7 Hot Holiday Makeup Looks for Women of Color

You want festive and flawless makeup for the holidays.  But women of color often have trouble finding the perfect match for our wide variety of skin tones (some shades leave us looking unnaturally gray or orange).

So I asked several pros for holiday makeup tips you can easily recreate at home:

1. Working Day and Night

Kathy Cabral, a freelance makeup artist for Youngblood, says by using your favorite brands your daytime makeup can easily transition to a glam girl look for night. 

For day, one or two coats of mascara will suffice. A neutral shade of eye shadow and a very light application of eyeliner will finish the look nicely. For light-skinned women of color, peach, taupe, and subtle shades work well for eye shadows. For medium-brown women, mauve, brown, and gray are good choices. For dark-skinned women, deeper colors like rich violet, chocolate, and navy look best. Eyeliner should be applied to the upper lids and, if desired, very lightly to the lower lids. 

For nighttime, the colors can be applied heavier and deeper. Add another coat of mascara and use an eyelash curler to make your eyes pop.

2. Beat Those Brows
To bring attention to your eyes, Cabral says it’s important to fill-in and define your brows.  She uses the Brow Artiste brow kit by Youngblood, which makes brows look natural instead of harsh or drawn in.  The method can also be used with any other dark shadow that works best with your skin tone. 
3. The Smokey Eye 2.0
The smokey eye is always in fashion. To spice up the look for the holidays, Heidi Evora-Santiago, founder of Damali NYC Professional Beauty Services, offers the following tips:

a. Start out by applying a medium color on the lid of your eye (if touching your eye with your finger the area would be the part of lid that covers the actual eyeball).
For darker skin tones try a color like Bobbi Brown Sparkle eye shadow in black or if you want something a little softer try Bobbi Brown Sparkle eye shadow in black velvet, a pretty mauve shade with a shimmer to it. 

b. Line eyes with a black kohl pencil. Use a brush to smudge the eyeliner so you don’t see a pronounced line; the liner should blend into your eye shadow color. 

c. To add shimmer to your look, apply a glitter liner like Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Spandex or Midnight Cowboy

4. Build the Right Foundation

Joy Fennell of Makeup by Joy says selecting the right foundation is the key to a flawless makeup look.  Because this can be challenging for women of color, Fennell says to ask an expert.  Visit your local department store or the M.A.C. store to get matched for a foundation.  If you’re on a budget, stick with a reliable drugstore brand like Maybelline. She recommends Maybelline’s Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Liquid Foundation

5. Lash Out
Lashes add drama to any festive look. Fennell’s picks are Mattese Elite Lashes or Ardell Accent Lashes in individual lashes or strips. For more flamboyant lashes try Red Cherry or Make Up For Ever brands. Applying lashes aren’t easy for a beginner, but Fennell says practice makes perfect. Just add a small amount of glue to the band of the lashes and apply as close to your lash line as possible. Add one to two coats of mascara and you’re ready to party.

6. Get a Cheeky Glow

To get an instant glow, Evora-Santiago says to brush a powdered shimmer across your cheek bone.  For medium to dark skin tones try Bobbi Brown Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick Compact. But the celebrity makeup artist who has worked with actress Eva Longoria and singer Estelle warns not to overdo it. For example, if you’re wearing shimmer on the lips, then wear something matte on the eyes and vice versa.

7. Paint the Town…and Your Lips Red

A red lip makes a bold statement. Evora-Santiago is a fan of Nars lipsticks in black cherry red Terre de Feu for dark skin tones and the bright red Vesuvio for lighter skin tones.  Apply lipstick first and use a pencil liner afterward to sharpen and define the outline of the lip. She advises to keep lips moisturized by applying a lip balm underneath any matte lipstick.

This is an article I wrote that originally appeared on Betty Confidential.