There’s been a lot of talk lately about how cinema and TV have often failed to light black skin correctly. But much of the talk is about how people finally seem to be getting it right, thanks to directors and cinematographers taking the time to learn how to do it. And some of them even have tips for improving selfies, like Insecure’s cinematographer Ava Berkofsky, who says that if you’re in a dark place, you should turn three-quarters of the way toward a soft light source to snap the best selfie. However, that’s when you’re captured on screen – what if you want to make sure your skin is “well lit” and glowing in real life too? Getting your skin glowing, no matter its shade, is all about taking care of it and using the right products.
Start with Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Before getting into using various products, it’s often the natural ways of getting glowing skin that people want to hear. Even though having a good skincare routine is useful, it’s also good to keep yourself healthy. Healthy skin starts with looking after your body, which means avoiding bad habits and maintaining good ones. You could damage your skin by smoking, not getting enough sleep, eating a poor diet, or even not exercising enough. A healthy diet helps you get all the nutrients you need, and good circulation from exercising (and avoiding smoking) helps to deliver those nutrients to your skin. Sleep gives your skin time to heal and keeps it hydrated too. A healthy lifestyle gives you healthy skin, so always start with your daily habits.
Keep Your Skin Clean and Hydrated
If you don’t already have a skincare routine designed to keep your skin clean and healthy, you need to create one. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time, and just a few minutes a day can make all the difference. You can read about my own skincare routine, which I’ve had since I was a teenager, if you want some inspiration on where to start. Three of the most important things to remember are to wash, exfoliate, and moisturize. Washing gets rid of dirt and oil, exfoliating helps to remove dead skin and impurities, and moisturizing keeps your skin hydrated. So even if you’re not wearing makeup, you’ll look like you’re glowing. It’s important to know your skin type so you can pick products that work for you.
Be Gentle with Your Skin
Even when you’re carrying out your skincare routine, it’s important to be gentle. If you’re too rough with your skin, you could end up damaging it. Don’t rub too hard when you’re washing or moisturizing, and try to avoid exfoliating too much. While you want to get rid of dead skin, you should avoid irritating your skin with excessive exfoliation. It’s also a good idea to avoid roughly drying your skin using a towel. Pat it dry instead, or even just let it air dry if it’s not too cold.
Choose Products from Black-owned Cosmetics
Finding makeup products that match your skin tone can be hard. Although major brands are starting to make a greater range of darker colors, it can still be difficult to find what you’re looking for. One of the best things to do is look for brands that are owned by black people and people of color. Choose one of them, and you’ll not only be more likely to find products to suit your skin, but you’ll also be supporting black entrepreneurs. I compiled a list of up and coming brands to watch out for this year, so take a look at my post The Full Spectrum: Black-Owned Cosmetic Lines You Should Know About.
Find Your Color Palette
Even if you’ve got a great range of products for dark skin to choose from, you still need to find the ones that work for you. One of the best ways to do this is to discover your color palette. Everyone has at least a slightly different shade of skin to the next person, so you can’t simply assume that any colors will work for you. You might look smoking in hot pink, or it could be too much for you. If you’re not sure how to find the colors that work for you, you can take an online quiz, or you could talk to a makeup artist, who can give you advice.
Find the Right Foundation, Concealer and Highlighter Colors
Arguably three of the most important products you need to make your skin glow are your foundation, concealer, and highlighter. Your foundation helps to even out your skin tone, while you can use concealer for blemishes, as well as for shaping and highlighting. Highlighters are ideal for adding a glow to your skin and particularly to certain areas of your face, like your cheeks and brow. For all these products, you need to find the right shade for you and consider other elements of the product too. You can explore different colors, like the Becca highlighter swatches, and try them out to discover which one suits you best. It’s also important to take into account whether the product is liquid, powder, or even a stick, and how it feels on your skin.
Explore Shimmer Sprays and Body Oils
If you want your skin to glow, it’s not all about your face. The rest of your body should get a chance to look great too. While you might not want a shiny face, you might not mind as much if your body has a bit of a glow. Shimmer sprays can be a great way to give your skin some sparkle, and they’re also very moisturizing. They’re especially good for summer when you want that summertime glow. Body oils can also be fantastic for moisturizing, and they’ll give you a golden gleam that will have people turning their heads. However, be careful with these products. You want a gentle glow, not a look like you’ve taken an oil bath.
Know How to Apply Products
As well as having the best products for your skin, you also need to know how to use them. To make the best use of them, you should explore different areas to use them and the best tool to use for application. Is it best applied with a brush, a sponge, or even your fingers? Can you only use it on your face or is it great on your neck, arms, legs or other places too? Sometimes, the best way to learn how to apply a product is to watch someone else do it. That could be by having a makeup artist do it for you at the store, or just by watching someone on Youtube. You can also just experiment with the products you have just to see what you can do.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Don’t forget that your skin still needs sun protection. You might not be as at risk of sunburn or skin cancer as people with lighter skin, but your skin can still be damaged by the sun. Aside from the medical problems, the sun can also cause your skin to age faster. If it’s not a particularly sunny day, you might be able to wear makeup with sun protection included in it. However, it’s best to wear a proper sunscreen when the sun is out. You can get light products that you can wear under your makeup.
Black skin is beautiful and deserves to glow, so find the methods that work for your skin to get the look you want.