A good lipstick always pulls a summer look together — and Grace Okafor agrees. “When we speak or talk to people, we are psychologically bound to look at their lips when trying to look at their face, even if it is for a short second,” the Dr. Gio Cosmetics founder told ESSENCE. “A great lipstick can do wonders. A lipstick defines a makeup mood or concept. It is the perfect icing on the cake and enhances your personality.” The same way that a shoe ties an outfit together or a good headband can tie a wig together, a lip color can have just the same impact on a beat face.
Tai Young, celebrity MUA and creator of the 5 Steps to Flawless vegan makeup brush line, added that a good summer lip is everything, especially during the warmer seasons when it’s too hot to wear any other additive makeup. “Anything bright enough to be seen across the room will make sure your summer selfies are just as hot as the weather! Tangerines, bright reds, and bold shades of pink will be the go-to!,” Young said about the best lip shades for Black women.
Okafor continued to explain how lipstick which complements the deep and medium skin tones of Black women gives a perfect completion of the makeup look we are aiming for. She said, “Without having that, our makeup routines and creativity would not be perfect and it can also affect the visual presentation we are aiming for especially in the workplace or events. I believe that the reason why we think about what color clothes or shoes to wear to an event is the same reason we look at lipsticks that complement our makeup looks and skin tones.”
Though lipsticks are perfect to complete a look, you can’t go forward without having the perfect foundation – your face. “Hydrated skin helps a lot with our makeup look. If your skin is dehydrated, it not only makes great makeup look patchy or cakey with too many large pores, but also affects the texture of the skin which makes the face look bumpy with lots of makeup on it,” added Okafor. Just like art, a smooth texture is needed for a solid foundation to build upon, according to her.
Okafor continued, “A smooth texture is important to an artist, we also need a hydrated or moisturized skin for the base of our makeup. A hydrated face is like a smooth canvas. You not only have it easy with makeup application and retention but you also do not need to worry about clogged skin/pores and patchy looks. You also get the best dewy or matte finish you are looking for.”
AJ Crimson Beauty founder AJ Crimson says that summer lip colors are important for Black women specifically because “it’s a beautiful, simple and easy way to express your mood, personality, and uniqueness,” he exclaimed to ESSENCE. “Black women are a vibe and a striking lip color for summer is always a good idea on her. Especially when she is wearing less foundation due to the heat.”
Ahead, check out the list of the perfect summer shades for Black women of all shade ranges and skin tones from a few Black beauty experts and owners of Black-owned businesses!
Orange, peach, corals are examples of correcting shades found in the undertones of Black skin. Using these shades on the lip will also provide a warm compliment. – AJ Crimson
I love pink on Black skin. It’s a great pop of color that is not as bold as a red. It can be worn day or night and it’s a fun alternative to nude! – AJ Crimson
Red or Blue-Based Red
Red [or] blue-based reds tend to work best on a Black skin beat in my opinion. Not too bright, but enough warmth to complement the warmth in Black skin and still stand out against it. You can never go wrong with a powerful red, simple eye makeup and barely-there skin. It will also make your teeth look whiter! – AJ Crimson