7 Makeup Problems You’ll Only Understand If You Have Dark Skin

I’m a black chick with dark tan skin and, let me tell you, finding makeup in my shade can be serious pain in the butt. Admittedly I don’t have it as bad as my girlfriends out there with even darker complexions than mine, but it says a lot when someone on the lighter end of the brown spectrum can’t even catch a break. Sure, some companies making sure that their makeup is more accessible to ladies with darker skin tones, but the fact that there are special lines dedicated specifically to dark skin says all there needs to be said about the state of the cosmetic industry.

So for those of you who also have dark skin and know that the struggle is real, you’ll relate to these seven makeup problems. Let’s just bond over our makeup angst as one, shall we?


1) All the foundation and concealer is so damn light that you need sunglasses just looking at them.


Why are there 50 shades of bright peach and one shade of brown?

2) Or else colors jump from sort of almost tan to way too dark.

black woman cringe

Which sucks if you’re somewhere in between.

3) You usually have to resort to more expensive brands to have a better range of color options.

wasting money

Which sucks if you aren’t rollin’ like that. Having to save up for foundation? Ugh.

4) When an awesome color of makeup stands out on your friend with light skin but barely shows up on yours.

fairly oddparents gray blobs the same game


5)  Good luck finding a BB cream in your color.

Source: Giphy

Source: Giphy

For some reason it is nearly impossible to find a BB cream color darker than a light tan. Seriously, check for yourself. Ridiculous.

6) When makeup that is just a little too light for you just makes you look ashy.

ashy larry chapelle show

Ashy is never a good look. Never.

7) “Nude” lipstick is a joke.

nene laughing

If by nude you mean light peach colored then yes, sure. Alas, when I take off all of my clothes, that isn’t the color nude I see.

For those of you with dark skin, what is your go to foundation, concealer, BB/CC, etc that actually matches your skin tone? What other beauty problems do you face? Tell us in the comments!

10 Makeup Brands That Are Great For Dark Skin

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  • Diane

    OMG, this is so true. It took me many tries to find affordable, drugstore makeup products that actually worked with my deep skin tone.

    Here are some I recommend for those of you who are needing help:

    Foundation: Revlon Colorstay Foundation (Oily/Combination or Dry/Normal), $10
    – good color range that shows up

    Eyeliner: Maybelline Eye Studio Master Smokey Shadow Pencil (Black Smoke), $7
    – this is techinqually an eyeshadow, but I personally use it as a thick eyeliner. The color shows up amazingly dark black. I totally recommend this.

    Powder: Loreal True Match Powder, $9
    – this powder comes in a lot of colors, and comes with a mirror and applicator brush. There are selections based on your skin’s undertone as well. But this powder is more for achieving flawless skin, not stopping shine or oily skin.

    Mascara: Maybelline Volume Express Mascaras, $7
    – These mascaras come in a “Blackest Black” shade, that I feel is so useful for black girls. I’ve always thought it was weird when I’ve used normal mascaras in regular black, that made my lashes lighter than my hair.

  • Jay

    Honestly though, I recently just had to buy 5 different foundations, and out of them, only one worked. what.

  • fefe

    Kiss aqua bb cream is amazing and it’s for only women of color. I paid about $10 for it on ebay but most beauty supply stores carry it.

  • Brie

    “So light you need sunglasses.” Thanks, I’ve already been told that my stomach could be used as a flashlight in the woods at night, but now people need sunglasses to look at my makeup?

  • Sabrina

    This is soooooo true! I literally don’t even bother buying make up because I’ m scared that I would have wasted 10 dollars on make up that makes me look all wrong. I am really dark, and I know that the deepest shade a company may have will not be dark enough for my skin tone. And I have yet to find a company that will be able to match my complexion.

  • Angela

    Omg this is truth. xD

  • Hailey

    While a lot of these don’t apply to me, I get the not being able to find foundation or concealer thing. My skin is pale to the point that my friends call me “Casper” or “Hailey Cullen”. It’s almost impossible finding makeup light enough for my skin tone. Half the time my face ends up a shade darker than the rest of my body. :/