Mattes, Metallics, and Other Fall 2013 Makeup Trends (for Brown-Skinned Folk)

Are you tired of flipping through fashion magazines and reading through makeup trends posts only to find that the looks are designed for white women? Not to worry. I’ve arranged some kickass, beautiful brown-skinned BAMFs to show y’all some fall makeup looks designed for darker skinned women. (But don’t worry; I’ve included ways to wear the look if you’re light-skinned.)

Photo credit Ev Evnen

Ready? Onward!

Oxblood Lip

Oxblood is the color of the season. If you’re wondering what the fuck oxblood is, it’s a dark mix of fuchsia and red. More purple than burgundy, but more darker and redder than berry. Did I mention it’s dark?

makeup collage 1

Photo credit Ev Evnen

What better to usher in the fall than a deep, dark, vampy lip? Go easy on the rest of the makeup here. Lightly lined eyes with a sweep of matte shadow are enough to balance the lip without looking too intense. Skip the blush for day. Wear a pink or dusty rose blush for night, if you want more depth.
Sasanka is wearing Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Bourbon, UD Matte Eyeshadow in Naked (for lighter skin try Foxy, for darker skin try Buck), UD 24/7 Lip Liner in Venom, and UD Revolution Lipstick in Shame.

If you’re looking for a more undone look, I’d recommend skipping the eye makeup altogether. Maybe a swipe of mascara if your eyelashes are light-colored. Also keep in mind that darker colors make lips look smaller, so if that’s not your thing, beware. Or fuck the patriarchy that says you need to have thick lips, and rock the color anyway.

Graphic Cat Eye

Meow. This year’s cat eye is large and dangerous. Think panther, not house cat. The line thickens in the middle of the eye and extends out a half-inch past the outer corners. A swipe of matte or satin eyeshadow in a color that matches your skin keeps the focus on the liner.

makeup collage 2

Photo credit Ev Evnen

This look goes great with bold colors and light makeup. Liquid liner takes practice and patience. Keep going over the line and thickening it until it’s symmetrical.
Payal is wearing Urban Decay Liquid Liner in Perversion and MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork on her eyes (for lighter skin try Painterly, for darker skin try Quite Natural), NARS Blush in Lovejoy (if you’re darker skinned try Taos), and MAC Cremesheen Lipglass in Richer, Lusher.

Purple Grungy Eye

Punk is back, baby! And I’m so fucking excited!

makeup collage 3

Photo credit Ev Evnen

The best thing about purple is that it suits pretty much every skin color. Adjust accordingly. There are warm-toned purples, cool-toned purples, dark purples, light purples, bright purples. Even mauves count. Mix some pink or blue into the look to give it an extra edge. If you’re lighter-skinned or have darker skin with a cool undertone, purples that lean toward blue look great on you. If the cosmetic industry thinks your skin tone is edible (caramel, honey, mocha, etc.), it probably means you have a warm undertone, and pinkish purples look more natural on you. The lighter the skin, the lighter and icier the purple can be. The darker the skin, the less jarring bright purples are. That said, I’ve worn cool, icy purples and I’ve known some light, cool-skinned people to rock some bright ass purple. These guidelines are meant to be broken.

Sarah is wearing Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Perversion, UD Eyeshadow in Fishnet, RansomPsychedelic Sister and Blackout (used around lashline), and NARS Blush in Amour and Desire (mixed together).

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SJ has written 13 articles for us.


    • Me, too. I ID as “femme-presenting” sometimes just so people understand what the fuck is going on, but I don’t actually apply the label femme towards myself. I hate being called femme by those who think there are only two options.

  1. The word ‘exotic’ is a problematic term but do we all have to jump down somebody’s throat like that for merely venturing her opinion? What is this? The PC police? Who here has never said or written something out of turn?

    • I think we’ve all written or said something out of turn before, that’s why she was respectfully corrected. Jen tells her that using that word is not really the compliment she probably meant it as and says she’s sure she meant no harm. Then Riese links to an article explaining this and says please don’t use that language on AS. Cris also links an article about the conversation around using this word and then SJ, the author of this post, contributes her thoughts on this. I really don’t think any of it was aggressive and seemed more about opening up a dialogue with a well meaning person about how their language might be perceived.

      I totally take your point about not wanting to jump down someone’s throat policing them but I do think these responses come from a good place.

      As a white woman, living in a small city with very few QWOC, I really appreciate the interactions that I can have in places like AS, and the opportunity they give me to learn about the experiences of another group within my community. I appreciate that this is a space where I can respectfully raise opinions and have them challenged and I would like to think that if I use a phrase or word that is disrespectful to someone on here, I would be called out on it, respectfully, just like I would call out anybody else. I have a voice, I have the right to reply. If I feel I have been misunderstood or that I misspoke the first time, I can clarify my intentions. If not I can engage in a conversation and LISTEN to why this is problematic.

      To paraphrase something Tiger Beatdown had to say about feminism: My queerness will be intersectional or it will be bullshit!

      • Every time I hear “PC Police” I roll my eyes because too many times it has been used to try to shut down conversation where if one is not into the PC-ness, you could just not engage instead of tone policing.

        I also felt the responses were not aggressive or sardonic, the whole thing was held with kind gloves of love, glitter and rainbows to make sure feelings will not get hurt of overly defensive.

  2. Ah I love this! Please make this a series :)
    Also — as a brown skinned femme, another great bright red matte lipstick is MAC Russian Red (and I think that has blue undertones?). It’ll stay put for hours and it smells like vanilla!

  3. So happy to see this post!! I love wearing makeup but it’s sometimes really difficult trying to achieve looks having my milk chocolate complexion; so Im really glad that you also included what products try used an possible others to try whether your darker or lighter. please continue doing this for every season!!!!!

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