Different Is Beautiful

Adia Wilson
What is it like to be different? What is it like to look in the mirror and see a person who does not look anything like those around you? I am African American and Hispanic, and proud of my dark skin and thick hair. But, for years I struggled to appreciate my identity. It felt as if other women were constantly reminding me that I was in fact different. In my sorority house at University, I am the only woman of color. I watch as my sorority sisters share foundations and concealers and rave about tanning oils that toast their skin to perfection. I cannot exchange foundations with my friends or swap contour palettes with them. I have to figure out for myself which concealer color is appropriate for my highlight or if a blush is pigmented enough to appear on my cheeks. I have learned that being different does not have to come with negative connotations or bitter tones. I have learned to love my dark skin and tight curls.
Recent memes in marketing and social media are confirming that my complexion and hair are indeed beautiful. Beauty gurus like Jackie Aina and Aaliyah Jay have built successful brands on their passion for the multicultural beauty community. These influencers teach dark skinned women how to utilize  products that will work for their skin and hair. After hours of watching youtube tutorials, I’ve learned how to match my foundation, create the perfect smokey eye and wing my eyeliner to the gods. I have collected lots of tips and tricks that work for my dark skin when applying makeup. Here are some of my top beauty techniques for multicultural women:

  1. Match your foundation to your neck. Your face is often lighter than your neck, so if your foundation only matches your face it can cause your makeup to look less natural (almost mask like).
  2. When trying to choose a highlight color for under your eyes and the high points of your face (forehead, chin and down the bridge of your nose) attempt to go one or two shades down from you regular foundation color. I personally prefer concealers with a yellow undertone for a warmer highlight look.
  3. To avoid flash back in photos, use powders that are yellow to bake your face. I use Ben Nye Banana powder to set my highlight.
  4. When it comes to contour, avoid any powders that may have grey undertones or any contour colors that are significantly darker than your skin tone. These powder contours can make your foundation look dull or even mud like on the skin.

Stay tuned for more articles on makeup products that are being marketed to women of color and how to use them!