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How to Do Makeup for African-American Women

Learn the top makeup tips and tricks that enhance the beauty of women of color.


  • TIP: Consider dyeing your eyebrows a shade or two lighter than your natural color for a softer look.
  • Step 1: Use a richly pigmented blush and blend it with a brush into the apples of your cheeks. Then apply a dab of shimmer cream to the tops of your cheekbones.
  • Step 2: Finish with lipstick or gloss. If you have uneven pigmenting in your lips, use concealer or foundation over moisturizer to even out your tone. Then apply your lipstick and gloss.
  • FACT: A 2008 survey by L'Oreal found that nearly half of American women believe wearing makeup gives them an advantage at work and makes them feel more in control.
  • Step 3: Fill in any gaps or sparse areas in your eyebrows with a brow pencil or eyeshadow and a brow brush for a full, natural look.
  • Step 4: Highlight your eyes with black eyeliner along the top lash line and on the inside the rims of your lower lashes. Apply eyeshadow to the lids and blend it in thoroughly. Finish with black mascara, wiggling the brush from the roots to the tips of your lashes.
  • Step 5: Create a smooth base by moisturizing clean skin. Dampen a large facial brush and put a small amount of liquid foundation on it. Dab it all over your face and then use small, circular motions to buff it evenly into your skin.
  • Step 6: Contour your nose using a dark contour shadow and a thin contour brush. Begin at your eyebrows and brush the shadow down in a line along the sides of the length of your nose. Blend the edges of the shadow outward.
  • Step 7: Use concealer under eyes, on lids, or on any dark spots. Finish a light application of powder applied with a large brush to set your makeup.
  • Step 8: Identify the undertones in your skin as either warm or cool. If you're warm-toned, stick to gold, bronze, peach, and brown makeup tones. Cool complexions will look best in shades of silver, pink, purple, blue, and blueish-reds.

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