Our Picks for the Best Makeup Brands for Dark Skin Tones

by Ivy Boyd

Our Picks for the Best Makeup Brands for Dark Skin Tones

For any woman who has felt frustrated by the lack of shades available in makeup for dark skin tones or who has visited a makeup counter only to leave with ashy, peachy skin, have faith. There are some excellent beauty brands that cater to deeper skin tones beautifully, bringing a better understanding of these gorgeous undertones and the need for more saturated pigments. While absolutely anyone can wear these lines, those with dark skin tones will find them especially welcome additions to their beauty arsenals.


The Lip Bar



I fell hard for The Lip Bar when I received one of their mega-saturated, vegan lip products in a subscription box. Upon further research, I was delighted to find that this line was specifically created to fill the gap in ultra-rich pigmented lip products for women of color. Frustrated with the lack of vivid lip shades, Melissa Butler created the lip product line, and she uses natural ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil to nourish lips. Want a true navy or a yellow lipstick? The Lip Bar is where it’s at!


Black Opal



Black Opal was created in 1994 to address the specific skin concerns of women of color. They aim to create products that target issues like hyperpigmentation and oiliness, and they create shades that are never ashy. They carry some of the best stick foundations in an excellent shade range, and I especially love their lip products! Their Color Splurge Patent Lips are like a lipstick and a gloss in one and they’re full of saturated pigment. Their baked blushes are also beautiful and long-wearing. Best of all? Their products are paraben-free.


black|Up Cosmetics



Popular with beauty bloggers and makeup artists alike, black|Up Cosmetics creates on-trend products, specializing in full cover foundation and their cult favorite Perfect Mattifying Primer. The company was founded in 1999 by an African-American makeup artist who wanted to create 100 percent non-ashy, velvety matte finishes for women of color.


IMAN Cosmetics



Iman is the stunning Somalian supermodel wife of David Bowie and creator of IMAN Cosmetic, a line founded in 1994 that cater to African-American, Asian, Latina, and multicultural women. The extensive award-winning product line includes skincare and is raved about by many makeup artists. Check out some of their most notable products here.


Black Radiance



If you want trendy color that’s also affordable, you’ll love Black Radiance. The line has been around for over two decades and offers sheer and natural finishes, all the way up to bold, candy-color eyeshadows. If you struggle with dark circles, you’ll want to try out their True Complexion Custom Concealer with two shades for color-correcting and brightening. Black Radiance products are also gluten-free and cruelty-free, making them even more lovable!





If you pay special attention to the ingredients in your products, you’ll be as impressed with SheaMoisture as I am. Not only is the line ecofriendly and cruelty-free, but all products are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, propylene glycol, paraffin, petroleum, synthetic colorants, and DEA. SheaMoisture’s products are packed with natural ingredients, and they are an incredibly charitable company, giving to many organizations and foundations. Their African Black Soap is a must-have as well as their recently launched cosmetics line.


CoverGirl Queen Collection



Inspired by the gorgeous Queen Latifah, CoverGirl expanded its shade range with their Queen Collection to include deeper skin tones and more vibrant shadows and lip products. Gone are the days of overly pink and ashy drugstore foundations and low-pigment selections.





CoverFX not only carries one of the most impressive shade ranges, broken down into warm, cool, and neutral undertones, but one of the most high-coverage cream foundations on the market. Their primers are excellent, and they offer a broad range of coverage, from powder to liquid to their new Custom Cover Drops that turn anything into foundation! Better still, their formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, mineral oil, and fragrances!