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The Black Girl’s Complete Guide To Makeup: The Art of Sculpting & Perfecting with Concealer, Contour, and Bronzer

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

Happy Black History Month and welcome back to “The Black Girl’s Complete Guide to Makeup.” Today, we’re delving into the transformative powers of concealer, contour, and bronzer. These three products can work wonders in sculpting, defining, and enhancing the features we love. From achieving the perfect contour to flawlessly blending our foundation, join us as we explore the techniques, tools, and products tailored to celebrate and empower black women everywhere. Get ready to unleash your inner glow! Let’s get into it!


Design by Addie Abujade for Her Campus
Design by Addie Abujade for Her Campus

I love to think of concealer as a beauty warrior, capable of concealing imperfections and brightening up your complexion. The right foundation will truly fight for you, bringing together a good look and melting it into a truly flawless one. Think of a makeup look as a recipe, each ingredient coming together to create something beautiful. Concealer is an onion of sorts, easily introduced into any dish (or, in this case, makeup routine), or it can be the main ingredient (in the case of a concealer base, or French onion soup?). But anyways, here’s a deeper look at everything you need to know.

Formulas matter:

There are as always, endless options when it comes to finding a foundation. From creamy formulas to lightweight liquids, the options are vast. Cream concealers offer high coverage and are perfect for hiding blemishes and dark spots, while liquid concealers provide a natural, buildable coverage ideal for the under-eye area.

Shade Matching:

We all know that finding the right shade is crucial, but in terms of concealer, you have a bit of wiggle room depending on your goals. Typically, we aim for a concealer that matches your skin or is one shade lighter for under-eye brightening; this will give you a seamless youthful and “awake” appearance. If you like a very bright undereye, I recommend two to three shades lighter to achieve that look. Testing shades on your jawline in natural light is the best way to ensure a perfect match, and don’t be scared to try a few options. Trust me when I say that you would prefer a lighter concealer option for your under eyes than one that’s too dark!


The placement of the product depends entirely on what your goal is. For a “facelift” effect, apply concealer strategically under your eyes in a triangular shape and blend it up and outwards to brighten and conceal dark circles. For blemishes and imperfections, use a precise brush to dab the product directly onto the targeted area and blend gently with a beauty sponge or fingertip. For a concealer base (as a substitute for a foundation), apply in stripes across various parts of your face, blend into your skin, and apply additional product until you reach the desired coverage.

Quick Tips:

Set your concealer with a translucent powder to lock it in place to prevent creasing. When applying under your eyes, use a damp sponge to blend for a smooth or a dry dense brush for an airbrushed finish. Spray your face with fixing or setting spray, and then blend for a waterproof base.

Some options for you:

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer ($6.99)

e.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer ($7.00)

e.l.f. Hydrating Camo Concealer ($7.00)

NYX HD Photogenic Concealer ($5.99)

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30.00)

HAUS LABS BY LADY GAGA Triclone Skin Tech Hydrating Concealer ($35.00)


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Contouring is like shading for your face; it’s all about creating depth, dimension, and structure. Here’s everything you need to know to master the art of contouring:


Whether you prefer the precision of a stick contour or the blend-ability of a cream or powder contour, there’s a formula out there for you. Stick contour offers convenience with its creamy texture and precise application, making it ideal for targeted sculpting. Liquid contour provides versatility and a natural, dewy finish, perfect for achieving a soft, radiant look. Cream contour offers buildable coverage and a matte finish, ideal for creating dimension and depth on the skin. Powder contour sets cream or liquid products while adding additional definition, perfect for those with oily skin or a preference for a matte finish.

Shade Matching:

When choosing a contour shade, opt for one that’s a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. Avoid shades that are too warm or orange-toned, as they can look unnatural on deeper skin tones.


To sculpt your features, apply contour in the hollows of your cheeks, along your jawline, and on the sides of your nose. Blend seamlessly using a fluffy brush or damp sponge, focusing on creating soft, natural-looking shadows.

quick Tips:

Start with some product on the back of your hand, to warm it up and allow for a light build-up. Apply with a brush slowly. Feel free to add to the intensity bit by bit, and be sure to avoid any harsh lines or muddy-looking contours. Don’t forget to blend, blend, blend for a flawlessly sculpted finish.

Some Options for you:

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Makeup Stick ($4.99)

Black Radiance True Complexion Contour Palette ($6.99)

ELF Cream Contour Palette ($9.00)

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer Contour Palette ($13.99)

NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette ($25.00)

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick ($25.00)


Bronzer is the ultimate multitasker—it adds warmth, dimension, and a healthy radiance to your complexion. Here’s how to achieve that sun-kissed glow:


Again, when it comes to formulas, you have plenty of options. Powder bronzer is the most common and offers versatility with its easy application and buildable coverage, making it suitable for all skin types. Cream bronzer provides a more natural, dewy finish and is perfect for achieving a subtle, sun-kissed glow, particularly for those with dry skin. Stick bronzer offers convenience and precision, allowing for targeted application and effortless blending on the go, ideal for quick touch-ups or travel. Liquid bronzer provides lightweight, sheer coverage and can be mixed with foundation or moisturizer for an all-over luminous complexion, perfect for achieving a radiant, sun-kissed look. Each bronzer formula caters to different preferences and skin types, allowing you to customize your bronzing routine for a flawless, bronzed complexion.

Shade Matching:

Choose a bronzer that’s one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone, with warm undertones for a natural-looking glow. Avoid shades that are too cool or ashy, as they can look muddy on deeper skin tones.


Be sure to apply bronzer to the high points of your face where the sun naturally hits, such as your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline. Blend gently using a fluffy bronzer brush, focusing on creating soft, diffused warmth.

Quick Tips:

For a sun-kissed glow, sweep bronzer across your nose and temples in a “3” shape, blending seamlessly for a seamless, natural finish.

Some Options For you:

Rimmel Natural Bronzer ($4.99)

e.l.f. Putty Bronzer ($7.00)

e.l.f. Bronzer Palette ($9.00)

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer ($15.99)

MILK Makeup Matte Cream Bronzer Stick ($24.00)

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer ($30).

The Send-Off:

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With the right products and techniques, mastering concealer, contour, and bronzer can elevate your makeup game to new heights. Remember, beauty is all about self-expression, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your makeup routine. Embrace your unique beauty and let your inner light shine through!

Hope Flynn is an senior at FIU, and a lover of anime, movies, and television. Currently majoring in Creative Writing, she is a storyteller at heart, and devoted to bringing her unique perspective to Her Campus. As a Scorpio, Hope approaches her interests with a deep passion and determination. Her love for music, movies, books, makeup, and television is matched only by her dedication to storytelling. When she's not at work or buried in her coursework, you'll find her experimenting with new recipes, curled up with a novel, discovering the latest fiction releases, or sharing her favorite reads with the Her Campus community.