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Choosing The Right Makeup For Darker Skin Tones – Bath Chronicle

Knowing what make-up and colours suit your skin type can be a challenge. It can be even more of a challenge when the some of the options are limited, which they often tend to be for darker skin tones.

There are some great brands out there for darker skin tones; Bobbi Brown and Mac are great options, but even then, sometimes finding the right shade of foundation and blush/bronze can be difficult.

The first thing to understand with darker, and indeed any skin tone, is to recognise your undertones in your skin. The undertone of your skin will always contain hues of various other colours. Predominantly:

Cool tones: pink, red or blue

Warm tones: yellow or golden

Neutral: a mixture of both cool and warm undertones

There are various ways of finding out what your undertone is. The easiest is way is to take a look at the veins in your wrist. The veins in your wrist will usually be one of two colours, blue or green. If they are green, then your undertone is warm and if they are blue the you have a cool undertone. If your veins are somewhere in the middle then you have a neutral undertone.


Sometimes, foundation can be a little tricky to match. Our faces are made up of various different colours and tones. For example, you may have a little redness on your chin or around your nose and be a little more yellow or purple under your eyes. For darker skin tones, you may be a little lighter in certain places, more often than not, the face can sometimes be a little darker than the body.

Head to your local department store to try a few shades. Personally I recommend not having a counter assistant pick a shade for you and to go on your own judgement. However, if you do decide to get help, then be sure to check in natural light before you purchase the product.

A good way to test, is to apply a few shades that you think may be appropriate for your skin type to your jaw line and blend both down and up. Allow the product to settle on to your skin and see which one is the closest to your shade.


While it is tempting to go for soft pinks, these aren’t always the most flattering for darker skin tones. Don’t’ get me wrong, sometimes these colours can work and you should always embrace them if you’d like, but the most flattering colours for darker skins tend to be much deeper colours. Honestly, the look fantastic!

Bold colours such as burgundy and cranberry look great on cooler skin tones. Bright fuchsia and vibrant oranges will really flatter warmer tones.

My favourite range of cream blush at the moment is by the fabulous Kevyn Aucoin, try their range ‘creamy glow’ in ‘Patrice’. Start of with a little product and build and blend to get the desired amount.


For eyeshadow, darker skin tones can pull off most colours. Vibrant or deep colours such as purples, greens or blacks with look amazing teamed with a neutral coloured lipstick. I will however suggest to steer clean of frosted textures and super white colours. These can make skin look a little ashy and is somewhat unflattering.

Both matte finish and shimmery browns will look great for day to day wear with a line of black eyeliner for added depth.


There are so many colours that deeper toned skin can get away with. Embrace them all! Deep red lipstick looks amazing as do purples and for a more on trend colour, opt for warm browns.

Nude colours can also look great, such as warm pinks and flesh coloured lip-glosses.

Sometimes, lips can have varying colours ranging from dark to light. If this is the case, apply a little foundation over your lips first to even out the skin tone.

While options may sometimes be limited, especially on the high street, there are so many ways to experiment and find out what really works for you. There are no right and wrongs and I truly believe that any skin type can wear any shade of lipstick or eyeshadow and totally nail it. Embrace the vibrance!