Maureen Bandari


I have been working on this post for the longest time and did this shoot early this year if I am not wrong. It was a labour of love seeing as I am not a make up guru but I felt like I needed to do this. Being a dark skin is a beautiful thing and as easy as it is to get beautiful clothes to wear, the narrative sometimes is not the same when it comes to finding make up that compliments our skin tone. I had to buy almost five different foundations when I started doing my make up before I found something I was comfortable with. Same goes to lipstick colours. For a very long time I stuck to red lipstick because that was the only color I was sure looked good on me. I am yet to experiment with every lip colour out there but so far , I have come along way. This post therefore is about colours dark skin girls can try without looking too crazy(unless of course that’s what you are going for) and it’s more general in terms of colours rather than the specific brands and lipsticks used. I’ve tried to give specific details where possible

Make up by Mina Khan

photography by John Okode

1)Bright red lipstick looks really good on us. I haven’t found a bright red lipstick I didn’t like be it MAC ruby woo, Huddah Monroe’s Vamp or this nouba millebacci no 7 I have on right here. Matte red also gives a different look when compared to creamy or glossy ones

2) This is my second favorite colour, deep maroon. I have it in various forms from matte to creamy, you name it. I love this one from nouba millebaci (number6) because of it’s velvet finish and for some reason, unlike the red one, I do not reapply it at any given time once I leave the house. It’s consistency is awesome. I use this a lot when meeting friends for a glass of wine or on dates that involves biting food here and there because I don’t have to worry about re application and stains

3) Finding the perfect nude lipstick is such a challenge to us. You can try a few from MAC cosmetics,I have one from huddah though I do not use it that much. I got this max factor from carre four and it comes as a pack of one lipstick and one lip balm.It’s matte but you do need to reapply if you eat something. I am yet to check if they are available in the local carre four at the karen hub/ 2 rivers mall.

4) As I said, any type of maroon looks really cool but you do have to explore with textures and all. Unlike nouba, this urban decay number 01 lipstick is semi matte,long lasting and gives a different look to it compared to a liquid matte lipstick of the same color range

5) I fell in love with this rich deep brown lipstick from flomar (number L02) the first time I set my eyes on it. It’s long wearing and can honestly work as a nude lipstick if you dab just a little of it and gloss it out with your fave lip gloss. I do that a lot when going for a subtle look for work.

6) deep red similar to red wine in color is a perfect alternative for those who are not feeling the bright red lipsticks. It does a decent job of complementing your skin tone and the options are overwhelming in the market. I would recommend this particular one from flomar (no 203) because it’s long wearing or red wine by Pauline cosmetics

7) PINK…sigh! this is the most difficult colour to score. I remember when sleek cosmetics had some bright pink lipstick that only looked beautiful on light skin women. I have tried posh pink from Pauline cosmetics too. What works for me is this pink shimmery lipstick from L’oreal (color riche 287) When you have a creamy pink lipstick with shimmer, just dab a little on both lips, rub them together and you are good to go. The amount of pink is enough to upgrade your look. I realized the less you apply the more natural it looks

8) The red version of this lipstick is a darling to me. I have talked a lot about red but adding one more that has shimmer won’t hurt nobody now would it? Just like the pink, I use just a little of this L’oreal color riche (number 382)because I do not want lighted up Christmas lips up in here. Incase you have any recommendation for pink and red shimmer lipsticks we should try, drop a comment below

9) Plum is the colour and unlike nouba and the urban decay lipstick, this is a little more darker. That’s the furthest I try to go in regards to darker colours. I have had this sleek true colour lipstick (fandago purple 431) for a while now. It’s long wearing, highly pigmented and semi matte. You can try Pauline cosmetic’s marvel lipstick as well

10) I guess this list would not be complete without this shade of brown with gold undertones. They do a pretty good job when you don’t go all out on your eye shadow colours. With a minimalistic overall make up look, it pops out really well. I have on a black radiance (number 5020) but feel free to recommend other brands

Well, that is it from me but remember,colours do look different on various skin tones therefore don’t be afraid of experimenting. I didn’t do much editing on these pictures because I wanted them to reflect the true colours I am showing you guys.Do share the lipsticks you think I should try in the comment section below

Lastly, thank you all for downloading my ebook thus far and if you haven’t yet had your copy, don’t wait! check this post to download yours.xoxo



    May 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Hi Maureen,

    I love this post. Absolutely informative! Girl after my own heart 😉

    What number is the deep maroon from Nouba Millebaci?

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      number 6. thanks for that I updated the post

  2. Beatrice

    May 29, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Thanks for the blog.Beautiful

  3. Beatrice

    May 29, 2017 at 11:18 am

    You can also do something about foundations it will really help.Be blessed

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      will totally do this next

  4. Ladie bee

    May 29, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Your skin is just beautiful.More like dark chocolate!!Melanin!!!Laaaaaawd!

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      thank you dear, it’s all God

  5. Asenath Lukosi

    May 29, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Lipstick shopping this weekend! Thank you Mami!

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      you better girl,glad I could help

  6. benedette

    May 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Wow. Thanks for sharing

  7. Muthoni

    May 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Nice post girl.This has helped me.

  8. Swakei

    May 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Nice work, really informative

  9. Joanne Bett

    May 29, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I’m not very dark skinned but I see myself borrowing most of the shades here. Kwanza that plum is LIFE!!!!

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      I know right? you should try it

  10. Rashida

    May 29, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Lovely.. i am a sucker of red; i will give it a try on the rest

  11. Katam

    May 29, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Oh I love this post! I started using noubas because of you and I’ve never looked back

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      oh wow, good to know! I love them . glad you enjoyed the post

  12. Rebecca

    May 29, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Really nice post. Your skin is really lovely, can you maybe do a post on foundations. And skin care.

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      will look into that

  13. Ingred

    May 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    This is wonderful content for a blog, keep it up and share more, foundations that work for dark skin, even nail polish, divisions of catchy content is what makes one unique.

    1. Mo

      May 29, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      thank you for the feedback and I will look into that for future posts

  14. Sophy achachi

    May 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Very informative you go girl


    May 30, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Love the lipsticks,am a big fan of lipsticks but never got a shade that I was comfortable with,so I just do lip glosses and lip balms.Am excited to experiment your suggestions,I hope they be conspicous and not be swallowedby my skin tone.thanx gal

  16. Mbeyu

    May 31, 2017 at 10:09 am

    This is amazing moureen…

  17. Sylvia

    June 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for this amazing post. Where can I get Pauline cosmetics in Nairobi?

    1. Mo

      July 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      super cosmetics and beauty wholesalers I think or DM them on instagram

  18. Lydia mayienda

    July 6, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Hey maureen I need a good lipstick a long lasting one

  19. Wacuka

    July 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you for doing this for dark skin girls.
    I am dark skinned girl too and this post is so close to my heart.
    The red and maroon are what I use mostly!
    Some how purple works for me too.. hehehe!!!
    More representation to dark skinned girls!!!

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