The secret to flawless makeup is using it to enhance your natural features, not cover them up, especially your dusky skin tone. Despite what you’ve been told and the perceptions that dusky skin tone holds in the eyes of many, that’s a thing of the past. With makeup essentials that fit every skin tone now aplenty, it’s time to embrace your natural skin tone but flaunt it. 

Be picky when it comes to makeup. 

A dusky skin tone usually means a melanin-rich complexion that, more often than not, flaunts a mix of brown shades. Makeup for dusky skin tone can get tricky, especially if you aim for a natural look. But choosing the right products – foundation, concealer, blush, or lipstick – that suit your skin tone can help you achieve that. 

Be wary of makeup recommended for lighter skin tones, as they can make your beautiful skin appear dull and sallow. The right way to choose makeup products is those that blend seamlessly into your skin. It doesn’t make your skin look patchy or cakey. 

Pro tip: Get the signature Ivory Glow look with Mamaearth’s Glow Serum Foundation. Enriched with Vitamin C, this MadeSafe-certified serum offers a 12-Hour Long Stay with 2x Instant Glow!

Dusky Skin Tone Makeup Guide

  • Step 1: Care for your skin – Glowing skin is healthy, so the first step to nailing your makeup, whether for your dusky skin tone or others, is to take care of it. Use a gentle cleanser regularly. 

It should cleanse your pores without stripping away the skin’s moisture. Double cleansing on days you wear makeup helps. Using an exfoliant at least twice a week is an excellent way to eliminate dead skin cells. And most important of all, moisturize – even if your skin is oily. 

  • Step 2: Start with a primer – A primer is always a good place to start. It helps even out the skin, especially if you have blemishes. In addition, it enables you to achieve a flawless base and will give you a smoother, cleaner finish. 
  • Step 3: Lay on base – Picking a foundation for dusky skin tone can put you in a pickle. So, choose the type of formulation, stick, liquid, powder, or cream based on your skin type. Consider your dusky skin tone and choose one that melts into it. Gently apply over the face and neck, creating a smooth, even base. 
  • Step 4: Concealer – Dark circles can show even on dusky skin tone. An efficient way to deal with them is to use a concealer that pairs with your skin tone. Apply and blend thoroughly along the edges of the eyes. 
  • Step 5: Contour – Contouring helps add dimension to your face. Draw a three with your contour on your face’s sides and blend it with a brush. Opt for a shade two tones darker than your dusky skin color. 
  • Step 6: Highlight – Choose a highlighter that is a shade lighter than your natural skin tone and apply it on the middle of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, your cheekbones, and your chin with a tapered brush. Blend well.
  • Step 7: Blush – Blush further helps sculpt the face and adds a pop of color. Use a fluffy brush to apply along the apples of your cheeks, extending outwards and blending. Deep oranges, mauve, and burgundy are the hues to pair with your dusky skin tone. 
  • Step 8: Play up the eyes Dark skin makeup is incomplete without highlighting the eyes. Pair your eye shadow with some eyeliner and mascara to make your eyes pop. Dark shades like black and brown look stunning on a dusk skin tone. But going bold with electric pink or pastels is also on the table. 
  • Step 9: Don’t forget your pout – Dusky skin tone is gifted to pull off bold lip colors. But nudes don’t look too bad, either. The trick lies in choosing a shade darker than your skin tone, as a lighter one will wash you out. For a sophisticated look, though, lean towards bold red or burgundy. 
  • Step 10: Seal it – A couple of spritzes of setting spray or a dab of translucent powder will keep your makeup looking fresh as long as needed. 

What Makeup Products Work with a Dusky Skin Tone?

  • Foundation:  Foundation is one of the basics in your makeup kit. As the name suggests, it lays the base for the rest of your makeup, covering blemishes and evening out skin tone. It also determines if your finish will be matte, dewy, or satiny. Choose from cool, warm, or neutral, depending on what works for your skin. When choosing the right one, be careful of the undertone. The best way to see if a foundation works for you is to try a swatch on your jawbone and see how well it blends. 
Mamaearth Glow Serum Foundation

Glow Serum Foundation

12-Hour Long Stay | 2x Instant Glow | Made Safe

  • Concealer: Concealer is a must-have, especially if you have dark circles. It is an efficient and flexible product that can be used differently and makes quite a difference. It helps with fine lines, dark circles, and blemishes. It also acts as a primer for lips and eyelids, as required. 

The rule of thumb for picking your concealer is to choose a shade based on your foundation. In addition, experts advise having two shades of concealer in your arsenal – one lighter and one darker. 

  • Compact: A compact is another essential, especially for touching up a look on the go. It helps get rid of excess oil while evening-out skin tone. In addition, a compact adds buildable coverage and sets your makeup to stay in place. 

In addition, it has also proven useful in toning down glossy lips and making them matte, as well as an eyeshadow base. The compact is also the go-to product to help fix mistakes. Like with your foundation, opt for a shade that matches your skin tone. 

