Make-up blues for dark skin
MANY people will remember actress Lupita Nyong’o’s emotional acceptance speech at the yearly Black Women in Hollywood Awards, when she spoke about Black beauty.
She relayed how she was teased and taunted for being dark, and how she only came to accept herself in her adulthood.
Most dark-skinned women can probably relate to Nyong’o’s anecdote, and although more and more dark-skinned women are celebrated now more than ever on television and magazines, there is still one thing that most still struggle with: finding the right make-up.
For years, cosmetic companies simply did not cater for dark-skinned women, this would often lead them to buying the wrong colour foundation that would leave them looking grey and patchy.
Has make-up evolved enough to cater to dark-skinned women over the years? We put this question to some of our gorgeously dark-skinned celebrities to find out how they have been able to navigate the politics of having a dark skin.
Singer and actress Jacqui Carpede, best known for being a member of the all- girl group Jamali, says she still struggles to get the right foundation colour.
“I battle with foundation myself so I have to mix colours to get the perfect shade. It’s difficult because we are all different shades of dark. None of the commercial brands have the shades that I need. I still use Krayolan, which is quite heavy. However it’s the best fit for me,” she says, adding how she blends two colours to the right tone.
When it comes to lipstick, Carpede says she prefers not to go too bright with her shades.
“As dark-skinned women, we can wear any colour lipstick. I just choose a different tone of the colour. For example, I wouldn’t wear bright red lipstick, but I would wear an ox-blood shade.”
Carpede is vocal about women embracing their dark skins.
“The ‘yellow bone’ thing is not a craze, it’s another form of oppression and discrimination.
“We are black women; what other colour are we supposed to be? You just need to filter out what does not serve you positively. We are each unique and beautiful; women need to believe that!”
Model Lerato Moloi echoed Carpede’s stance about mixing different colour foundations: “I hardly wear foundation, but I’m lucky because I get to work with professional make-up artists.
“For regular women, help is at hand at most department stores’ make-up counters. What you could do is ask them to give you different samples of foundation so you can test them out until you find the right one for your tone, or simply ask them to mix colours for you.”
Moloi says dark-skinned women should not be scared to use bright coloured lipstick and eye shadow.
“Bold, bright colours actually look good on us dark-skinned women as the colours become more defined against our skin tone.”
Actress Rami Chuene says she is lucky that she found the right colour foundation for her dark skin.
“When I do shoots, they mix different colours for me, but on my own, I use Mac NW45. It is perfect for me. It doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing a mask at all.”