Ask Danielle: Makeup for a MAC NC50 + Make Legs Look Longer

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The Style and Beauty Doctor reader Cassandra writes in asking:

“I LOVE this site. I was wondering if you could give me some color suggestions for a day and an evening look. I am a MAC NC50. Also, I keep hearing about matching your shoes to your skin color as it will make the leg appear longer. While I know this is true, could you also give some suggestions as to brands/stores/websites that have colors to match us darker ladies? Keep making us Queens natives proud!”


For those unsure of what a MAC NC50 (a shade of foundation) looks like, think of the skin tone of Gabrielle Union—chocolately brown with warm/golden undertones. Anytime you’re looking for colors for your makeup or wardrobe, you have to look at your own skin tone. Look at the shade, the intensity (bright or muted), undertone (warm/cool/neutral), and texture & pattern (smooth, freckles, acne, thick). Use those same properties when choosing colors for yourself.

Hey Cassandra!

For your beautiful chocolate NC50 skin, go for warm, vibrant colors. Darker skin tones have the pigment to carry brighter colors. So check out the following MAC Eyeshadows

Contrast (Night)
Deep Truth (Night)
Top Knot (Night)
Knight Devine (Night)
Nehru (Night)
Plumage (Night)
Beauty Marked (Night)
Humid (Night)

Parfait Amour (Night/Day)
Shadowy Lady (Night/Day)
Sketch (Night/Day)
Star Violet (Night)
All That Glitters (Day/Night)

Soft Brown (Day/Night–great for brow bone)
Dazzlelight (Day/Night–great for brow bone)

Brun (Day)
Concrete (Day)
Texture (Day)
Handwritten (Day)
Embark (Day)
Mulch (Day)
Twinks (Day)
Espresso (Day)
Bamboo (Day)

Depending on what industry you work in, you might be able to sneak some of the night time shadow colors into your day time routine.

NARS Crazed
NARS Dolce Vita
NARS Exhibit A
NARS Desire
NARS Taj Mahal

(many NARS Blushes are super-flattering on all skin tones–like their most popular shade Orgasm)

MAC Lipglass in Desire
MAC Lipglass in Pop Mode
MAC Cremesheen Glass in Looks Like Sin
MAC Lustreglass in Trance Plant
MAC Lustreglass in Decorative
MAC Lustreglass in Little Vi
MAC Lustreglass in Flashmode
MAC Lustreglass in Star Nova
MAC Lustreglass in Beaux
MAC Lustreglass in Love Nectar

And the dark skin girl’s lip pencil staples: MAC Lip Pencils in Chestnut and Nightmoth (BBQ, Plum, Mahogany, Vino, and Burgundy are also good ones for darker skin)

As for the shoes, what you heard is absolutely correct—nude colored shoes can help make your legs look miles long. Nude means any color close to your own skin tone. I’ve been on the search for a pair of brown pumps that matched my skin for the longest. I came close to a pair of Nine West peep-toe pumps, but then they made my feet hurt. Ugh.

You can also make your legs look miles long by wearing shoes with very thin straps and cut-outs–basically anything that shows as much of your “foot skin” as possible. Another trick to make legs look long in colder weather is to match your hose with your shoes. This works because it gives the appearance of a nice long vertical line which forces the eye to move up and down the leg. Avoid thick ankle straps because the horizontal line they form cuts off the length at the ankle (the eye stops at the ankle strap). and are two of the web’s biggest shoe retailers. They both offer an array of sizes and have search functions that allow you to search by color and heel height. Check out some of these shoes I found on and then search for your own by browsing by colors “beige” or “brown”. You can also shop by using the other leg-lengthening tips I mentioned above.


From left to right, starting at top: Dolce Vita ‘Madison’ Pump; Charles by Charles David ‘Saunter’ Pump; MAXSTUDIO ‘Zebra’ Pump; Pelle Moda ‘Jeri’ Slingback; MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Camden’ Sandal.

Hope this all helps!

If you have a style or beauty question, contact me. Your question could be featured on the site!

See also:
Everybody Get Nude
All About Eyes Part 1
All About Eyes Part 2
Blush 101

Did you know you can get your own icon on The Style and Beauty Doctor’s site by creating one on Don’t feel bad if you didn’t because I just found that out like a day ago…lol.

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.

13 Responses to Ask Danielle: Makeup for a MAC NC50 + Make Legs Look Longer

  1. Zenab says:

    Hehe, my friend recently commented that all the shoes and sandals in my closet are either black or tan/brown. I had to let her know the secret.

  2. Carla Samuel says:

    Danielle, why do i feel like you are like June Ambrose junior! Work it!!!

  3. Danielle says:

    From the Vault: Ask Danielle: Makeup for a MAC NC50 + Make Legs Look Longer

  4. Tammie says:

    Great post…your blog is chock full of information. Thanks for all you do to keep us updated and informed.

  5. Linda says:

    First let me say thank you for your enthusiastic attitude in sharing such vital information for our women of colour. I have used Mac’s make up for years I’ve tried different shades and I currently use nw 47 but lately feel I need a darker color. When I read that Gabriel Union wears nc50 boy was I surprised. I am much darker than she is which leads me to question recent consulations . Please explain the difference between nw studio 47 verses nc50. By the way I’m a 71 year old great grandmother but, I welcome being educated by my younger generation of women… I look forward to hearing back from you, at least before I purchase my next order. Once again thank you.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Linda!

      Thanks so much for stopping by :)

      NW47 and NC50 are two totally different shades. NC50 is lighter in color and more golden in undertone than NW47. If you feel you need a deeper color, get to a counter to get matched. I’m not familiar with the shade extension shades that came out a few years ago but perhaps there’s a new shade that will work for you—bear in mind that feeling you need a deeper shade may also mean a different undertone as well (I explained that here:

      If you’re willing to try something new, I suggest going to Sephora and getting matched to either BECCA or Cover FX who also have great shades for deeper skin tones.

      Hope this helps!!! :)

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