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4 Things Dark Skin Women Need to Know About Embracing Their Beauty

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% from Her Campus.


For the last several years, the beauty industry has been going through a makeover. Beauty enthusiasts of all skin tones, ethnicities, and expertise levels have been demanding change such as more inclusive products and authentic diversity initiatives. In this change, Black women are working on dismantling makeup myths that have discouraged the community from fully participating in the world of beauty, and the industry has expanded to include the perfect product for every skin tone. 

Here are four makeup myths that Black women should no longer listen to in 2022, and the products I love to use from Ulta Beauty that allow me to prove the myths wrong, and embrace my beauty. 

Myth #1: Bright Red Lipstick is a Huge No-No

The one perplexing question that I found myself answering a few months prior was, “Does red lipstick look good on Black people?” To me, this is an obvious yes, but I have realized that others tend to stray away from red lipstick due to dangerous narratives surrounding this color. It is often implied that red and other bright colors attract too much attention to dark skin tones or are unflattering. This ultimately discourages dark skin women to venture into the world of color and leaves us to stick with a less vibrant color palette. 

But, I disagree and have found that the secret to mastering a beautiful red lip is all in the lipstick chosen and a brown pencil liner. Whenever I put on a red lip I like to use matte lipstick because these products have a long-lasting stay—keeping the color vibrant for an extended period of time. Plus, matte lipsticks such as BLK/OPL Risqué Matte Lipstick tends to blend well with the outline of a brown lip liner, like the Smashbox Be Legendary Line & Prime Pencil, creating a soft ombre around the outer parts of the lips.

BLK/OPL Risqué Matte Lipstick
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Smashbox Be Legendary Line & Prime Pencil

Myth #2: Blush Is Unnatural 

Wearing blush may seem unnatural for Black girls because we do not have a naturally flushed color that appears on the surface of our cheeks. I remember trying blush for the first time in my mother’s bathroom. The bubble gum pink powder sat awkwardly on my cheeks, and while examining my face I was unsure if I had simply put too much product or perhaps used the wrong brush for application. However, I realized soon after that my encounters with blush were always with powder-based products that looked like chalk residue on my face, as opposed to the natural glow I was aiming for. 

If you’re testing the waters with blush I highly recommend starting off with a cream blush product, such as the NYX Sweet Cheeks Soft Cheek Tint Blush. With cream blush products I noticed how buildable they were, giving me control of how much or how little I wanted the blush to stand out on my cheeks. This allows me to have a naturally flushed color on my cheeks or something a bit more saturated especially for a bold makeup look. With NYX’s Tint Blush, there are six colors to choose from that range from a fiery orange color to a deep mauve.

NYX Sweet Cheeks Soft Cheek Tint BlusH

Myth #3: You’re Doing Too Much with Color Eyeshadow 

Before the rise of “no makeup” makeup looks I was, and still am, a big fan of colorful eyeshadows, as colorful makeup looks are a fun way to express oneself with makeup. I have, however, seen cases where Black women have been criticized for “doing too much” with their eye makeup or stopped wearing bright colors altogether because of ridicule from their peers. It is understandable that some people are simply not fans of this look, but you have total control to wear whatever makes you feel beautiful.

If you are thinking about stepping into the world of colorful eyeshadow it is imperative that you have good eyeshadow blending brushes such as the IT Cosmetics Prismatic Eye Brush Set, since good brushes help you build and control the colors on your lids. Another item I recommend is UOMA Beauty’s Salute to the Sun Eyeshadow Palette. This Black-owned brand is known to have highly pigmented palettes that’ll pop on darker skin tones, and this particular palette offers you a range of bright and transitional colors to experiment with. I’ve loved playing around with pink hues for summer and am looking forward to trying out moody red and burgundy colors for fall. 

IT Cosmetics Prismatic Eye Brush Set
UOMA Beauty’s Salute to the Sun Eyeshadow Palette

Myth #4: Dark Skin Girls are TOO dark to contour 

When I look back at when I first started to contour my face, I realized that this myth was not rooted in false narratives, but rather in the lack of contouring shades that were produced and sold. Oftentimes, when I picked up a contour palette the darkest shade was my skin tone—so applying it didn’t have the same effect in helping to shape my face. The absence of inclusivity from these brands excluded me and other Black beauty lovers who just wanted a contour shade dark enough for us to use.

Since the emergence of new and more inclusive beauty brands and products, now there are contour palettes and colors that accommodate a wide variety of skin tones. FENTY BEAUTY has a huge selection of contour sticks, but if you are overwhelmed by the possible choices, should start with the FENTY BEAUTY Match Stix Contour Skinstick, which comes in many different colors like Ebony and Amber. A few swipes under your cheekbones can have a major impact on the shape of your face!

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FENTY BEAUTY Match Stix Contour Skinstick

No matter what kind of makeup you want to wear–whether it’s bright red lipstick, or eyeshadow with every color of the rainbow–wear whatever you feel most beautiful in!

If you want to try out these product recommendations, shop online or head to your closest Ulta Beauty

Discover more ways to look and feel your best on campus with the help of Ulta Beauty and our on-campus experts!

Emade is a senior at New York University, studying Media, Culture and Communication. Her love for beauty, hair and fashion started in middle school and since then has blossomed into a career as a content creator. When Emade is not busy running her social media accounts, she dedicates her time to learning the vintage art of sewing.