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If you are struggling to find a foundation to match your dark-colored skin, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a common problem among African American ladies. This according to Michelle Phillips, author of “The Beauty Blueprint,” who says it is essential to match skin to its undertone as well as to the depth of the shade or it may appear ashy. Here is a sampling of tips from leading beauty experts who have worked with African American skin.
When making up her clients of color in D.C., professional makeup artist Margoux Le Roux favors the Second to None stick foundation by IMAN Cosmetics. “It gives great coverage with minimal shine,” says Le Roux. Her pro-application tip: follow the foundation with the IMAN Cosmetics pressed powder for a flawless finish and to lock your look for long wear.
Laura Mercier and MAC
New York sisters benefit from makeup artist Heather Adessa’s custom blend of two foundations to achieve the optimum color and texture. Adessa applies Silk Creme foundation by Laura Mercier in Hazelnut, then adds in MAC Studio Sculpt as needed for the perfect match. Experiment with NW45 or NC47, two of the darker shades available, to find your best bet. As Mercier explains, “I like the mixture because MAC foundation is super heavy and feels very cakey on the face. Mixing the two gives a flawless face, while the client feels like she has nothing on!” When she’s not using IMAN’s foundations, Phillips picks MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 for a natural matte finish with medium coverage.
While opening an organic spa, Sherrie Tennessee of Miami was on a mission to find an organic makeup that enhanced her black and Latino clients’ skin. “The sad truth is most of the mineral makeup out there makes brown skin look gray or ashy,” she explains. She found a solution in Monave mineral makeup from Baltimore. “The product is amazing – the line covers the gamut of skin colors and most importantly, it is easy to apply.”
Health and beauty expert Todra Payne says she recently added a new mineral brand to her makeup kit called Priia. “The foundation ingredients are the purest you can get on the market and the colors are gorgeous,” Payne says. The company allows new clients to sample up to six products free, for a nominal shipping charge. Existing clients also get samples when they place an order.
Paris makeup artist and photographer Mario Epanya says he’s in love with Valana Minerals and uses the foundation for all of the models he photographs. “There aren’t many companies that create mineral makeup that looks great with women of color. With Valerie’s line I have colors for every shade from very fair to rich brown, and it's all-natural,” Epanya says. The company’s website says the foundation is vegan, and offers water-resistant, long-wearing coverage.