I LOVE my brown skin! Because of my beautiful brown skin, I don’t have to worry about looking pale in the winter or getting a tan in the summer. I look awesome in bright colors, and I can wear all black like it’s nobody’s business. However, with all this self-love of my brown skin, I tend to be less confident when it comes wearing lipstick. In fact, I tend to be pretty much a Plain Jane because I stay with the same three colors and never venture out of my comfort zone.
I am the girl who goes to the makeup counter, tries on the lipstick, loves it, buys it, but then punks out and never wears it. But with brown and dark-skinned beauties like Kelly Rowland and Lupita Nyong’o rocking orange and bright pink lips, I thought to myself – why not venture out of my comfort zone this spring?
But before buying, I wanted to see what recommendations were out there for brown and dark-skinned women. So I Google-searched lip colors for brown skin, and thanks to a few amazing brown-skinned beauty bloggers, I came across a handful of articles and videos dedicated to helping black women take the plunge into the world of lip color.
The following colors are some of my favorites from either personally sampling them or from the articles and videos I came across.
1. MAC Heroine
My first stop was the MAC store, and with the help of one of the makeup artists, I walked away with Heroine – a matte purple lipstick.
Yes! Purple!! To be honest, while I love the color purple (no pun intended), when she brought me the samples, I was like “Umm…not sure about that one. Can I really pull that off?” So I pushed it to side, and it was the last of the 6 samples that I tried on. I heard about this color and knew that many people were raving about it. And I see why. As soon as I put it on, it was a hit. My best friend loved it immediately, and the lady in the seat next to me, actually said “I love that. I love a nice bold lip and with your coloring – beautiful!” Well thank you lady! That was enough for me; I was sold.
Heroine looks even more amazing when paired with MAC’s Magenta lip liner. If you don’t want to spend the $31 it would cost you to buy both, get Revlon’s Colorburst Matte Lip Balm in Shameless and NYX lip pencil in Bloom for about $10 total. Both products are close dupes for MAC’s Heroine lipstick and Magenta lip pencil. If you want to tone down the color a little, you can use MAC’s C-Thru Lipglass over top.
2. Black Radiance Plum Orchid
This color is described as a deep purple, and it seems to work with a variety of skin complexions. The color is buildable, so you can apply a little more or less depending on the intensity that you are going for.
3. MAC Bold Spring
Bold Spring is from MAC’s new Mineralize Collection, and it’s described as a “deep blue pink.” The color is amazing. It was my second favorite of the MAC samples that I tried on. It goes on very smooth and feels great on the lips.
4. MAC Flat out Fabulous
Flat out Fabulous is from MAC’s Retro Matte Lip collection, and it’s described as a bright plum matte. This color is featured in the video My Mac Lip Swatches (see link below at 5:28). Because some matte lipsticks can be very drying, use a nice moisturizing balm as a base prior to putting on the lipstick and exfoliate your lips if necessary so that the color goes on smoothly and does not settle into the chapped areas of your lips.
5. MAC Ruby Woo
If you’re looking for the perfect bold red lips, MAC’s Ruby Woo is considered one of THE best red lipsticks. It will definitely give you those statement red look-at-me lips. Ruby Woo is described as a “very matte vivid blue-red.” It also pairs well with NYX Hot Red Lipliner ( see picture to the right).
Since this is a matte, it gives the color staying power, so you can eat and drink without worrying about the color fading; however, the downfall of the formula is that it is very drying, so be sure to moisturizer and exfoliate your lips. *Also see My Mac Lip Swatches (9:49) & My Top 5 MAC Lipsticks (1:26) for videos of this color.
6. Cover Girl Hot
If you want bold red lips, but hate the drying texture of a Ruby Woo, try CoverGirl’s Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hot. This color is known as an “in-your-face crimson.”
7. MAC So Chaud
This matte lip color may be a little deceiving at first glance because it can look more red than orange in the tube, but once you apply it, you can definitely see the orange undertones. So Chaud is also featured in My Mac Lip Swatches (11:25).
8. Revlon Mischievous
At first glance, Mischievous looks like a bight neon orange, but it is buildable. Start by applying less and then build to achieve the desired intensity of the color. Once on, you’ll see that it looks like a peachy-orange color. Also, because it’s a balm, it’s not as drying as a traditional matte lipstick.
I also really like the packing; it looks like a big crayon, but it’s great because it’s retractable, so you won’t need a sharpener and you don’t have to worry about the casing breaking if you drop it.
If you’re just starting out, I would suggest going to a department store or makeup store such as Macy’s, Nordstorm, Sephora and MAC so that you can test out some samples and have someone guide you through the process rather than going to the Drugstore and buying a color outright and potentially wasting money. If you’re put-off by the price of the higher-end brands, once you try a couple samples and find some that you like, do an internet search for makeup dupes of that specific color(s). Brands like Elf and NYX often have dupes of high-end brands such as MAC and NARS.
So ladies, if you were like me and were afraid to try brighter colors, I hoped this help. If you’re still unsure, search for a celebrity that is about the same complexion as you, see how she rocks her makeup and get inspired!
I want to Hear From You
- Are you afraid to venture out and try brighter lip colors?
- What lip colors are you currently rocking?
- What do you think is a great color for brown skin?