Quick Reminder: Don’t Forget Balance in Your Makeup Looks

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makeup looks on dark skin

Balance is SUPER important. SUPER. In fashion balance is something like wearing skinny jeans because you’re wearing a voluminous top. Or a close-fitting top with wide leg pants. With makeup there’s SO much involved (i.e. finding the right foundation for your skin tone and type, switching formulas and shades as the seasons change, perfecting a winged liner, figuring out highlighting and contouring, etc.) that sometimes balance isn’t considered. But don’t forget balance, ya’ll!

We all know the phrase too much of anything can’t be good (or however the phrase goes…lol) and that can be true with makeup. This is where balance comes in. Balance in makeup can be making sure there’s at least one glossy or shimmery or luminous texture in a mostly-matte look. So say you’re doing matte foundation, matte lip, and matte shadows, you can create balance with a luminous or shimmery blush or cheek highlighter. Or if you’re doing a look with a dewy or luminous finish foundation, use mattes in other parts of your face (blush, lip color, eyeshadows, etc.).

Balance in makeup can also be achieved through color and/or intensity. So for instance, if I’m wearing a nude look—meaning colors that are pretty close in shade to my skin tone—on both my lips and eyes, I’ll go a little extra with the blush so I’m not washed out. Or if I do a dramatic eye, I might opt for a nude lip (and of course blush). Or if I do a dramatic eye AND dramatic lip, I’ll go easy with the blush.

This isn’t a steadfast rule—so I’m not saying every time you wear a dewy foundation you HAVE to wear a matte lip, I’m saying to keep balance in mind as it can take your makeup looks (and pictures) to the next level. Understand what certain colors and textures do (lighter colors and shimmery finishes can make items look more apparent while dark colors and matte finishes can make something look flat or recede and then obviously you draw attention with brighter colors). It’s something you’ll notice when you step back from the mirror a bit or look back at pictures. You’ll see that having too much of the same texture can take away from your look: too many dewy/luminous finishes can translate as “greasy” in pictures and sometimes in person; too many matte finishes can translate as “doing too much” or “casket sharp” and can even make you appear older than you are.

spring makeup for dark skin black women
I’m wearing a pop of color on both my eyes and lips here. The eye color and lip color are analogous colors (read about that here) so they are in harmony with each other or not competing with each other. My color textures are mostly matte but I added balance with the glossy lip. Deets on products used for this look can be found here.

nude lip makeup look cheek highlight dark skin
Because “nude” and some lighter lip colors can make us look washed out (yep, even those of us with darker complexions), balance it out with color—I tend to make sure my blush is popping when I wear a nude or lighter pinky color, but you can also wear the color on your eyes. See more blush swatches on dark skin here and here. This was a still from a makeup video that is up on my YouTube channel.

magnolia makeup glitter in dark rainbow echelon loose wavy hair
Another video screenshot…lol. Hey, I can get better “makeup pics” from these screenshots than I can if I take selfies. But this is another example of upping the blush to balance a nude lip color.

As always, practice makes perfect! Your skills won’t automatically come overnight (I wrote about that here). I’m always looking for new or better ways to do things and will even spend money on learning. Even the most talented makeup artists out there take continuing education classes—be a sponge to the beauty knowledge ;)

Make sure you check out my YouTube channel—most of the pics in this post are video stills from tutorials—you can find out how to get the look and what products were used there.

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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, Allure.com, 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.

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