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As an African American with dry skin, your main concern when applying makeup -- and with your beauty regime in general -- is keeping your skin moisturized and achieving a smooth, even finish. You want to avoid putting anything on your face that contributes to dryness or flakiness. With the right makeup products you can work with your skin type and get the look you want. These products include foundations, concealers, blushes and highlighter shadows.
Liquid foundation is the must-have makeup product for African Americans with dry skin. Since it's a liquid and not a powder, you don't have to worry about it having a thick, flaky "caking" effect on your skin. Dab the foundation on and blend it over your face and neck with your fingers or a soft makeup sponge. Choose the right shade or the quality of the product won't matter; to get the most precise match, compare the color of the foundation to the skin on your neck.
An under-eye concealer stick works wonders to get rid of dark circles under your eyes. Make sure to find one that's really moisturizing and goes on smooth, not drying. Just a couple dabs of this stuff -- don't forget to blend it in -- will leave you looking more refreshed and awake. Apply concealer over any other discolored areas on your face, including over scars and sun spots, or even any freckles or moles you want covered up.
If you're African American, it can be tricky to find the right blush for your skin. You want a color that's bright enough to be seen but not so bright that it's going to make you feel like a clown. A cream blush works best for you, for a couple of reasons; it applies smoothly onto your skin with a creamy, not drying texture, and it blends nicely into your skin, giving you the vibrant color you want but without being overwhelming.
A highlighter shadow instantly lightens and brightens your face, and a little bit really goes a long way. Sweep just a little bit of the shadow -- a sheer white or cream-colored shadow -- over your cheekbones and just under the brow bone on each eye to illuminate your face and help show off your flawless makeup. Even if you want to keep your makeup to a minimum, a bit of this over your eyes helps get rid of dark eyes and makes you look more put together.
If you like the matte look that powder gives, but know you should skip this step because it will only make your skin look dry and cakey, there are options. Look for a really light translucent powder that's not so thick and won't cake on your skin, or go with a liquid powder, which still gives you the same matte look but without the flaked-out finish. Applying a tinted moisturizer over your face and neck before using your foundation helps smooth your skin and even out your complexion, giving you a base to apply your makeup onto.