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Summer Makeup Trends for Multicultural Women

How to Match the Looks to Your Skin


Summer Makeup Trends for Multicultural Women

MAC eyeshadow in Swish.

Photo: MAC Cosmetics

The shades of summer are fun and fabulous. You can be soft and neutral, or you can be vibrant and bold. While I suspect the yellow eye shadow from the runways would look more like a battle lost with a bottle of mustard on my eye lids, I can rock the copper and bronze shades. I spoke with makeup artist and brow/lash expert Juliana Landis about the hot summer makeup trends and how to match the looks to ethnic skin tones.

Nails: Snap, Crackle and Pop

  • Expect to see a lot of frosted colors and glitter. "It's all about adding drama to nails," says Landis. There will be "pretty purples, deep purples, blues, greens," and a lot of "spackle," i.e. shatter and crackle nail lacquer.

  • Asian & Latina. Asian and Latina women with yellow tones in their skin should stay away from greens and yellows. Those colors will "accentuate the yellow in the skin." Instead add pink and reddish undertones to balance out the yellow. Peach tones, coppers and bronzes will brighten up the skin.

  • Indian skin. Because of the reddish tones, golden and champagne shades brighten up the skin. This also applies to mid-tone range in African Americans.

  • Dark skin tones. Use berries and bronze shades. Stay away from grays and purples which can appear muddy on the skin.

Eyes Sparkle

  • Light to medium tones. Shimmery pinks like MAC's Hush and a coppery shade called Mulch look great on African Americans of lighter skin tones. Mulch is also nice on mid-range African American skin.

  • Latinas. Latinas should try berries and burgundy shades. A suggestion is to use Make-Up Designory's Berrywood on the lids and contour with a light taupe like MAC's Wedge. For a fun look, line the eyes with a metallic berry liner.

  • Indian women. Golden tones complement the skin of Indian women. "A lot of Indian clients don't like to use too much color," says Landis. "They're more on the conservative side and like more of the golden, light bronzes, and the shimmery bronzes but more on the lighter side."

  • Medium to dark skin tones. Vibrant colors look best on these skin tones. For summer add sparkle. Consider colors in the pink and bright purple range. Try MAC Gleam, "a pretty pink metallic, all over the lid to the brow." Then brush MAC Swish on the lid and Plum Dressing in the crease. Line the eyes with Plum Dressing and finish with a brown liner.

  • Dark skin tones. Use champagnes and copper on dark skin tones. Champagnes with a little shimmer and glimmer will brighten up the eyes. Black skin tends to get oily, so use a good primer on the lids, which will give eyeshadow staying power.

Lips Go Gaga

  • The Lady Gaga MAC Viva Glam shade looks natural on every skin tone. "It's more like a nude and has a creamy, light color. On the catwalks it was all natural, nude lips and very sculptured brows." With sculptured brows and contoured features, it's best to keep the lips light and natural.

  • To keep the nude colors interesting, use different lip liners. To take a nude to a pinker color, you just use a different lip liner," says Landis. "If you want to take it to a browner side you would use a brown-based nude lip liner. Or you can take it to a berry, but you always want to keep the center of the lip nude for this season's look."


  • Many ethnic women, Asians and Latinas in particular, have a problem with oily skin during the summer. Use a light, moisturizing foundation or a foundation with an oil-free formula. Be sure to use a good oil-free primer.

  • If you have extremely oily skin that doesn't need a lot of coverage, use an anti-shine product that you can put over the makeup like Smashbox's Anti Shine gel. For the evening a foundation called MAC Velvet Teddy is "amazing for oily skin."

  • Those who have oily skin and prefer a matte foundation, yet want a dewy look, should invest in a good luminizer. Luminizers are similar to mineral foundations and can help even out the skin and give it a healthy glow. Luminizers are also great for acne-prone skin because ingredients don't clog pores. One to try is NARS Illuminator Luminizer. "You just put it on your cheekbones, on the forehead, and the bridge of the nose." Smashbox also has a good luminizer called Artificial Light, which you can mix into your foundation. "It doesn't make it look oily. It just gives it a glow."

  • "A lot of people use matting foundations, but they don't want to look flat. So these are good things to add dimension and a little life to the face."
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