Mally Roncal. Hmm…Where do we even begin? Well, for one, this renowned beauty expert has worked her magic on some of the most flawless, recognized faces in the world from Jennifer Lopez to Rihanna and of course, our ESSENCE Festival headliner Beyoncé. With a clientele like that, you know she must be doing something right! But what makes this woman truly amazing is her ongoing dedication to not only her A-List clients but to us “normal” ladies as well. Roncal believes every woman deserves to look and feel gorgeous whether or not they ever get a chance to step foot on the red carpet. 

We sat down with Roncal to get her beauty tips and tricks and the best beauty advice she’s ever received. What are three must-haves that every Black woman should carry in her makeup bag?

Mally Roncal: I think it’s important to always have an eyebrow pencil as brows frame the face and pull any look together, a lip gloss in a bright pink shade, which awakens any face and my Evercolor Poreless Face Defender ($40 at, which is a replacement for translucent powder. Translucent powder is evil! It makes the face look drier and washed out. Mally, could you please set the record straight once and for all? Can Black women wear bronzer?

Roncal: Absolutely! The right bronzer should be a shade darker than your skin tone but shouldn’t be loaded with shimmer. So, use a matte powder bronzer and apply it only where the sun naturally hits your skin. To do so, take the bronzer and put it on the perimeter of your face, starting behind the ear, work it down along the jawline, then go across the top of the forehead, along your hairline. Then, lightly sweep it across your forehead, the bridge of your nose, on your cheeks and the tip of the chin. Finish it off with a pink blush on the apples of your cheeks, and a sweep of shimmery highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones. As Black women, we’re often advised to stick with neutral colors, but that can get a little boring if you ask me! Can we play with color, too?

Roncal: Yes! Color works on dark skin beautifully. My skin tone is on the tanner side and I adore playing with color. I suggest trying navy blue, greens and plums on the eyes, bright reds and pinks on lips and pops of pink and peach on cheeks. Perhaps the biggest complaint I hear, and I’m sure you hear this, too, is Black women-our faces tend to be a shade lighter than the rest of our bodies. How can we avoid that?

Roncal: The best way to deal with this issue is to match your foundation to the shade of your neck. This is a rule I tell all of my girls – no matter what their skin shade is – because for years, women were unaware that their face is lighter than the rest of their bodies! As Black women, we tend to age beautifully as do most women of color, so we often think we don’t have to do as much as far as skin care goes. But Mally, as a woman of color yourself, what should we be doing to take care of our skin and keep it youthful-looking?

Roncal: It’s so incredibly important to use SPF every single day! Even with more color in our skin, we still need to protect it to not only avoid the harsh dangers of the sun but also to further stop the aging process. I find that it’s easiest to remember to use SPF every day if it’s already featured in a product like your primer or foundation. What is the biggest beauty mistake that Black women make?

Roncal: Translucent powder and not wearing enough color. I realize this may need a bit of re-phrasing, but just emphasizing that translucent powder can age you and make you look washed out, and that black women should experiment freely with color. As a renowned makeup artist, you’re always giving others beauty advice, so I wonder what’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

Roncal: My parents always taught me what makes you different makes you beautiful. And my beautiful mom instilled in me the best beauty advice ever – to smile.

Shop Mally Roncal’s entire line at and follow her on Twitter: @mallybeauty