The Best Makeup for Dark Skin Tones, According to Our Favorite Celebrities

Updated 05/04/19

Throughout their experiences with film sets and red carpets, celebrities are exposed to a lot of makeup products (those lucky ducks)—but they're not all good. And when you're dealing with a task as specific as matching foundation, choosing a flattering lip color, or finding a contour and highlight that show up nicely on dark skin tones, sadly, not all products do the trick. There are still alarmingly few makeup lines that properly take the wide spectrum of skin tones into consideration, so it can be difficult and frustrating for consumers of color to find amazing makeup.

Luckily, celebrities also do interviews about their beauty routines, in which they often reveal their makeup favorites—and because their profession requires them to try the good, the bad, and the downright shameful, you know that when they really love a product, it can be trusted. We went back to some of our favorite beauty interviews with celebs with dark skin tones (both on Byrdie and elsewhere around the web) to compile this list of the makeup faves they've mentioned. Keep scrolling to discover the best foundation, highlighter, primer, and more for dark skin, according to nine celebs.

Sza
@sza
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Chestnut
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick $46
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"For foundation, I like Hourglass. It's vegan and cruelty free, and it works for Black skin. I️t vanishes everything, and it's buildable. I sleep in this shit, and I got bad skin." — Sza

Aja King
@ajanaomi_king
L'Oréal Paris Silkissime Eyeliner in Black $9
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"I'm obsessed with eyeliner—the darker and kohl-ier, the better. When I was younger, it was harder for me to find a black eyeliner that would actually show up on my skin. Being a dark-skinned woman, when you find something that actually shows up on your face, you love it even more. I go between random drugstore ones, like L'Oréal Silkissime… that's so affordable." — Aja King

Taraji P. Henson
@tarajiphenson
Ashunta Sheriff Perfect Blend Stick $40
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"My makeup artist has this amazing highlight-contour stick: Perfect Blend [by Ashunta Sheriff]. Sometimes I just cover my dark circles, contour my cheekbones, throw on bronzer, and I'm out the door." — Taraji P. Henson

Jennifer Hudson
@iamjhud
Per-fékt Skin Perfection Gel $24 $20
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"I love this stuff. I mix [the gel] in Rich with a little moisturizer and apply it all over my face as a base." — Jennifer Hudson

Keke Palmer
@keke
Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Trophy Wife 0.28 oz/ 8.0 g
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Trophy Wife $34
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"What I love about [Fenty Beauty highlights] is that they're so pigmented. A lot of times, I'll put something on and it doesn't really show on my skin, so to see her stuff and have it really show up, I was really loving that." — Keke Palmer

Khoudia Diop
@melaniin.goddess
Iman Skin Tone Evener BB Crème in Earth Deep $14
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"[Iman Skin Tone Evener BB Crème in Earth Deep] is the best foundation I've ever tried. I love how it highlights my skin tone on my face, which is a bit darker than the rest of my body. And my favorite part is how light it feels when I have it on. People barely notice that I have any makeup on." — Khoudia Diop

Yara Shahidi
@yarashahidi
Boy Brow
Glossier Boy Brow $16
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"There are … two … products I like: Glossier Boy Brow because it's a nice light way to add an extra oomph to your brow, and then I'm obsessed with clear lip gloss. For me, I love anything that's nice and clear, it doesn't matter the brand." — Yara Shahidi

Kerry Washington
@kerrywashington
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer $9
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"Most of the places where I tend to want to do concealer—especially when I'm not doing a full face of makeup—are places that also need more moisture. [This one] is very user-friendly, and I definitely feel the difference. Also, the hyaluronic keeps it from being too chalky and building up—it really stays smooth." — Kerry Washington

Zoe Saldana
@zoesaldana
MAC Red Lipstick - Diva (M)
MAC Cosmetics Red Lipstick in Russian Red $18 $15
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"A red lip is my go-to if I'm having a bad day or if I feel like my skin isn't looking its best. As women, because of our hormones, you might have one week of radiant, glowy skin, and then another week of dullness. A red lip always makes me feel good. … MAC Russian Red is so beautiful. It's my go-to, like, when in doubt, I use this one." — Zoe Saldana

Want more makeup recommendations? Don't miss the best bronzers for dark skin tones.

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