5 Popular Beauty Tips That Don’t Work On Dark Skin

A few years ago, rapper ASAP Rocky said that you have to have a “fair complexion” to get away with wearing red lipstick. There was a ton of backlash, of course, especially since that’s just straight up false.

makeup on dark skin

We are absolutely against any and all makeup rules that suggest that certain colors aren’t meant for people of a certain skin tone or hair color while others are. Makeup is about having fun and exploring. If we all stuck to the designated makeup rules that we are supposed to follow, then blondes cannot wear black eyeliner, brown girls can never wear anything other than neutral colors, and nobody would be allowed to touch black lipstick with a ten foot stick.

However having said this, it’s a fact that the beauty industry has a nasty habit of neglecting the needs to those with darker skin. For example, it’s hard to find a foundation that’s actually darker than Beyonce’s skin color. Even high-end makeup brands like Marc Jacobs lack in range.

makeup on dark skin

While makeup is an egalitarian free for all, but there are many trends and products that just don’t have darker skin colors in mind. Here are some popular beauty tips that just don’t work on dark skin.

The ‘Baking’ Makeup Trend

baking makeup dark skin

Baking is basically piling on powder in stages, letting it sit for five to ten minute intervals between layers to assure a poreless finish. Interesting, but this can potentially be pretty risky for those with dark skin because too much powder can make the skin look chalky.

A Color Correcting Palette Is Your Savior

color correcting dark skin

Color correcting has been hailed as a godsend for people with dark skin, but be weary of the shades you use. A lot of color correctors include pale green and lavender as a way to act against redness or dark circles, but the result on dark skin can just look chalky and way too light. Go for correctors that have darker hues that will blend better with your skin.

Be Careful About Highlight

highlighter dark skin

Highlighter + dark skin = match made in makeup heaven. Highlight is a great idea, but some silver and even champagne tones can look a little chalky on dark skin. You will always rock gold highlight like a champ though, so just be weary.

Sunscreen First


Yes, even dark skinned girls should include the SPF in their beauty regimen. But you need to do your research first! Loads of SPFs contain a lot of zinc or titanium oxide, which leaves a weird, white/bluish cast on dark skin. It’s a pain.

Setting Powder Is a Must


I once regularly used a setting powder that was white but claimed to be invisible on the skin. It left my skin looking whiter when I used it. You can use a powder that’s closer to your skin tone to avoid looking ashy, or you can just go for a setting spray instead.