  • Lip Balm: Lip balms are an extremely effective component of your makeup arsenal, especially if your lips are prone to dryness and cracking. They help restore moisture keeping lips soft, smooth, and supple and also work as a primer. Look for nourishing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, honey, aloe vera, rose, or lavender. They should ideally have SPF 10 or 15. 
  • Lip Serum: Lip serums help nourish the lips and ensure that they stay hydrated. They can effectively go deeper than traditional lip balms and target many problems. The best serums contain peptides, hyaluronic acid, green tea extracts, fruit extracts, vitamin E, and collagen, improving hydration and offering long-lasting plumpness. 
  • Lipstick: Brown lipstick can instantly amp up your look. It adds a pop of color while offering a touch of glamor. It also hydrates and helps define the lips. Consider your skin tone when choosing a shade. Bold colors go well with a dusky complexion, while nudes and pastels work for lighter ones. But at the end of the day, choose a color that evokes confidence and makes you feel sexy. 
Mamaearth Moisture Matte Long Stay Lipstick

Moisture Matte Long Stay Lipstick

12-Hour Stay | 8-Hour Moisture Lock | Smudge-Proof

  • Eyeliner: Eyeliner is a great way to define and make the eyes pop. It is a flexible product, allowing you to try out different styles. They come in various forms like pencil, gel, liquid, and cream liners. Choose one depending on the look you are trying to achieve. 

Liquid eyeliners are ideal for sharp lines, while soft, diffused looks are accomplished with pencils or gels. Black and brown are classic colors, but you can opt for greens, gold, pinks, and blues to make your eyes stand out. The secret is to choose a color that contrasts with your natural eye color. 

Mamaearth Soothing Waterproof Eyeliner

Soothing Waterproof Eyeliner

Waterproof Formula | 10 Second Drying Time

  • Mascara: Mascara is another way to enhance the eyes. It darkens, lengthens, and volumizes lashes, making them look bolder and fuller. They add flair and drama to your overall look. For short lashes, lean words, a wand with thick bristles, while sparse lashes require a rounder brush. However, look for a curling mascara formula if you have long lashes. 
  • Kajal: To make your eyes stand out, think kajal. It accentuates the eyes and makes them the focus. The intense, smoky effect it produces is a style that rarely falls out of favor. You can also use it to create an intense or dainty look. 

One downside is that it tends to smudge easily, especially when applied on oily skin, so be sure to look for one that is long-lasting and smudge-proof, and if it happens to be waterproof, then it’s a winner. 

Note: When applying Long Stay Kajal Kohl Pencil, try to do so after applying your face makeup, as it makes it easier to use without smudging. If you’re aiming for a subtle look, there may be better choices than kajal. 

Mamaearth Charcoal Black Long Stay Kajal

Charcoal Black Long Stay Kajal

11-Hour Long Stay | Smudge-Proof | Waterproof

The Takeaway

Your dusky skin tone is gorgeous just the way it is, and your makeup should enhance that. While you always have the option to play around with products, look out for dark skin makeup that suits your unique skin tone and brings out your natural features. But most importantly, take care of your skin. After all, real beauty comes from within. 


  1. Is dusky skin good?

    A dusky skin tone means your skin contains more melatonin than lighter tones. It is genetic. The darker pigmentation controls the absorption of sunlight and is less vulnerable to sunburns and excessive UV absorption. In addition, darker skin is believed to be less prone to blemishes and aggressive signs of aging. 

  2. What is a dusky skin tone?

    The melanin content determines skin tones, so the higher the melanin content, the darker the skin tone. A dusky skin tone falls somewhere close to the light brown family of tones but is a little darker when compared with a fair or wheatish complexion. Dusky skin is believed to be less vulnerable to damage and, thereby, less prone to blemishes and signs of aging aggravated by this damage. 

  3. What color suits a dusky skin tone?

    When it comes to pairing colors with dusky skin, think bold. Dark hues usually work for the eyes. You can also make them look like metallics, burgundy, or green. As for blush, contrast is key, so opt for berry, coral, or even deep orange. Lips shades like bold reds, plum, and burgundy pair well. If you are going nude, be sure to choose a shade that's darker than your skin tone. 

  4. What is the right way to remove makeup?

    There are several ways to remove makeup, but combining two or three methods will often work in your favor as they ensure that all residue has been removed. For instance, if you are a makeup wipes fan, follow up with a face wash and water. Makeup removers like micellar water are also a good choice. Remember to cleanse the eyes and opt for flat cotton pads over balls. Finally, and most importantly, follow up your cleansing routine with a toner and moisturizer. 

  5. What are some makeup tips for dusky skin?

    Makeup for dusky skin tone starts with choosing the right products. Look for a foundation or compact that matches your skin tone. Avoid lighter as they can make the skin appear dull and sallow. Add contour for dimension and go bold with the eyes, blush, and lips – don't be afraid to stand out. Nudes are cool, but only if you match your skin tone or go darker. The most important thing is to care for your skin so that you have a flawless canvas to start with. 

  6. What are the makeup items I can use for my skin?

    Your makeup essentials will remain the same whether you have a light, dusky, or dark skin tone. We usually include foundations, concealers, compacts, lip balms, lip serums, lipsticks, eyeliner, mascara, and kajal in the essentials. You should opt for only safe and gentle skincare products that comprise only toxin-free ingredients. This will help keep out issues like inflammation and soreness.

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