Updated: Jan 28, 2019
Perfecting your base when dealing with hyper-pigmentation
Fenty Beauty has dropped ten more Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear foundationshades to add onto its initial 40-shade strong collection. Yet, I am one of the few women that isn’t too excited and that is because I feel like it’s near impossible for me to find a foundation shade that matches my skin tone perfectly.
The issue isn’t that I am ‘too dark’ or ‘too pale’, but rather that hyper-pigmentation has made it so that my face has multiple shades of brown. Dark spots from picking at my face are like toxic friends who just don't get the message. When those with dark skin (whether Black, Asian, Latin etc) break the skin from a cut, burn or pimple, skin cells produce more melanin for protection, which results in a dark spot or patch. This is fairly standard for black women, however it makes it incredibly frustrating to foundation match when the contrast is so evident. My cheeks are fair, my jawline and chin are dark-skinned and my forehead is somewhere in between.
In an attempt to satisfy my skin tone, my foundation journey has been all over the place. I have sampled Nars’ All Day Luminous Weightless foundation, Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear,L’Oréal’s True Match and Bobbi Brown’s Skin Long-Wear Weightless foundation. Each time I have been matched with a shade that matches my fairer cheeks, but is too light for the rest of my face. In pictures, I would notice how off my face would look when wearing make-up compared to my neck and chest, which are both brown/dark-skinned.
Once Fenty first came out, I was excited to finally find my shade. I thought to myself, ‘with Rihanna and a range of options suited to my undertone by my side, how can I lose?’ I was adamant that I be matched to my jawline this time, instead of my under eye area/cheeks. However, the MUA’s only solution was for me to mix two shades to achieve this and I didn’t want to pay £50 for foundation. I resorted back to Bobbi Brown, this time in the lighter Almond shade to match my yellow undertone. At this point I felt like I was back at square one, but I decided I would have to make it work regardless.
Bronzer, blending and more bronzer
Instead of applying my foundation all over my face as most women do, and then blending down to my neck, I now only apply it to my cheeks and under eye area, as well as to the top of my brows to clean them up. Following this, I lightly blend the foundation downwards into my jawline to avoid harsh lines. This way, the lighter shade doesn’t completely cover my darker sections and my face doesn’t look two shades lighter than my neck and chest in pictures.
As the centre of my face is naturally light, it isn’t something that I want to cover up with a foundation that matches the darker parts. My highlight (LA Girl Pro Concealer in Toffee) matches my under eyes perfectly and cleans up the bottom of my brows. Yet, I know that it is far too light for my nose so I stopped applying concealer there and it has helped.
The day I found bronzer was the day my makeup changed for the better too. I had never worn it before and didn’t see its significance, but the Bobbi Brown MUA suggested it during my last visit and it’s a product that is incredibly helpful for warming up the face.
As I apply minimal makeup to the bottom half of my face, the bronzer is needed to warm that section up and my forehead, as these parts are a bit darker than my neck and chest. The finished look is a bright under eye and darker forehead/jawline that blends in perfectly with my neck and chest.
I still haven’t found my perfect foundation, but this routine works for me. Instead of covering up the hyper-pigmented areas that feel ‘too dark’ for the rest of your face, work with them.