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Liquid Foundation Success – FINALLY!

So this is a bit of a change for me because I’m going to talk about makeup. I did a shoot a good while ago now and the MUA, Al Philly, was amazing and incredibly lovely. She showed me ways to use makeup for my skin type I’d never thought of before. This rings true particularly with some of the colours used and when I expressed my surprise at how well the colours looked on my skin, Al said that it wasn’t about the colours, but how much was used and where. This blew my mind because as a woman of colour, there were certain colours I would never go near through fear of looking ridiculous. Makeup for black skin can be really tricky to get right and there is often a fine line between looking like a clown and looking as though you’re wearing a mask – I would of course want neither of these things, but also want to experiment slightly with different colours.

It’s funny, because although I’m very much a girly girl (after living my teenage years being a tomboy and living in jeans and t-shirts) one thing that didn’t and to a certain extent, still doesn’t really excite me, is makeup. I know there are many of you who do internal cartwheels when a new range comes out or there’s a new exclusive blush or lipstick, but that’s not me at all; if you’re talking about a new collection of swing dresses? Well that’s a different story ;p But that doesn’t mean when I do want to wear makeup I don’t want to have a play.

The first port of call was foundation or more pointedly, liquid foundation. I have never used liquid foundation because liquid foundation for black skin is like the Holy Grail. I do not have the time or money to buy different shades to mix in a caldron in the hope to get somewhere near my skin tone, so I have for many years opted for powder. My weapon of choice is my ever-trusting M.A.C powder and it’s perfect. Now, my skin is very irritable and prone to breakouts, so the last thing I want to do is paste my skin and clog my pores with a heavy foundation, plus the many years of being unable to find one to match my skin, powder has always been my way. The great thing about powder is that it is super light. I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup as again, I don’t want to look like I’m wearing a mask, so powder has been the perfect companion for me and I have no complaints whatsoever. One layer of application and I’m good to go!

Foundation: M.A.C, Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation – Shade: NW45
However, I still wanted to see if I could find a liquid foundation that I was able to wear without my skin feeling weighed down but also, a shade that matched my skin, so I headed to central London with my dear friend, Shel (who always has the most perfectly applied makeup) to look for a foundation I would be happy using. I didn’t want to have to go a fancy boutique to find a foundation for my skin type, so wanted to check out high street makeup – enter Boots. We went to the one near Bond Street tube station and the hunt began. Unfortunately, there was little on offer for me there or any of the other typical "high street" cosmetic stores, so resorted to buying a ton of other things like lipstick, eye shadow and blush, but I was really disappointed. However, I struck gold the following week. I went into a larger Superdrug near my work and wandered over to the Sleek Makeup stand. To my surprise, the majority of the foundations on offer were for those with darker skin – I had to stop myself from fainting! I had a try of a few shades and found the perfect fit - Henna! At first glance I thought it would be a little too light for me, but I thought I’d still give it a try. Upon application to a small part of my skin, the colour didn’t lighten my skin but blended beautifully with my natural skin tone. I knew I’d found the one and bought it immediately with itchy feet to get home to try it properly. I thought I’d not only try this fab foundation, but also create a fun but simple look for an evening out for dinner or drinks. But first things first – prep!

Pre makeup skin care: (from left to right) Simple Moisturising Facial Wash, E45 and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula
This is my skin care routine regardless of whether or not I’m applying makeup, but makeup rule No.1: ALWAYS apply makeup with clean skin. My skin has a tendency to be oily (apart from Autumn/Winter time) so using Simple products is a must – no grease, no perfume and nothing artificial; instead this face wash is full of vitamins and minerals that are critical for keeping skin hydrated. E45 is my BEST FRIEND during the colder months. My skin gets these weird dry patches around my forehead and cheeks, and I use E45 throughout the day to keep dryness at bay. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter is my normal body butter, but I buy myself a bottle for dry skin during winter months. I love how Palmer’s feels on my entire body, and the smell….delicious!

Alternative: Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
If you’re unable to wash your face with a facial wash, the very least you should do is use facial wipes. I carry a pack of these awesome wipes whenever I know I’ll be away from home but going out later in the evening. OK, now time to apply some makeup….

Concealer: M.A.C, Studio Finish SPF 35 – Shade: NW45
You can always rely on M.A.C. Sometimes this concealer is the only thing I use before leaving the house. This shade fits my skin tone so perfectly you’d never know I was wearing it!

Foundation: Sleek Makeup, New Skin Revive – Shade: Henna
The feel of this is great. It’s not sticky or greasy in any way and a thin layer does the perfect job for full coverage. I left this on for an hour before applying the rest of the makeup to see if there was any dryness. I’m happy to say there wasn’t and I’m so happy I found this!

Eyeliner: L'Oréal, Super Liner – Shade: Intense Black Eye Shadow: Seventeen, Solo Eye Shadow – Shade: Regal

I applied a thicker line of eyeliner than usual because I wanted to have a clear thin line of eye shadow for contrast.

Mascara: Max Factor, 2000 CalorieDramatic Volume – Shade: Black/Brown
I love using Black/Brown mascara as it gives a softer look compared to the harshness of Black. I also think a softer look on the lashes works really well with dramatic lips (below) and the shimmer of eye shadow.

Blush: Sleek Makeup – Shade: Rose Gold
I would never have picked this colour up before meeting Al. Again, I wanted to go with something soft as I wanted the focus to be on the eyes and lips. This colour is wonderful on darker skin and I’m sure a more dynamic look could be easily achieved with additional application.

Lipstick: Rimmel London – Shade: Tantrum
And the look is complete! I love the intense red here. It draws the eyes in and would work perfectly if on a date ;)

So the moral of the story is there's hope out there for black skin on the high street without having to break the bank. I may do another post doing a proper hunt in various stores to see which cater for darker skin, but thankfully there are some great smaller brands who are doing what bigger brands aren’t – sound familiar?!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

‘til next time.

Love and hugs,


  1. LOVED this post Isha! The Sleek Makeup is gorgeous on you and I love the red lip!! :) xxx

    1. Thank you lovely Bow! And thanks for the encouragement too - this will not be my last beauty post :D xxx

  2. Great post!! I love the way that the products you used are not 'extremely' high end, it's certainly useful for a student like me. Do you know if the Sleek Correctors are good?xo

    1. Hi Hsquared! Thanks for the compliment on the post, I've wanted to do beauty posts for a while and the reaction has been great, so will definitely keep it up :)

      I haven't yet tried Sleek Correctors yet as I'm using M.A.C for that at the moment, but I am going to be doing a post on contorting with Sleek, so keep your eyes peeled!

      :) x


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