Let’s set the scene. You’re pacing the beauty aisle at your favorite store and you can’t keep your eyes off of a bright-colored shadow. Just as you’re about to add it to your shopping cart, you hesitate as the following thought comes to mind: “Is my skin too dark for this color?”

At some point in our lives as brown women, we have all been plagued by the thought that bright colors are not a good look on dark skin. Ladies, this is absolutely false!

Bright colors look stunning on brown skin, the key to mastering this trend is using the right colors… the right way.

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to confidently wearing bold makeup colors.



One of the biggest beauty faux pas that women make is wearing too many bright colors at once. It’s not about drawing attention to every part of your face with bright hues, but it’s really a balancing act. Play up one area such as your eyes, lips or cheeks. Accentuating all three at once is overwhelming and down-right tacky.



For longevity and colors that pop, it’s necessary to prime your skin. In addition to priming skin it’s also important to use a cream shadow or base in the same color (or close to the same color) before applying shadow as well. This enhances shadow’s pigmentation and is also helps to accomplish for long-lasting color. Apply the powder as you normally would after you take these steps.

Embrace Jewel Tones

Pastels usually aren’t the best looking color choices on dark skin because the end result can look ashy and pale. That’s the last thing any style-conscious woman wants! Jewel tones are gorgeous on brown skin tones because they’re richly pigmented.

*Tip: Some looks can channel Bozo the Clown because women apply bright colors all the way up to their brow bones. Most of the time, it’s better to focus on the lid up to the crease and to add the drama by applying the darker shade to your outer-v or crease. Bright eye shadow is already a statement-making look so make sure that statement is, “I’m confident, sassy and classy.” This is a case where less is more.


Mix and Match

No, I don’t mean use a yellow eye shadow on your lid and a magenta shade in the crease when I say mix and match. What I mean is, if you’re wearing a rich lip shade, use a dark liner to define lips and to mute the color a little.


Apply Shadow With A Brush

When applying shadow, a sponge applicator just can’t give you the coverage and finish that a good brush can. There are two tools that should be a mainstay in every makeup caboodle: a regular eye shadow brush and a blending brush. The eye shadow brush is used for the color that you apply to the entire lid, and the blending brush is used for the darker color and to define the crease. It also does exactly what the name says and blends shadow together, so you’re not left with harsh lines on your lids.

-Margaret Francois

Some products to get the look:


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  • Alexandra

    I can relate to makeup making me look ashy. Nice tips.
    I’m still playing around with makeup, seeing what colors look nice on me and still ‘pop’.