Monday, 21 November 2016 20:10

A Step-by-Step: Makeup Protocol for Medium and Darker Skin Tones

Written by Lora Condon, L.E.

In order to be considered an accomplished makeup artist, proficiency working with all skin tones, ages, and textures is imperative. Unfortunately, retail cosmetic companies have only recently created makeup with enough pigment for medium and darker skin tones. Makeup lacking pigment will either not offer enough coverage or turn pink and ashy on darker skin tones. Luckily, there are professional makeup lines that cater to all skin colors and undertones, unlike traditional consumer retail lines.



1. Before their appointment, instruct the client to drink as much water as possible, exfoliate, and moisturize. These actions will give the professional the best canvas possible, one with a repaired lipid matrix. The more hydrated and smooth their skin is, the better the makeup appears, creating positive reviews, rebookings, and referrals.pic1

pic22.  After prepping the skin, use a primer that is not greasy so that the brush strokes will not be seen when applying the foundation.

3. Start with the eyes so that the skin can be cleaned if any eyeshadow falls underneath the eye. Use a shadow primer, which is different than a face primer, to prevent eyeshadow from creasing. Clients with darker skin look great in almost any eye color. Shimmers, bronze, copper, amber, grays, and cranberry are beautiful colors. It is best to stay away from opaque pastel colors because it can look fake or too young for the average client.

4. Clients love cat eyes, but there is a fine line between a cat eye and a downward dog eye. If the eyelashes are too long at the outer corner, they will drag the eye down and age the face. Apply mascara or false eyelashes to one eye and see if the eyelashes drag down or lift up the eye. Be sure the eyelashes in the middle of the eye are longer to open up the eye and really make it pop.

5. The most common problem for clients with medium and dark skin tones is that the foundation often appears ashy or pink. This look is due to flat cut titanium pic3dioxide. As a result, look for oval cut titanium dioxide in an oil-free, baked silicone, cream-style foundation. This kind of makeup can be used as concealer, color corrector, contour, and foundation just by choosing different colors and undertones that match the client. When choosing a foundation color, be sure the undertone matches the skin. In simple terms, someone might have light, medium, or dark brown skin, but the undertones may be yellow, pink, or red. Put a few swipes of the foundation on the client's face, neck, and chest; one color will stand out as the closest match. If a client has oily skin, go one half of a shade lighter as foundation gets darker throughout the day. Orange or peach are great color correctors for darker skin.

pic46. Before contouring, be sure to pick the right color. Never contour with bronzer as it ends up looking orange, gray, muddy, or dirty when it mixes with the client's oil. The shimmer in most bronzers will also pick up light, which defeats the purpose of contouring. Contour should never be seen.

7. An apricot shade of blush is very complimentary on medium and darker skin. Just because someone has very dark skin, does not mean a strip of red blush needs to be used in order for it to be seen. Professionals should find colors with a lot of pigment so they can use a wide range.

8. At the beginning of any lip application, apply a lip balm. Texture is key to long-lasting lip color. If the client has fuller lips, do not be afraid to line the whole lip. If their lips are out of balance with the rest of their face, forgo lip liner or line slightly inside the lip line. If the lip liner is a few shades darker than the lip color, it can make the bottom lip look like it is hanging too low. Furthermore, most clients do not want a cotton candy, opaque lip color, so try to avoid this shade unless it is specifically requested.pic5

As professional makeup artists, it is important to not only carry the most effective products, but also know how to apply them properly. Be sure to blend well so that there are no hard lines; keep the face, neck, and chest the same color; and match undertones between the skin and the rest of the makeup.

Lora-CondonLora Condon, The Beauty Buster, is a national award-winning aesthetician and a beauty consumer advocate. InStyle Magazine featured her as the "Best Eyebrow Shaper in New Jersey," and she has been featured on Dr. Oz as a leading beauty insider. Condon excels at helping spas creatively market themselves for immediate results. Her book, "SPA WARS: The Ugly Truth About The Beauty Industry," received rave write-ups in the New York Times, many beauty blogs, and trade magazines.

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August 2020

Brands of the Month

  • Celluma by Biophotas, Inc
  • Repechage
  • Eminence Organic Skin Care

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