
This Iman powder is in Earth Medium, but you can also purchase in Clay Medium, and Clay Medium Dark. At just $10.29, this is a great deal to get a luxury powder that matches your skin tone perfectly.
Iman cosmetics is generally a real winner.
Black Opal For African American Women
Sometimes known as ‘the beauty destination for women of color’, Black Opal was created in 1994 to ‘celebrate the nuances of black skin’. They’ve come a long way since their launch – in 2009 they became the Official Cosmetics Sponsor of Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant. From 2011 to 2016, they partnered with major Hollywood studios on movies like Best Man, Sparkles, Think Like a Man, and Almost Christmas.
We love their ‘find your shade’ feature on their site. You click on a pic of a model who most closely resembles your skin tone. Then you’re presented with a list of the products you can buy in the right shade for you.
Let’s check out a couple of Black Opal products.
Black Opal Total Coverage Spot & Scar Concealer
This Black Opal concealer is in Hazelnut, so perfect if you have medium skin. You can, of course, track down the other colors on Black Opal’s website. It’s great for covering acne, dark spots, dark circles under the eyes, and scars, as well as smoothing out pigmentation issues.
Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation
This Black Opal liquid foundation comes in Truly Topaz, but there are endless other shade choices, such as Beautiful Bronze, Nutmeg, Hazelnut, and Au Chocolat.
And that’s Black Opal for you. Next up, we’ve black|Up.
black|Up Cosmetics Brand
Black Up Cosmetics are at a higher price point than some of the other brands here – a Silicone sponge retails for $9.90, and a liquid lipstick for $27.50. It’s a luxury brand especially for Black Women.
Black Up’s foundation selector tool from their website is the most advanced we’ve come across. First, you select your shade, then your undertone, how much coverage you’re looking for, your texture (fluid, cream or powder), and finally your finish – matte or radiant. Then you’ll be presented with the best foundation for you.
CoverGirl Queen Collection, The Best Makeup For Black Skin?
Makeup brand CoverGirl has a special Collection for dark skinned women, appropriately named Queen. It’s actually called Queen because it was created by none other than the gorgeous Queen Latifah, but, yep, we’ll claim the title for ourselves, too, thank you very much!
The Queen herself says that if you look carefully at movies from back in the day, you’ll see black women’s makeup has an ashy undertone. That’s the first thing she wanted to counteract with her collection. The next thing was that she wanted everyone to have a shade that suited them. So she teamed up with CoverGirl and got her vision popping off!
Check out what they have available:
CoverGirl Queen Collection All Day Flawless Foundation
If you want a 3 in 1 look, as if you’ve put on liquid, concealer and powder in one fell swoop, this could be the product for you. All Day Flawless Foundation comes in 14 shades, from Amber Glow, to True Ebony, so you can be sure to find the one to match your skin tone. At just $9.35, this is such a bargain, too.
COVERGIRL Queen Jumbo Gloss Balm
This Covergirl Jumbo Gloss Balm is infused with mango and shea butters so it glides onto your lips oh so smoothly. It’ll give you a smooth and subtle shine, and because it’s jumbo, it’ll last for what feels like forever!
This particular one is in the shade of Sugar Plum, a pinkish burgundy. But there are plenty other colors to choose from, such as Bronze Bling and Brown Sugar. Reviewers say it’s subtle, feels good, and it doesn’t dry out their lips. One reviewer mentions she has sensitive lips and this didn’t cause a reaction, so it seems like balm is perfect, even for those with dry or sensitive lips.
Check out their website and see their Queen collection here.
Cover FX, Another Good Makeup Buy For Black Women
This brand isn’t strictly for women of color. It’s more like a global brand, and we mean totally global. Ever heard of a makeup brand having forty shade options? And with the option of three undertones? Impressive, huh?
Cover FX state clearly on their website that #NudeIsNotBeige, which clearly shows they’re putting women of color in centre stage, instead of treating them as an afterthought.
You can pick from liquid, powder or cream foundation, whichever takes your fancy. There are also plenty of other products, like highlighters, age-defying primers, enhancer drops, setting sprays, and more.
COVER FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation
Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation is one of their signature products. Each foundation shade only has a number, so you should track down your shade on the Cover FX website first. This particular foundation is in color N90, described on the Cover FX site as ‘for dark to deep skin with neutral undertones’.
At around $55, these foundations are not cheap, but people are prepared to pay the premium for getting an exact shade match.
Cover FX Cream Concealer
Here’s another product from Cover FX, a cream concealer. It’s in the shade N-Deep. N means Neutral, signifying the undertone. (You can also get G for Golden and P for Pink). Deep indicates that this concealer is for a deep skin tone. This full coverage concealer is great for hiding undereye circles, dark spots, zits and other imperfections.
As they say, #NudeIsNotBeige.
The brand Shea Moisture has its origins in Sierra Leone. Sofi Tucker, the grandmother of the founders of Shea Moisture, sold Shea Nuts in her village market in 1912. At 19 she was a widowed mother of of four children, selling African Black Soap, Shea Butter, and her own hair and skin creations all over her local Sierra Leone countryside.
Now Shea Moisture offers a huge range of products for men, women and children, including soap, shaving lotion, shampoo, handcream, facial wipes, and just about everything you can think of – including cosmetics!
This company is also totally cruelty free and place a lot of importance on ethics. They keep harmful chemicals out of their makeup, use all organic ingredients, and donate 10% of their sales to good causes.
Check out what goodies they sell:
Weightless Shea Serum Foundation
A Shea butter-based foundation with vitamins C and E, this is about the healthiest foundation you could ever get your hands on. This particular one is in the shade Praline, but you can also get it in Tan, Honey, Espresso, Toffee, and Chestnut, so you can be sure to find a shade that works for you.
Top 6 Makeup Brands For Black Skin Conclusion
It doesn’t have to be a struggle to find the perfect foundation for your skin tone, and plenty of other beauty products to complement it. We’ve shown you a huge range of makeup brands that have tones ranging from the fairest to the deepest, so you can be sure to find one that matches yours.
We’re just thankful we’re living right now, and not 30 or 40 years ago. Makeup for women of color has come so far. No longer do we have to look yellow or ashy, or just go without. We can have makeup that is an exact match to our skin tone. Black women themselves have been instrumental in bringing this change about. Black women like Queen Latifah and supermodel Iman have done a lot of work to ensure black women are catered for in the makeup market, so we just have one thing to say to them: THANK YOU!