The Best Beauty for Dark Skin Tones

EBONY Associate Beauty Editor Jacqueline Laurean Yates on the products she's excited about this season

For better or for worse, we've taken to seeing our Rolodex as a stand-in for Google when the occasion calls for it. Why delve into the abyss of listicles that comprises the Internet when you could shoot an e-mail off to a friend (or in our case, Cov-alum) and be presented with the virtual gift of a thoughtful, consolidated remedy to everything from your latest at-home DIY attempt to achieving the perfect messy braid? 

More specifically, who better to guide you through Brooklyn than longtime native (and newly christened Style.com editor) Rachael Wang? And when it comes to explaining the finer points of Cara Delevingne’s notorious eyebrows, literally no one knows better than makeup artist Wendy Rowe, who deals with them first hand, on the regs. Ditto Francesca Tolot as pertaining to Beyonce’s many On The Run trailer looks. These people just know, you guys. So when it came to sourcing out the best new beauty products for (oft-neglected) black skin, we went straight to Jacqueline Laurean Yates,  Associate Beauty and Grooming Editor of EBONY.

So we asked Yates for the down low on the products she’s excited about right now—all new and exactly the lipsticks, bronzers and shadows we want to stock our cabinets with right now. Let’s just say Yates has a special knack for knowing not only what’s going to be big, but what will actually work––and for skintones beyond just beige, to boot. Herein, her favorite fall picks.

“As many beauty brands are extending their foundation ranges, there now are a plethora of new concealers that work for darker skin tones as well.  M.A.C. has always done an amazing job on getting hues just right for everyone.  Hence, their new matchmaster concealer is great for quick skin touch ups and balancing out any post acne dark spot marks.”

“Created by mega-model and trailblazing pioneer, Iman, her namesake cosmetics line is in high demand. Who wouldn’t trust her judgment? She’s flawless!  Reformulated from the initial lineup, the newest swipes are longer lasting and infused with a lip loving mix of jojoba, shea butter, cocoa butter, aloe and Vitamin E.  Plus, there are 5 new vibrant shades that really pack a punch.”

“As the saying goes, ‘the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice,’ and YSL’s kiss & blush has so many yummy splashes of rich color.  This 2-in-1 option can be worn on your lips and cheeks.  Honing in on 12 signature tints to choose from, each one wears like a stain and dries down to a sultry matte finish.  I love glam-ing up with a monochromatic look sometimes, and this she-ro product lets me to do just that. #splurge-worthy ”

“The eyes always have it, and it is usually the area of the face that people notice first.  If you have a deeper skin tone, you have to make sure to select a shadow that won’t wear too pale or ashy.  L’oreal Paris’ new runway inspired swatches offer a highly pigmented wash of color that sticks true to the shade you see in the packaging.  The texture is smooth, soft, and won’t crease on your lids.  Dare to go there with a sweep of the new Purple Priority shade.”

“A cult classic and loyally followed brand of multi-ethnic women, Laura Mercier, has continued to set the standard with her newest “flawless face” innovation.  The new liquid foundation blurs imperfections, is designed to be sweat-proof, and has a bi-phase formula that activates fresh color with every use.  Every shade wears true, natural, and get this… there are 24 fabulous swatches that everyone can choose from.  No more foundation finder guessing games!”

“Muted earth tones and nudes were the talk of the town this past fall fashion month.  However, with so many layers of barely there shades (browns, pale pinks, tans, etc.) it is often times a little tricky finding just the right swatch of flattery.  After swiping on Tom Ford’s Negligee Lipstick, I have to say it just might be the next big ‘one size fits all’ stick.  It isn’t too opaque, and adds a natural looking layer of sophistication to every girl’s beauty regime regardless of skin tone?  If you really want to sexy it up, layer on Tom Ford’s Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Pink Guilt for the perfect finishing touch."

“Whether you have cool or warm undertones, everyone could use a little extra razzle dazzle to the their skin.  For a grown up bronzy glow, that’s not too glittery, dust on a few swipes of this powder to the higher planes of your face (temple, cheeks, and bridge of the nose) for an effortlessly chic sun-kissed radiance.  This highlighter is awesome because it blends easily and enhances complexions across the skin tone spectrum from fair to medium to dark.  You have options, and there’s a soft shimmery pick for everyone." 

“Selecting the perfect polish to flatter your skin tone can be a little intimidating.  Unlike clothing, technically you cannot physically try on a polish before buying.  However, Zoya has a solution for that! When purchasing a polish online, you can try before you buy, by purchasing a color spoon to try on.  This service keeps you from wasting money, and allows you to get a color that you are actually going to wear.”

“This is another amazing option for those who are into traditional powder blush.  Plus, it is a “wallet-friendly” find.  You can’t beat a quality product that won’t break the bank."

Fashion Fair Eye Shadow 

"An iconic brand and leader of the pack when it comes to cosmetics for women of color, Fashion Fair can do no wrong when it comes to getting colors right, and making them super wearable. I absolutely love this new earth tone shade, Jade Onyx, as it's the perfect forest green hue, that elegantly compliments my skin. This is definitely a beauty bag staple of mine!"

Photos courtesy of Jacqueline Laurean Yates & Vashni Balleste

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