5 Beauty Hacks for Brown Skin

Brown Girl Beauty intern Jess breaks down her favorite beauty hacks for brown skin. 

Brown/darker skin tones have been ignored in the makeup industry for years, but the industry has come a long way since then and continues to change. In the past few years we’ve seen brands begin to expand shade ranges and the early emergence of POC and Black owned beauty brands. 

Here are my 5 beauty hacks for brown skin:

1. Outline your lips with brown lip liner

If there is one thing you take away from this post, don't sleep on brown lip liner!

How many times have you looked at a lipstick from the packaging and bought it thinking it’s your perfect nude, but then it ends up being too light? I definitely have. I try it on and it’s so pigmented and the formula is exactly what I’m looking for but it's too light and clashes with my skin tone. Rather than using a pink lip liner, go for a brown liner underneath.

That’s where brown lip liner steps in.

I outline my lips and fill them two thirds of the way in and then apply the lipstick only to the center of my lips. Then, blend! You can use a lip brush, your fingertip or rub your lips together until you see the edges of the lighter lip color blend in with your brown lip liner. This creates a blended, smooth finish.

And there you have it!

You don’t have to throw away a lipstick you love in fear that it won’t work for your skin tone. Introducing brown lip liner into your makeup collection can open you up to a wider range of shades that you would’ve originally closed yourself off from. It helps turn lipstick into your own unique shade. It can also enhance the lipsticks in your current collection by adding depth. It also makes a wonderful base under a pink, brown or even clear lip gloss! Try it under Rani Gloss! 

2. Color Correcting

Let me start off with saying that color correcting is NOT necessary. So why am I including this here? Because I want to be able to give you the right information in case you were curious about it. It can help offset under-eye circles caused by hyperpigmentation, which South Asian skin is prone to due to genetics, and enhance your natural beauty to give you a more 'awake' look. 

So, why color correct?

Have you ever applied your foundation and noticed that your skin doesn’t look even? You’re positive that this foundation is your shade because it looks great all over, and then maybe around your mouth or under your eyes, you see some discoloration peeking through? You then layer concealer that’s lighter than your foundation shade because that’s what all the beauty gurus told you to do, but you either feel cakey or it still doesn't work with your skin tone?

My favorite product to color correct with is the Huestick from Live Tinted, started by Deepica Mutyala. I love that her Huesticks are multi-purpose, but in terms of color correcting they are much safer to use on your skin than just using red lipstick because they’re caramine free, vegan, clean and the texture of it allows the coverage to be buildable!

I’m a beginner when it comes to color correcting, and the Huesticks have been very helpful at correcting the darker areas around my mouth.

3. Use an eyeshadow base to make eyeshadow POP!

Just like how all lipstick doesn’t look the same on every skin tone, neither does every eyeshadow color. 

BUT, just like how I gave you the hack for making lighter lipsticks work on brown skin, my hack for getting any eyeshadow to pop on your brown skin is by using either a concealer or eyeshadow base that’s lighter than your skin tone to get more out of the shadow's pigment.

Whether you want a colorful look or a neutral one, a lighter base layer will help pigments show up. Some options are by using a concealer, eyeshadow base, or eyeshadow crayon under brighter colors. If you’re going for a colorful or neon look, try a white eyeshadow base underneath to get the full pigment to show.

4. Reach for brown brow products instead of black for a more natural blend - this works even with black hair!

I know you might think that you need to use black eyebrow pencil or gel to match your black eyebrow hairs, but this is going to create harsh lines and you’re more likely to create the “sharpie brow” look than have naturally shaped brows.

If your eyebrows are black, try using dark brown brow products for a blended finish! 

It’s dark enough to match your brow hairs, but when filling and shaping them, it’ll blend in with your skin better and won’t look as harsh. You will get the finish you want and it’ll look much more natural!

5. Try Vitamin C

Disclaimer: I do not work in Dermatology, if you have any concerns please consult with your Dermatologist and only do what works for YOUR skin. 

If your skin can tolerate Vitamin C, I highly encourage incorporating it into your skincare routine! 

Vitamin C is a nutrient that can help you achieve a natural glow and help smooth out the skin. Some benefits are increasing collagen production, fading uneven spots, and shielding the skin from environmental pollutants and UV rays (make sure to still use lots of sunscreen!) 

My favorite way of using it is through a serum. Since a serum has a thinner consistency, it’ll allow the Vitamin C to penetrate the skin barrier and work at a cellular level. Now, the choice of whether YOU need a serum or moisturizer is totally up to what feels good for your skin!

Incorporating Vitamin C into your skincare routine will give you a glowy base for your makeup or make your skin look firm and glowy even on no makeup days!

These are favorite beauty hacks for brown skin - let us know yours!

Xo, Jess John


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