Not Fair: 10 makeup tips for getting skin like Lupita

8 July 2014
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10 makeup tips for making dark skin glow

Whether you’re looking to emulate Lupita Nyong’o's  flawless skin, Chanel Iman’s sun-kissed glow or Beyoncé’s  healthy-looking complexion, Ayesha Muttucumaru asks makeup artist Ruby Hammer  for her expert tips for creating a radiant, luminous look.

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Prep: The best light moisturisers

Before your base of choice, prep skin with a moisturiser and primer specific to your skin type. It’ll help your foundation to apply more smoothly and last longer too.

“Choose a moisturiser that is more gel-based or is oil-free,” recommends Ruby. “I like  Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Gel Cream , £105 or  The Oil Absorbing Lotion , £165.”

I also like  Bioderma Sebium Mat Moisturising Mattifying Fluid , £11.50 for controlling sebum levels and shine. Its super light texture feels cool and refreshing on skin, making it a perfect alternative in the summer months.

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Base before base: The best primers

When it comes to a primer, choose one that’s right for your skin type. Although this look is about glowy, dewy skin, going for one that provides a radiant finish if you already have an oily skin type runs the risk of entering into disco ball territory.

Primers for oily skin

For a mattifying primer, Ruby rates  Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer , £29 and for tackling visible pores,  Benefit POREfessional , £24.50.

Primers for dry, normal and combination skin

Ruby recommends Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch , £26. Its lightweight texture and skin care benefits make it an all-round great makeup multitasker.

Ruby’s top makeup tip

“Allow a minute or two for your primer to sink in properly. Work it in and allow it to absorb fully. If you have been heavy-handed though, tissue blot on the nose and forehead. Aim for a thin uniform application by using a tiny amount sparingly, avoiding putting too much in one area compared to another.

“Alternatively, use a disposable wedge sponge if you can’t use your fingers to get the same level of control for a uniform finish.”

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Even out skin tone: The best foundations for radiant skin

The best foundation for targeted coverage

“There’s a lovely array of products that cater to dark skin now,” says Ruby. “The new Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick , £29 is excellent. Just dot it onto the areas that need it most. It gives you a bit of cover and control and when used sparingly, allows the skin to show through for a gorgeous effect.”

The best liquid foundations

“Bobbi Brown, MAC, Lancôme and Laura Mercier have an array of lovely bases. On the cheaper side of the scale, Sleek do too.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup  SPF15, £28 has 20 shades  in total and is best for those who have medium toned to medium deep skin tones.”

The best foundations for oily skin

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! , £26.50 in Amber, Hazelnut and Nutmeg is great because it’s light, oil-free and gives nice cover too.”

The best alternative to foundation

“If you’re lucky enough to have a great complexion, Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint in Ebony and Fonce , £34.50 is great – the texture is wonderful.”

My top foundation

I’m also a big fan of Smashbox Liquid Halo , £28 for dry to normal skin types. Its creamy yet light texture virtually melts into skin for a subtly illuminated and smooth finish that evens skin tone and disguises blemishes seamlessly.

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Cover up and mattify: The best concealers and powders

“You are going to need a concealer to hide spots, scars and dark circles to give that glowy, healthy look,” says Ruby. “I would recommend Lancôme Le Correcteur Pro , £29 which has a great shade range. The texture’s a bit lighter for summer and a bit more versatile too.”

The best powders

“Go for blot powders – something really sheer. I love RMS Beauty Un Powder , £28. It is a universally wonderful product – I use it from the palest to the darkest girl. It suits everybody.

“Just dot on to remove shine and set concealer. Don’t apply all over the face for this kind of look though.”

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Make cheeks pop: the best blushers for dark skin tones

YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush

“This range provides a velvet finish that’s not too greasy. Although it can be used for lips and cheeks, it’s best for cheeks if you have dark skin. I use No.11 (Prune Impertinente) , £27 which is great if you have particularly dark coloured skin.”

NARS Matte Multiples

“I use Laos or Siam , £30. If you dampen a brush or your finger and apply them, the colour comes out even stronger to create a real burst of colour - great for dark skin tones for even more maximum impact.”

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Good to glow: the best highlighters for dark skin tones

“This is the part where dark skins have to be particularly careful,” warns Ruby.

“The thing with dark skin tones is that you only need a small amount of highlighter, as these tones pick it up more and it can often look too strong.”

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base

“Burberry do two different highlighters in this range , £34 – apply just a smidge of No.2 Golden Radiance onto the brow bones, nose and a banana shape on the top of cheekbones.”

RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer

“Apply a small amount to the inner corner of eye, top of the cheek, a bit along the nose and a little along the top of the cupid’s bow. It melts into skin with a soft gloss, but doesn’t look too sheeny.” (£25, buy online at Being Content )

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Do dark skin tones need bronzer?

“I don’t think dark skin tones necessarily need a bronzer per se, as we have that sun-kissed effect already,” says Ruby. “However, the RMS Buriti Bronzer and Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base previously mentioned will give a bit of a glow on cheeks and provide a natural contour as they’ll catch light in that way to make them appear bronzed. It’s all about illumination. I also use Tom Ford Skin Illuminator , £46.

“If you have a lighter skin tone like Beyoncé though, bronzers are great. I’d recommend the  Guerlain Terracotta range  in particular as it includes both pale and dark colours.”

“Chanel Les Beiges is such a good product for providing a sheer finish. However, they’re only available in two darker shades in the US.” Here’s hoping they make their way over here soon!

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Eye spy: The best eyeliners and eyelash curlers for dark skin tones

“For this look, eyes need some definition but it’s not about shadow work,” advises Ruby.

“Curl lashes like mad and apply a fantastic mascara like  Clinique Lash Power Long-Wearing Formula Mascara , £18 on the upper lashes and a hint on the lower ones too."

The best eyelash curlers for a range of lash types

Shu Uemura , £20,  Shiseido , £18.50 and Charlotte Tilbury , £18 do great ones. I also use the plastic brown short handle ones from Laura Mercier , £11 which look less like an instrument of torture – it’s great for African lashes which can be criss-cross in places and allows you to get closer to the lash line.

“Cheap ones don’t work as well. It’s worth investing in a good pair that will last longer.”

The best eyeliner

“Apply Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner pencil in Pitch Black or in Chocolate Truffle , £18 if you have lighter skin, as close to lashes as you can. It’s all about creating definition without the heaviness.”

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Lip service: The best lipsticks for a natural finish

“It’s absolutely paramount that you make sure that you don’t have dry, scuzzy lips for this look,” advises Ruby. “You want to add a hint of softness to the look that’s not too dry and not too gleaming.”

“Try a pale coral pink Clinique Chubby Stick such as Mighty Mimosa , £17 or Clarins Lip Balm Crayon in Soft Coffee , £18 - both are genius for adding just a touch of colour.”

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The devil’s in the detail: eyebrows and edgy eyeshadows

“If you want to go a bit edgier, apply Aerin Rose Balm , £40 to lids and the top of cheekbones to catch the light. It’s colourless, lightweight and non-greasy which is great for adding a touch of transparency in a controlled way,” recommends Ruby.

Brow management

“Make sure with dark skin, that brows are beautifully groomed otherwise the look won’t look as perfectly polished and finished.”

I couldn’t recommend Blink  or Shavata Brow Studio  more for keeping wayward eyebrows at bay while still maintaining your natural shape.