Shut the front door, there’s a beauty post on the blog! It’s funny, I tell myself that I’m going to write more about the various creams, lotions and potions I’m using and then I chicken out because I can’t tell my illuminator from my radiance booster. Confusion aside, I’ve gone from being a student with over-threaded brows to a bit of a make-up magpie with a penchant for a cat-eye flick. I’ve had to figure out what works for me, thanks to a few dodgy situations where I’ve had my makeup done and only noticed that my face was five shades lighter in broad daylight.
When I was younger, my experiences shopping for beauty were a little different to most. My Mum was a Mary Kay consultant, so even though I always had the right foundation shade, I never really understood the science behind it. Make-up was something I knew I needed for my dance shows and the odd special occasion, but most of the time I let my glasses and train tracks do the talking. Eventually I started taking more of an interest and my mistakes happened a few years later than everyone else. I religiously stuck to MAC until I realised that other brands were stepping up their game.
I know that things are far from perfect. At this point in time, I can’t even envision what perfect is because I’m not used to it. If you’re a WOC, there’s a handful of affordable shades and you can’t even rely on some of the pricier ones being quite right either. It’s all about the undertones (this video by Patricia is a good ‘un) and some brands limit all the variations of melanin to just two shades. Luckily we have social media for sharing the struggle and highlighting the positives, so I thought I’d do the latter by sharing a few bases I’ve been wearing this year. I know they may not work for everyone but I wanted to add to the conversation.
Black Up Matifying Fluid Foundation
So even though this Parisian brand has a bit of a questionable name, you can’t fault its intention. Black Up aims to tackle the specific needs of WOC and I almost had to do a double take when I saw the amount of shade options for this foundation. There’s BB, CC creams and all the products, which often don’t get considered when brands say they’re catering to a darker complexion.
I’ve been using the Matifying Fluid Foundation every so often, it’s a little bit thicker than what I’m used to but not scarily matte. It’s perhaps not as natural as I’d like but a good option if I want to film or need my make-up not to budge. This is probably a brand to consider if you find it hard to find your particular undertone and they also have some great natural lip glosses you can rely on.
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint
A lot of bloggers were raving about the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint over the Summer and when someone sends a Snap complimenting you on your makeup in 30 degree heat, you know you’ve found a good option. It’s a little bit thicker than my beloved tinted moisturiser and offers a decent amount of coverage with that all important SPF. It’s something I always need to remember, since black skin is not immune to skin cancer and it’s great to have a reliable all-in-one option. I wear the shade Polynesia.
L’oreal True Match Foundation
Meet the best high street foundation I’ve ever tried. See brands, this is what happens why you extend your shades and make it crystal clear in your advertising campaign! Thanks to spotting AJ, Grace and Jennie on social media, I realised that L’oreal True Match could actually be a possibility from a brand I rarely look at. 10W warms my face up nicely and whilst it may not last the longest, it’s perfect for days when I don’t want to waste my best products and I know I could repurchase this if times got tough.
The price as expected is as cheap as chips (well maybe fish and chips at my local) and the best thing? It’s often on 3 for 2! This was such a novelty experience, it took me a good while to decide on a lipgloss and mascara and I skipped all the way to the self-checkout. I’ve also hunted down the powder, since it has my Mum’s seal of approval.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk liquid foundation
I think I started buying this because I wanted to feel a bit flash? I treated myself to Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk after watching Patricia’s video (in Barcelona of all places) and I was pleased that I managed to get the colour right, even though the store lights were harsh. My tip is to bring your existing foundation along when shopping (I had a cheeky comparison at the MAC stand), just to double-check you’re on the right track.
It pretty much does what it says on the tin (well bottle) it’s luminous, lightweight and shade 11.5 gives me a little warmth all year round. I guess I’m just less excited about it now and wouldn’t mind testing a few other brands around or below this price point. I’m curious about Lancome and Smashbox, thanks to things I’ve seen on social media.
YSL Teint Touche Éclat Foundation
I don’t know what it is, but I always get compliments when wearing this, plus it has the Mum seal of approval. This year YSL brought out a new formula, which is a little warmer and closer to my Summer complexion. I’m still wearing it in B80 now, since I’m in denial about my tan fading and I don’t think it looks completely ridiculous (plus, no one is really seeing my neck until April). I know that I shouldn’t judge things on packaging, but each product is pretty easy on the eye and makes you feel a bit special.
So what have I learned over the years? I have a yellow undertone which I can either stay true to or add something slightly red to warm things up. I like to look like myself with lightweight, blendable coverage and always rely on my Mum for an honest opinion. These days, I can now get things right 9 times out of 10 but I definitely want to try to educate myself more and delve into the science behind it all. Watch this space!