by Priya Mukhopadhyay – Stony Brook University
Gone are the days when being beautiful and being fair went hand in hand. With shows like Jersey Shore as evidence, today people are investing hundreds of dollars a month purchasing self-tanners and going to tanning booths to make themselves sunkissed and toasty brown. Lucky for many of us South Asian ladies, we came out of the womb toasty and brown. Many of us get criticized for being ‘dark’ among the rest of our siblings and within the South Asian community but its about time we turn this so called ‘flaw’ into a prized feature that we can wear proudly and naturally. With a few tips, tricks, and rules, makeup can help enhance our skin color whether we are fair, medium, or dark.
Skin: The number one rule for foundation is to keep it looking as natural as possible. No one wants to look caked. Sadly, for those of us who are darker, looking ashy and overdone because of the wrong foundation color is a major problem. It is a really good idea to have a professional match your foundation color for you. A liquid foundation and powder should be all you need for a flawless finish. Remember, a little goes a long way! Apply the liquid foundation as if it’s a concealer and use the powder all over for an even finish. Complete the look with a sheer golden highlighter/bronzer on the apples of your cheek, your chin, your nose, and forehead, these are the spots that the sun naturally hits your face and gives you a warm glow.
(What I use: M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid foundation in NC44, M.A.C. Mineralize Foundation in Medium Dark, Colorworks Faceglow Stick in Crystal Glow)
Eyes: The eyes are the window to the soul so make sure you play them up as much as you can! You want to make them stand out, not blend in. Colors like purple, green, and gold look great on most South Asian skin tones and go especially well with dark eyes. Black eyeliner on the waterline, smoky eyes, and black mascara give you that smoldering, piercing look and always look good when you’re going lighter on the rest of the face. Applying a shimmery white or gold shadow to the inner corners of your eyes gives them that extra oomph.
(What I use: Maybelline the Falsies Mascara in Brownish Black, Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Chubby Eye Stick in Glampagne, Beauty Rush Luminous Eyeshadow in Petal to the Metal, Styli-Style Flat Eyeliner Pencil in Black, Wet and Wild Liquid Eyeliner in Black)
Cheeks: Think natural! A warm peach or coral color lightly applied to the apples will give you a warm beachy look regardless of your skin color.
(What I use: Ultima II Blush Stick in Spice)
Lips: Nude lips are in this season! Once again, this can be dangerous on darker girls and can come off as being too harsh or garish. Make sure you find a warm nude with more brownish tones than pink ones. Apply a lip balm to prevent against the chapped lip look and then apply the lip color with your fingers. This warms up the color and ensures a more even and natural coverage. If you’re using a matte color, apply a nude or clear lip gloss on top to add a little bit of shine.
(What I use: Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in Honey, M.A.C. Matte Lipstick in Honey-Love)
Keep these easy tips in mind when you are getting ready to go out. Your natural beauty along with a little makeup can serve as the perfect confidence boost that will let you embrace your skin and yourself. It’s time to stop hiding behind makeup and trying to look like something we are not. Instead, let’s all take what we have and flaunt it. And be happy and proud knowing that tanning salons aren’t making a profit out of us South Asian ladies.
Photos courtesy of the author