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My Top 5 Brown-Girl Friendly Makeup Holy Grails 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

Ever since I was young, I have always loved makeup. Even before I started wearing makeup I watched countless beauty videos of women applying their favorite products. As I grew older, I looked at beauty influencers such as Tati Westbrook or Alisha Marie for inspiration and recommendations for makeup. However, I quickly realized what worked for these white beauty influencers would not necessarily work on my melanin skin. Through intensive trial and error, I finally found makeup that worked for my skin. Here are Brown-girl approved beauty products that I have found to enhance my melanin skin.

Naturium’s Dew-Glow Moisturizer SPF 50

The start of any good makeup look is a strong base. This moisturizer is not only on the affordable side, costing $21.99, but it also has SPF in it. As someone who hates wearing sunscreen, this product makes me excited to wear sunscreen as it gives me a subtle glow and does not feel heavy on the skin. The package is not only aesthetically pleasing, but the dip cap holds the recommended amount of moisturizer you should use. It has three active ingredients: Homosalate 10.0%, Octisalate 5.0% and Avobenzone 3.0%, which all work together to protect your skin and leave a natural glow. Most importantly, this product leaves no white cast and simply enhances the beautiful skin you already have! It is available online at Natrium.com, Amazon and in store at Target. 

 Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Concealer is the most important part of my makeup routine, on most days it’s the only thing I wear. This led to me searching for the perfect concealer for years, one that stays on and does not crease up or dry me out, which ultimately led me to the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I personally use the shade Praline, and it covers any blemishes I might have. Not only is this a very versatile concealer, it comes in 30 shades and was awarded an Allure Readers’ Choice award in 2023. While this product is on the high-end side at $32.00, I cannot find a drugstore concealer that can compete. Ihis concealer is sold at Sephora, Ulta and the Nars website, which all have deals from time to time to help you grab this amazing product for a lower price. 

Makeup by Mario “Ethereal Eyes” Eyeshadow Palette

Created by Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, this 12-color eyeshadow palette truly lives up to its name in giving you a goddess look. This product can be used day to day or for your nights out (quick tip: the Makeup by Mario website includes a couple of looks you can try with this palette to achieve the “celebrity” look). Personally, I love the sparkly shades in this palette; it truly just elevates an eye look with minimal effort and stays on all night. It is highly pigmented, and all the colors work great on my skin. This palette is only available on the Makeup by Mario website for $68.00, but if you sign up for their email list you can get 10% off your first order. 

Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightener 

The Becca Under Eye Brightener in medium has been my holy grail since high school. On days when I am looking extra tired, I put this on before my concealer, and it works like magic. Additionally, while this is a little jar, a little goes a long way, so it is truly an investment. This product works for a variety of skin tones; it comes in four colors: Light, Medium, Medium-dark and Dark. While it is now called the Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, the formula stayed the same! You can find this product at Ulta, Sephora and Smashbox.com for $33. 

Live Tinted 

For my last Brown girl friendly makeup, I am recommending a whole brand rather than simply one product.. Live Tinted is a South Asian-owned brand focused on “tinted skin” and “clean beauty”, made up of only vegan and cruelty-free products. The products’ quality and pigmentation are amazing, from their skin tints to their Hueglow drops, they truly know how to make your skin glow! Another plus is that their products are on the affordable side with their best sellers ranging between $22-38. Moreover, this is an overall great brand to support that sets high standards of truly celebrating brown skin. 

I hope these tips help you find your new holy grails! If you want more recommendations, there has been a great uptick in beauty content and brands directed toward those who have melanated skin. A couple of my favorite TikTok influencers whom you can find even more recommendations from are @talkswithjewlz, @just.jully and @makeupbymonicaa. 

Amreen is a Senior on the Pre-Law track with a major in Political Science, American Studies, and Economics. Amreen was born in Texas but calls Kansas her home. She loves to write about her life and her personal view of the world around her!