“Lighter metallic shadows with a little bit of warmth are more flattering on darker skin tones than pure pearlescent or icy metallics,” says Nick Barose, the man behind Lupita N’yongo’s famous glow. Framing a wash of color on the lids with enhanced brows and dark eyeliner will keep sparkly shadows from appearing too futuristic.
TOM FORD Eye Color Quad in Nude Dip ($79, Neiman Marcus).
Blushes and Brightners
Choose a highlighter based on your skin type. Oilier complexions should opt for powder. Those with normal to dry skin can use either a cream or liquid formula. “Follow your own features, and don’t try to create something that’s not there—it’ll look fake and harsh,” says Barose. Be precise when applying highlighter. Use a sponge or an angled contour brush to place a coppery bronze or golden champagne hue on the high part of your cheekbones. Blush looks most natural when blended into the apples of cheeks. If you wear highlighter, go for a shimmer-free blush in orange or berry.
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Sandstone ($45, bobbibrown.com).
Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm ($21, clinique.com).
Make Up For Ever HD Blush in Black Currant ($26, sephora.com).
Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in Papaya/Topaz ($27, sephora.com).
Select a nude that mimics your skin color, but make sure it’s at least a half shade darker or lighter so it doesn’t disappear or wash you out after application. A touch of pink in a flesh tone is often flattering because it complements the pink in your lips. Barose chose L’Oréal Paris Jennifer’s Nude 370 for this look. L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Collection Exclusive in Jennifer’s Nude 370 ($9, lorealparisusa.com).
Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner in Nude Light ($20, Ulta).
Shiseido Lacquer Gloss in Mocha ($25, shiseido.com).
“Don’t cover too much,” says Barose. A liquid or cream foundation, applied with a sponge versus a foundation brush, requires far less product and produces a more natural veil of coverage. If your nude look is accompanied by bare shoulders, décolleté or legs, Barose recommends using a tinted body moisturizer, like Votre Vu Silk Stockings, to make visible skin more radiant.
Votre Vu Silk Stockings Picture Perfect Leg Lustre ($34, votrevu.com).
Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation in 4.5 ($51, giorgioarmanibeauty.com).
MAC Matchmaster Foundation SPF 15 in #9 ($34, maccosmetics.com).
The slightest hint of brown in a berry kisser gives it a totally different feel than classic wine hues, but “brown can be hard to wear,” says Barose. “People tend to be scared of it, but if you pick a gloss with a bit of a bronze tone to it, then it becomes a lot prettier.” Ease your way into a dark pout with a gloss instead of a more pigmented lipstick. Barose used Black Opal’s Uptown Brown on the model above.
Lancome Lip Liner in Sheer Chocolate ($25, lancome-usa.com).
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Choco-Liscious ($8, Walgreens).
Black Opal Patent Lips in Uptown Brown ($7, Walmart).
Covergirl BlastFlipstick Lipcolor in Minx ($9, CVS).
Bronzing and Contouring
Confused about when to bronze and when to contour? Here’s a tip: Bronzing warms up the skin and contouring defines specific features. Look for a bronzer formula with fine shimmer so that it gives sheen, but not frost. And be careful not to overdo it when contouring—you’ll lose the natural look you’re going for. “Contouring should only be used to sculpt the cheeks, not all over like the forehead and nose,” says Barose
Shea Moisture Illuminating Powder Bronzer in Havana Sunrise ($13, Target).
NARS Contour Blush in Gienah ($42, narscosmetics.com).
Earthy Eyes and Bold Brows
It’s important to define a soft monochromatic shadow with a dark brow, liner and a little more mascara than usual. Edgier makeup shouldn’t be too naked. Bronze or coppery shadows, as opposed to basic browns, add oomph without looking too dramatic. Barose mixed the bronze-y shadows in YSL’s Couture Palette to achieve this look (left). Control the depth of color by using metallics with a sheer finish. Yves Saint Laurent Couture Palette Collector Fétiche ($60, yslbeautyus.com).
Lorac Pro Brow Pencil in Dark Brown ($19, loraccosmetics.com)