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african american - makeup

Bridal Beauty: Makeup for the African-American Bride

Wondering which shades work best on African-American skin? Read on!

Photo: Frank Panaro

We got the scoop on the best colors for African-American skin tones and how to properly deal with common problems so you can be wedding-day gorgeous.

Finding Foundation

In general, foundation that has yellow undertones is the most flattering, but if you have very dark skin, a foundation with a slight blue cast works best. If you have medium-toned skin, choose a foundation with a red-yellow hue. And if you have light skin, look for a soft golden shade.

Pick Three

There may be variances in undertone on different parts of your face so it's a good idea to have three foundation shades -- light, medium, and dark -- on hand to allow for the different gradations of color. Many African-American women are darker across the brow and chin, and slightly lighter on the cheeks. Use the light foundation as your under-eye concealer and to lighten a dark forehead or chin area. Use the medium foundation as your all-over color to correct spots of varied pigmentation. Use the dark foundation to even out the lightest areas of your face. You can also experiment with a bronzing stick to bring down the lighter tones of your face.

Getting Cheeky

The key with blush is to avoid anything that looks ashy or pale on your skin. Lighter skin tones look pretty and most natural in dark bronzers, though apricot, rose, and soft pink also work well. Medium to dark skin tones look best with deep blush hues like dark rose, currant, and plum.

Makeup, then Kiss

In general, the darker your skin tone, the darker you can go with your lip color. Burgundy and blackberry are beautiful on dark skin. Women with medium skin tones look pretty in currant or red, and those with light skin look best in low-voltage neutrals and glosses. If your bottom lip is paler than your top lip, you can even them out by applying a sheer, dark lipstick to your lower lip as a base, then sweeping the same lipstick over both lips.

If you want to have very full lips lips that don't require too much enhancement, avoid bright, attention-getting colors and stick to quiet, flattering shades instead, like caramel and soft brown. Perfect for kissing the groom!

-- Hollee Actman Becker

See More: African-American Weddings , Bridal Beauty Secrets