If you have a dark olive, bronze, rich beige or black complexions then you have dark skin tone. Colors such as red violet/fuchsia, deep black, burgundy and lavender with red undertones are most suitable for dark skin tones.

When I was training with MAC Cosmetics back in the USA, there was a sister (as African-Americans affectionately call each other) who reminded me of Alek Wek – a darker variation. She had this beautiful glowing complexion that radiated every time I encountered her. Her makeup was always impeccably applied – even daring the red colour.

I remember one Valentine, she had her face well made with hints of red on her eyes, lips and cheeks. I know I know… twas too much red but the variations in the shades brought out the most gorgeous face I had seen. I must admit, I had to inquire and she was very open about her ‘magic’.

And while there is the perfect red hued makeup that fits the dark skin tones, the ‘magic’ lies in its application.

When it comes to:


Red and burgundy are the best blush colors for dark skin. These blushes match well with natural flushed color of dark skin. Avoid browns for blush. If you have very dark skin then you should try shades of bronze, plum and wine for the night and ensure you apply along your cheekbone line.

Eye Makeup

For dark skin tone, dark purple and dark metallic colors look good with silver on the eye to make it stand out. Remember to compliment your eye shadow with your skin, hence choose from burgundy and plum colors for the eye shadow.

Red Lips

Most dark-skinned women are suited with deeper shades of lipstick and it’s advisable not to go two shades darker than your skin tone. Most dark skin tones can wear shades from fire engine red to tones bordering ruby and plum such as:

Deep red: Red wine colors will look great on you and give you a bold classic look which you can wear in the day or at night.

Plum: This is a deep purple which works great with dark skin. You can use a deep purple as long as lip liner is darker than the lipstick. For example a purple lip liner and red lipstick.

If you want the red color to be striking, you can choose a lip color that is towards fuchsia color and to achieve a rusty lip color, you can mix brown and a deep red color and this will compliment a dark skin tone.

Try this look for our Alek Wek toned sisters and let me know the overall look.


4 Comments to “Red Hued Makeup: Dark Skin Tones”

  • Hi,

    This is very useful information. However wat about those of us with lighter skin? Red look very horrible on me ( i have tried and lets say i will only step out looking like that on halloween night). Wat colours would you adivce on a lighter african skin?

    • Hi there! Lighter skin with a more yellow/orange undertone looks great in earth tone shades – golds, bronzes, oranges. Try that and let us know! We have some great shades in our range if you’d like to try too – call 0736.789.432 for more info!
      The SuzieBeauty Team

  • what type of foundation did she use. im probably her color but have acne marks and I want to hide them

  • Very interesting article, I love that part where you said “the ‘magic’ lies in its application”.
    I recently wrote a blog post on How To Apply Makeup For Dark Skin Tones It’s a really simple 10 step makeup formular for beginners.

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