Best Makeup for Black Women in 2019

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Top Rated Makeup Brands for Dark Skin in 2019

The cosmetics industry has long favored only a select few segments of its ever-growing customer base over all the others. In particular, it has always geared the design of most makeup products towards customers with lighter skin color and tones. As a result, the cosmetic needs of Black women have remained largely unanswered by the prevailing majority of cosmetics brands. With the help of this guide, you will discover what makeup brands take the cosmetic needs of Black women seriously.

Looking for Makeup that Works, Black Women Waste More Money

It has been estimated that African-American women spend well over $7 billion a year on various beauty and makeup products. As such, African-American women represent a significant share of the market for cosmetics products.

At the same time, African-American women expend almost twice more money on cosmetics than other customers within the given market. This indicates that African-American women are perhaps the most dissatisfied customers out of the entire makeup products market.

Why is it much harder for Black women to come across the makeup products that they can be content with? Because the cosmetics industry as such doesn’t seem to take into consideration two key cosmetic needs that African-American women experience.

Top 5 Makeup Brands for Dark Skin

Black Opal **TOP PICK**5 out of 5 stars
Lancôme4.9 out of 5 stars
Iman Cosmetics4.8 out of 5 stars
MAC Cosmetics4.7 out of 5 stars
Black Up4.6 out of 5 stars

The Cosmetic Needs Black Women Experience Are Special

African-American women experience two key cosmetic needs that are different and that the cosmetics industry needs to be aware of. In particular, African-American women:

  • Have unique skin complexion The unique skin texture and skin color that Black women share make their cosmetic needs special. Most makeup products available on the market today, though, do not seem to account for these unique needs. Often, these makeup products don’t harmonize well with the unique skin complexion that Black women share.
  • May suffer from melanin hyperpigmentation This common condition causes some areas of the skin to look darker in color than the surrounding skin. As a result, the person who suffers from this condition has to rely on very precise shades of makeup products. Sadly, not every makeup brand today can boast of offering such a diverse range of shades.

Because of these two factors, Black women are often compelled to use the makeup products they do not find satisfying. For instance, many African-American women routinely find it difficult to:

  • Manipulate skin tone Without the right shades, it’s hard to lighten the skin to the extent that the result looks pleasing.
  • Change lip color Most lipsticks do not account for Black women’s skin complexion.

These are just a couple of common cosmetic issues that the majority of cosmetics brands can’t resolve for African-American women. Are there any makeup brands out there that can? Let’s find out below.

Top Brands that Meet the Cosmetic Needs of Black Women

Despite African-American women being a significant consumer of makeup products, most makeup brands continue to ignore their special cosmetic needs. Luckily, though, there are cosmetics brands that do pay proper attention to the unique cosmetic needs that African-American women experience.

The following cosmetics brands seem to be most in tune with what African-American women expect from makeup products:

Black Opal *Best Makeup for Black Women*

In 1994, this brand was the first one to address the cosmetic needs of Black women on a mass scale. As such, it launched a mass market, technologically-advanced, and doctor-recommended line of makeup products for women with darker colored skin. Now present in more than 30 countries worldwide, it presents Black women with an impressively rich selection of makeup products. From foundation and highlighter to concealer and lipstick, Black women can finally get the makeup they want with Black Opal.


Part of the L’Oréal Luxury Products division, Lancôme is a French luxury cosmetics brand that distributes its makeup products worldwide. The company is perhaps best known for its patented line of mascaras, which can be of interest to African-American women. In particular,  Lancôme’s line of mascaras claims to be able to improve skin texture qualities, such as uneven skin tone. As such, the company’s makeup products can prove to be especially valuable to Black women who suffer from melanin hyperpigmentation.

