Make-up blues for dark skin

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment -

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.”

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