One must always aspire for healthy, glowing skin. The colour of skin does not matter. But yes, while applying make-up, one must keep in mind the colour of skin. Just as rules are different for different skin types, people of different skin hues must also follow different rules while applying make-up.
Choose the right foundation
For a dusky skin, choose liquid foundations, instead of a creamy one. The foundation should not be lighter than your skin tone. Try to get one which is as close to your normal skin colour as possible. When you apply foundation and powder, your aim should be for a lighter coverage. Remember that dark skin show up layers of make-up much more than fair skins.
Special attention should be paid to blending. Adding a drop of water to the foundation before application may also help. Mix them on the back of your hand and apply it on your skin. Check the effect in daylight. Use a light baby powder after the foundation. This helps to give the skin sheen and is not too heavy. Avoid applying too much powder, especially around the eyes. Always dust off the excess powder.
For your blusher, choose colours from coral or rose. Avoid browns and peachy shades. For very dark skin, try a dark rose pink colour for the day and shades of bronze, plum and wine for the night. Blend the blusher over the cheekbones, as it helps to brighten the skin tone.
Go for darker eye shadows
If you wish to use eye shadow, avoid white or very light colours. A soft brown eye shadow can be used in combination with a darker brick-brown. Apply the light brown on the upper eye lids. Use the dark brown in the crease of the eyelid to give depth to the eyes and carry it out slightly outwards. This should blend into the upper brow bone, proceeding from lighter brown in the inner corner to darker brown, going outwards. Here are a few tips:
If you would like more colour, line the eyelid with dark blue, dark grey, wine or even purple.
Soften the lines with a sponge tipped applicator or damp brush.
Use a kaajal pencil to outline the eyes. This will have a stunning effect on dark skins. Kaajal helps to accentuate the Indian look and dramatize the eyes.
For the day, use brown or grey eyeliner or eye pencil to line the eyes.
Mascara will darken and thicken the eyelashes and give the eyes a glamorous look.
Avoid pale colour for the lips
Choosing the right colours is important for your lipstick too. Avoid pale colours and go for warmer tones, like copper, coral, bronze, dark red, wine, and burgundy. For lipstick too, you can mix two colours to get the shades that suit your skin. For the night, you will need colours that are more intense. If the colour is too light, use brown first and then the lighter colour. Bright red lipstick can be toned down with tinted lip gloss. At night, use darker and brighter colours. Try to match the colours of make-up on your lips and nails. The blusher should also blend with the lip colour. It is also important to balance your make-up, so that the eyes or lips do not look more brilliant than one another. Tone down your entire make-up in colour and intensity, because it should not be more prominent than your features or your clothes. The whole effect should balance and blend.
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A dark skin is more resilient than fair skins. Due to more pigment, it can withstand exposure to the sun better. What bears repetition is that any skin that is healthy and clear can look beautiful, regardless of its colour. With a flawless, healthy skin, a dusky skinned girl can replace the Indian fascination for "fair" skin with the idea that "brown is beautiful."
(This article is authored by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations.)