Pro makeup tips for darker skin tones

Heidi Yeung |

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If you don't wall within the range of near-translucent to fair, it's difficult to find makeup products that match the colour of your skin tone in Hong Kong. We spoke to local make-up artist Natasha Moor for tips and tricks on how to make what's available in this city work for your complexion; whatever colour you are.

  • To find your perfect shade, swatch the colour along your jawline instead of on your face. Your face is often lighter than your neck, and matching it to your face is how you end up looking pasty. For the most natural-looking makeup look, match your face to your neck so the whole look is seamless.
  • Don’t feel pressured by salespeople to buy what they say is best for you. Trust your instincts to decide whether you like how a shade looks on you, and don’t trust store lighting. Ask to try the product on your face, and go out into the natural light to see how it looks. You can also always wear the product for a few hours to see how it performs on your skin, because the colour may change appearance on your face after it’s had time to oxidise.   
  • If you're torn between two shades and you don't know which one is right for you, go with the one that's a bit darker. You can always lighten it up with concealer, blush, highlighting and powder. 
  • If you've purchased a foundation that's too light for you, find a powder compact that's darker and sweep a half circle along your hairline from your temple to your cheekbone, and then from your cheekbone to your jawline. Like a "3" and a reverse "3". That will create the illusion of shadows to your face that, together with the too-light foundation, will offer balance, contrast and dimension to your face.
  • Colour correcting makes a huge difference with people with darker skintone. When you’re darker, slapping a concealer or foundation straight onto your skin - even when it's the right shade - can make you look grey. Colour correcting before applying your foundation will make it look more natural.
    • Orange – counters blueness or greyness under your eyes.
    • Yellow – brightens darkness also. Mix orange and yellow to amplify their brightening effect.
    • Purple – helps tone down yellow and sallowness.
    • Green – reduces redness.
Professional makeup artist, Natasha Moor, shares her expert tips.
Photo: Ali Ghorbani
  • Remember to conceal your ears as well, as people with darker skin tones tend to have slightly red ears.
  • Want to look put together or experiment with makeup, but really can't find a foundation that matches your skintone? Find lipsticks, mascaras and brow products you love instead to highlight these features on your face, and you'll still look just as polished.

  • Highlighting and strobing may be a big trend, but they don't work for everyone. If you can't find a highlighting shade that looks natural on you but still want to try out the trend, dust a little under your brow bone and on your cupid's bow for a subtle glow. Avoid any areas with acne or texture, because the highlight will, well .... highlight them!

  • Shop at the airport! They may not always have more shades, but there are often cooler products at the airport that you can't find normally.

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