I swear I’m not nosy. I won’t read your texts, open your fridge or ask who’s on the guest list. But I will, however, ask you what lipstick you’re wearing or why your hair is so smooth. But that’s not me being nosy. It’s just my obsession with ‘all-things beauty’ rearing its gorgeously shiny head of hair. So, if you’re just as curious, play along with me. Let’s find out what’s in some of our follower’s makeup bags and on their bathroom counters as these gorgeous and fabulous women of color share their favorite makeup and skincare finds.
I use Lily Sado Green Tea and Vitamin C Moisturizer and the Lily Sado Coconut Milk and Manuka Honey Cleanser from a natural skincare line that I absolutely adore. Both products contain lots of natural ingredients like green tea and matcha which both hydrate and protect from sun damage. They have an assortment of moisturizing facial masks as well. (This is a vegan line.)
My go-to is always MAC foundation. I am loving the new Studio Fix Tech Cream to Powder Foundation line which offers a ton of shades for women of color. It is a cream to powder foundation that has great coverage with a light feel. A little goes a long way. I also love that it can be used as a concealer, so you don’t need another product.
MAC also has a great selection of blushes. The Glow Play Blush is a nice crème blush that is soft and natural. There are tons of shades to choose from, but I like ‘Rosy Does It’ because it gives your cheeks a soft hint of color. And it’s also buildable, so you can use more of it for a more dramatic look.
MAC’s Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer and Setting Spray with green tea and cucumber is also great. This formula keeps the skin refreshed and sets your makeup. It also has a hint of gold shimmer which looks so amazing on dark skin.
I wear lipstick all the time – even on a bare face without any other makeup. I keep lipstick in every purse and pocket! My go-to lipsticks are none other than Revlon Super Lustrous in Rum Raisin and Revlon Color Stay Satin Ink Liquid in Silky Sienna. Love that I can find it in any drugstore. They have such a great assortment of colors for my skin tone as well.
Garnier Fructis Whole Blends Line for curly hair (shampoo and conditioner) is a favorite. The Fortifying Triple Nutrition Curl Nourish Treatment is my go-to for taming my curly tresses. The Shea Moisture Line is also a favorite. I like the leave-in conditioning products as they really protect my natural hair. It’s ideal for wash-and-go styles. I use the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner.
Using clean products is a priority, but sometimes you just want something that shows results right away. My two favorite ‘non-clean’ products are Dior Addict Lip Maximizer in Rosewood and Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. The lip maximizer’s primary focus is to plump, but I like it because it keeps my lips hydrated. It seems to eat away at the dry skin (I know…ewwww). CE Ferulic improves the texture of my skin, making it smoother. It also balances my skin tone.
For make up, I use DIOR FOREVER 24h* Wear High Perfection Matte Foundation in light neutral. It provides enough coverage without it looking heavy. I’ve heard good things about the new KVD Good Apple Full Coverage Foundation and so that’s next on my list. For lip colors, I tend to wear neutrals that don’t smear on my mask.
Having olive skin that freckles easily can be a challenge. And my hyperpigmentation issues really escalated after having my daughter a few years ago. These days I’m obsessed with using clean makeup and skincare products that work. Here are some of my favorites.
Andalou Naturals makes the absolute best mask ever – the Pumpkin Honey, Glycolic Mask for Brightening. Oooohhhhhh, I love this mask. I leave it on for about 20 minutes and after cleansing, my skin is visibly and gorgeously brighter. And at $16, it’s such an amazing value.
Vitamin C Serum is a must for women prone to melasma. Beauty Counter makes a great one – Counter+ All Bright C Serum. It’s been a game-changer for me.
Because I have a tendency to freckle, I’m diligent about daily sunscreen. Currently, I’m loving BeautyCounter CounterSun Daily Sheer Defense for Face SPF 25. A little goes a long way and your sunscreen should always be separate from your foundation, not built in. Light, not greasy, it’s the perfect formula. And trust me, I’ve tried a lot of daily sunscreens.
My love of BeautyCounter products continues! The Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation (I wear shade Medium 350) is super lightweight, buildable and blends with your natural skin tone.
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer (shade 34S Medium Sand) This is my FAVORITE! It’s smooth, creamy, and doesn’t dry, cake or crack like other concealers. Truly obsessed with this stuff!
I’m always asked what shade of lipstick I’m wearing. No surprise, but it’s another BeautyCounter fave – Color Intense Lipstick in shade 9 to 5 Luminous Mauve. It’s the best and continues to be my go-to. The shade is so versatile and can easily be mixed with other colors. It really does look good on so many people.
My hair is dry and has thinned a bit. So, I like products that hydrate, protect and boost hair growth. Bondi Boost products (Hair Growth Shampoo, Hair Growth Conditioner and Boost Hair Growth Serum) are great and are also vegan, without sulfates or parabens.
My Simple Approach
As a fair complected African American woman with sensitive and oily skin, it’s been challenging over the years to find the right skincare regimen with a barely-there, more natural makeup look. In my younger days, I was a faithful MAC user for makeup, and my skincare routine was simple and consisted of drugstore finds. MAC provided a variety of lip palettes, loose powders, and eye tints but sadly my reason for using it was all about it being the hottest new product on the market.
As I’ve matured and become more environmentally conscientious, my approach to skincare and makeup has vastly changed. Today, I’m more concerned with ingredients, ethical business practices, and sustainability, as well as aging/dry skin, loss of elasticity and blotchiness.
Makeup and Skincare
For this reason, my skincare routine continues to be simple but thoughtful. I use Olay Micropolishing Cleansing Infusion or e.l.f. Bounce Back Jelly Cleanser to wash my face; these cleanse without stripping or leaving my skin dry. I seal my cleansed face with Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Face Moisturizer and L’Oréal Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Ampoules. These products provide moisture, plumping, and lifting, leaving my skin with an overall glow.
bareMinerals is now my go-to for most make-up items. I use the original foundation. It’s easy to apply, with no neck lines and is very lightweight. I wear bareMinerals BarePRO™ 24 hour Longwear Liquid Foundation with Mineral SPF 20 in the shade Natural 11. Metallic lip lacquers come in a variety of colors, which is great since we all have a different undertone. They are long-lasting, non-sticky and include moisturizer. My favorite is their Gen Nude Buttercream lip gloss.
These are just a few extra favorites from beautiful women of color that we were unable to get pictures from but still wanted to share!
- Biossance Squalene Elderberry Jelly Cleanser – This is a great foaming gel cleanser that removes all make-up really easily, yet doesn’t leave your face dry or tight. Ultimately, it just feels more balanced.
- Biossance Squalene Hydronic Toning Mist – It’s a very fine, refreshing, light mist that adds extra moisture to the skin and gives it a nice dewy glow.
- Biossance Squalene Peptide Eye Gel – It’s light, not heavy, so it works for lids as well. No creasing when you apply primer and foundation.
- Biossance Omega Repair Cream – This product has essential Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and leaves skin plump and hydrated.
- Sunday Riley Good Genes has lactic acid and is great for pigmentation issues. You only need 1 or 2 pumps because it’s very powerful.
- Lipstick and gloss from Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in Flesh 3 are great for women of color. As is Smashbox Halo Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum in Tan Dark.
A big thank you to these beauties for sharing their secrets! Feel free to share some of your own in the comments section below. (You never know…we may feature you someday!)
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