Perfect, even-toned, radiant skin — that’s what most of us want. But what to do if zits, dark undereye circles or skin blotchiness keep us from having flawless-looking skin? Camouflaging these skin imperfections is the answer, but finding a perfect match concealer can be tough, especially for women with darker complexions. In the past, a lot of cosmetics companies didn’t offer darker shades for women of color. And if they did, the range was limited. Either the shades were too light or the pigment quality was low, leaving you with an ashy cast.
Thankfully, more cosmetics companies have expanded their lines to offer shades for their broader multicultural customers. But now with more shades offered, concealer selection and application is even more confounding. In our quest to help, we try to break down the basics of the art of camouflage.
Determining Your Undertone
Before buying a concealer for dark skin, you should first determine your skin’s undertone. Darker-skinned women can have cool or warm undertones. An easy way to determine your skin’s undertone is by peeking at the inside of your wrist to see if you have blue or green veins. Green indicates warm undertones, while blue indicates cool. If you have a warm undertone, you should choose a concealer with a golden or orange base, depending on your hue. If you’re more on the yellow side, look for concealers with a golden base. If you lean more on the warm, red side, look for concealers with an orange base.
And if you are a cool undertone, look for concealers with a neutral base. But the easiest and most accurate way to determine the best shade that is right for you is by simply testing the color out on your inner wrist. The shade that blends in the best is the color most suited for your complexion.
The Correct Method for Applying Concealer
Kerry Cole, BECCA Cosmetics style director and national makeup artist, recommends applying foundation first to get the most amount of coverage and then layer concealer on top to really finish the job. This ensures you don’t apply the concealer on too thick, but are still getting the maximum amount of coverage. Use your ring finger to apply the concealer and pat it on; do not pull or tug.
Concealing Dark Circles
When choosing a concealer for the undereye area, look for one not too thick or too dry. The skin underneath the eye is delicate, so make sure the concealer is full coverage, but still light in texture. To apply, use your ring finger and start at the outside and move toward the center for a smooth application.
Concealing Blemishes and Dark Shadows
“For covering blemishes, I would recommend staying true to your skin tone with the color of the concealer,” advises Cole. A full-coverage, creamy concealer stick covers the appearance of blemishes and instantly reduces the look of redness with precise application.
If you have golden skin, Cole recommends choosing a concealer one shade lighter or the same shade as your complexion, depending on what area you are trying to conceal. “Olive skin tends to have a lot of green undertones, so concealer that has a reddish golden tone will help combat that,” advises Cole. For light brown skin and darker, Cole recommends selecting a concealer that is true to skin tone.
“Concealers tend to be matte and flat, so layering a brightener with it adds light to reflect away the darkness of whatever you are trying to conceal,” says Cole. She likes BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector. And don’t forget to set your concealer with a light dusting of translucent powder to keep it from fading and caking throughout the day. Use a small fluffy brush like an eyeshadow brush to sweep the powder on.
Now that you have the basics, here’s our roundup of the 10 best concealers for women of color.
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