Iman Cosmetics

Started in 1994 by a Somali born fashion model, Iman Cosmetics strives to meet the cosmetic needs of Black women. After her long modeling career, Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid, better known as Iman, decided to start her own brand of cosmetics. As a result, the company’s products rely on years of Iman’s personal experience in mixing her own formulas of makeup. Offering a myriad of shades, Iman Cosmetics has the cosmetic needs of Black women at the core of its products.

MAC Cosmetics

Standing for “Make-up Art Cosmetics”, MAC Cosmetics was the first cosmetics company to address the issue of ethnicity in makeup. As early as 1984, the company has made the cosmetic needs of women of darker skin color its main priority. The company’s makeup products are well-known for rich colors that cater to every skin tone, especially to darker skin tones. Embraced by such Black celebrities as Naomi Campbell and Janet Jackson, MAC Cosmetics is now a top global makeup brand.

Black Up

Started in Paris in 1999, Black Up focuses on the cosmetic needs of women with Black, dark, and mixed-race skin. Its Complexion line of products offers a wide range of shades with special attention to tan and dark skin tones. The company also has a nice selection of makeup products for eyes and lips in various palettes of rich colors. Through its range of products, Black Up merges the taste of French cosmetics with the makeup needs of Black women.

 Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Inspired by the Ebony Fashion Fair, the company aims to address the cosmetic needs of Black women ever since 1973. As such, it strives to root its makeup products deeply in the African-American experience, offering a wide range of shades. Across the company’s products, Black women can find everything from foundations and concealers to makeup products for eyes and lips. Besides makeup, the company offers skin and hair care products and fragrance, with Black women’s needs in mind as well.

NARS Cosmetics

Now a subsidiary of Shiseido, NARS Cosmetics is originally a French company founded by make-up artist François Nars in 1994. Within its vast assortment of makeup and beauty products, the brand offers palettes of many various rich colors and shades. Without a doubt, many of these tasteful colors and shades will be suitable for the cosmetic needs of African-American women. On top of makeup for face, cheeks, eyes, and lips, NARS Cosmetics offers lines of multi-use and skin care products.

 Make Up For Ever

Founded in 1984 by make-up artist Dany Sanz and now owned by LVMH, the company is a French cosmetics brand. Thanks to its founder’s talent, the company can boast of the unique selection of colors and shades its products have. As a result, Black women are almost sure to find the makeup they want within the assortment the company offers. Along with its diverse range of makeup products for face, eyes, and lips, the company also has an educative website.

 BECCA Cosmetics

Born in Australia and acquired by Estée Lauder Companies in 2016, BECCA Cosmetics sees commitment to Inclusivity as its mission. As such, it strives to make its products diverse and suitable for people with any color and tone of skin. As a result, its makeup products for face, cheeks, lips, and eyes present you with diverse palettes of rich colors. From the lightest to the deepest skin tones, chances are BECCA Cosmetics has the exact makeup shade that you want.

Cover FX

Keeping its makeup products vegan and cruelty-free, Cover FX strives to cater to the diverse cosmetic needs of all ethnicities. As such, it specializes in foundation as its key makeup product and offers over 40 inclusive shades to choose from. The company declares as its key mission its desire to give every woman a chance to find her perfect match. Besides foundation as its specialty makeup product, the company also offers many other makeup products for face, eyes, and skin.

Urban Decay

Founded in 1996 and a subsidiary of L’Oréal, Urban Decay is an American makeup brand with a worldwide customer reach. The company has become well-known for its bestselling original Naked collection, consisting of a unique range of velvety eyeshadow palettes. Through the diverse range of daring shades that the company offers, Black women can express themselves in an original way. Along with its well-known eyeshadow collection, the company has many other makeup products for eyes, face, and lips to offer.

As you can see, not all cosmetics brands choose to stay ignorant of the unique cosmetic needs Black women have. In fact, the above makeup brands provide examples of how the cosmetics industry is becoming more inclusive of these needs. As such, the above brands deserve a lot of credit. And can be prime destinations in search for the best makeup for Black women.

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