5 Common Beauty Mistakes Black Women Make

If you are a wearer of makeup then it’s inevitable that a beauty mistake is bound to pop up from time to time, even if you are a seasoned beauty guru. However, just because a few mistakes happen doesn’t mean that they have to be accepted.

No matter how big or small the task, practice is key to perfecting your makeup application, regardless of what look you are going for. Here are some common beauty mistakes that black women make and ways to put your best face forward. After all it’s the first thing people see, so why not make first appearances count?

The Wrong Shade

Foundation is the basis of all makeup application and lays the groundwork for your overall look. Another key benefit of foundation is that it smoothes out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for flawless, even coverage. When your foundation is too light or too dark, to heavy or not blended in well, things can look a bit messy, making you appear washed out.

Not only is finding the best hue for your skin important, but undertones of warm or cool shades must also be taken into account to avoid a look which appears artificial. Choose a shade that best fits your complexion, whether it’s in loose powder, pressed powder or liquid form. Swipe a sample against your jaw line, like MAC’s Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. If it disappears, then you’ve got a match!

Not Wearing Any Makeup At All

In an industry which caters predominantly to Eurocentric beauty standards, many black women are left feeling left out in the cold, ultimately nixing makeup all together. They worry that a coveted brand won’t carry their shade or that they will appear as though they are wearing too much makeup. However, many brands such as Clinique, L’Oreal and Bobbi Brown do offer some of the widest selections of shades available for every complexion.

According to makeup artist Sam Fine, “ The biggest beauty mistake is not understanding how to enhance your beauty.” You don’t have to have a suitcase full of makeup to look great. All it takes is a simple swipe of the right pressed powder or foundation, Such as Clinique’s Superpowder Face Makeup, a concealer such as Bobbi Brown Corrector and your favorite sheer gloss, and you’re set to go.

Black Eyebrows

If there’s anything that will ruin a perfectly good look, it’s eyebrows that have been treated with a heavy hand, whether tweezed to oblivion or penciled in aggressively.
With overly tweezed eyebrows, at least you can always fill them in until they grow back. Filling them in with the wrong color, on the other hand, will make you look harsh, so proceed with caution.

You may have noticed that eyebrow pencils and powder shades never come in black, even though there are people with naturally black hair, which is for good reason. Black as an eyeliner works great but black on the eyebrows looks very harsh. Opt instead for a dark brown color, such as Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil in “rich brunette,” if you have dark eyebrows. This will give you a softer and more natural looking finish.

Using Harsh Shampoo

Whether your hair is naturally straight, wavy, kinky or coily, one should always steer clear of harsh sulfate-laden shampoo, even if it does smell like the heavens have parted. Due to the damaging effects of hair care products that contain, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium chloride, ammonium lauryl sulfate and many other harsh ingredients, many women have opted to forego shampoo altogether for the “no-poo” method.

If you still desire a shampoo for that tingly fresh feel, try one with less harsh ingredients, such as Giovanni’s Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo, which will not strip your hair and gets rid of unwanted dirt yet will leave it feeling moisturized and clean.

It’s also a good idea to use shampoo on the scalp, as doing so will help to clear the hair of debris and will help get rid of oils from the scalp without stripping the hair.


Has your face ever felt irritated after exfoliation? It could be that you are over-exfoliating or exfoliating too frequently.

Research suggests that over-exfoliation could be one of the reasons for irritations in the skin, which could lead to hyper-pigmentation or patchy spots on the skin due to damage done to the epidermis, or outermost layer of the skin.

As a result, your skin can also produce too much natural oil and sebum, which leads to unbalanced pH levels in the skin. Much of this is due to too-frequent mechanical exfoliation, such as using loofahs and microdermabrasions.

As we get older, the process of skin renewal decreases, making a much-needed scrub down that much more effective, but too much can be a bad thing. Instead, opt for an exfoliating treatment, once per week or less, with Murad’s Intensive-C Radiance Peel, which utilizes glycolic acid and vitamin C for light exfoliation: a great way to look radiant without being abrasive.

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