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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Makeup Tips for African-American Skin Tones

The best thing you can do in addition to learning how to apply your own makeup is to know what colors and makeup styles are right for your skin tone.

With the advancement of cosmetic companies creating colors for every shade under the sun, there should be no excuse for you to not know what eye shadows, lipsticks, blush, etc., will complement your skin. First, we'll focus on makeup for African-American skin.

- Knowing the undertones of your skin will help you select the right colors. Ebony and other darker skin tones normally have cool, blue undertones and brown and caramel complexions tend to have warm gold undertones. If you don't know what undertones are, the simplest way to explain it is to put yourself out in the sun and note what colors show through the most in the sunlight.

- The best choice is to use lines that specialize in makeup for women of color. These lines will already have most of the right colors to match your complexion so you don't have to do the guesswork.

- Avoid the pancake look when it comes to foundation. If your face is pretty clear, skip foundation and use tinted moisturizer or tinted powder instead.

- For blush, plum, currant and mauves look great on medium to darker complexions. Medium to lighter tones should opt for caramel, honey and apricot colors. Warmer complexions tend to do well with bronzer instead of blush. Apply bronzer lightly to the forehead, temples and cheekbones.

- If you have an uneven skin tone, which a lot of African-American women do, consult with a makeup expert to find the right type of foundation. Also take into account your skin type. If you have oily skin, water based liquid foundations and cream blush will do the trick. Cream formulas work great for dry skin types.

- When it comes to lipstick, deep currants and plums work well for ebony and other darker skin tones. Coffees, terracottas and brownish reds work best for medium to brown skin. On the lighter side? Try caramel, peach and coral colors.

- Darker colored lipsticks enhace the size of your lips, while lighter shades minimize, so always keep that in mind when selecting lipstick colors and how they'll appear in pictures.

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