also available at:

A Dark-Skinned Beauty Junkie Shares Her Holy Grail Makeup Essentials

FEMALE contributor Faz Gaffa-Marsh on the nine makeup products she swears by.

One of my favourite things about makeup is how universally-binding it can be — women and men all over the world can cajole over their love or disdain over a certain concealer, and yet, how incredibly personal all your makeup choices are. What you choose to put first, what part of your face you want to highlight, and of course, what products you use.

With that in mind, I share the holy grail makeup products that work wonderfully on my dark skin, above.

#1: Primer
I don’t typically have a full face of makeup because there’s usually a little person hanging on to my knee for dear life (there ain’t no hood like motherhood), but when I plan to, I make sure it stays. Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing has done the job for me for years, and a little bit goes a long way. Image: Instagram (@smashboxcosmetics) #2: Brows
It all depends on what stage my brows are at — groomed, or ones that closely resemble Frida Kahlo’s. I fill them with Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Wiz and tame them down with The Body Shop’s clear eyebrow gel that I’ve been using for 13 years now. Image: Instagram (@anastasiabeverlyhills) #3: Foundation
I’m all about flaunting that melanin magic, so I want a light foundation that enhances my skin, not to cover it. I use a damp beauty blender and mix Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 420, with a drop of The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 to give me that extra glow. Image: Instagram (@fazgaffa) #4: Concealer
I’ve heard so much about Tarte’s Shape Tape that I bought it on a recent trip to the US and I understand the hype. My dark eye rings may be the size of the African continent (thanks to my little toddler), but Shape Tape gives the illusion that I’m that put-together mum I’ll never be. Good news: the concealer is now available locally at Sephora. Image: Instagram (@sephorasg) #5: Blush
Laura Mercier’s Blush Colour Infusion in Grapefruit has a way of waking up my skin with its gorgeous hue of coral red. It’s a buttery matte formula that’s sheer, but buildable. Image: Instagram (@lauramercier) #6: Highlighter
I have to hold back to make sure I don’t look like a victim of Midas’ but Nars’ The Multiple in South Beach (an OG) is hands down, my ultimate fave. Image: Instagram (@fazgaffa)     #7: Mascara
One of the best things about being Indian is the lashes we have. Benefit’s Bad Gal Bang Mascara does the trick for me but if I need extra oomph, I layer it with Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes™ 4-in-1 Waterproof Mascara. Image: Instagram (@benefitcosmeticssg) #8: Setting Powder
Laura Mercier’s Invisible Loose Setting Powder is incredibly finely milled and my face doesn’t get shiny as quickly as it does without it. Image: Instagram (@lauramercier) #9: Lip Colour
In my bag you will find a cornucopia of odds and ends that it takes to keep a little human alive, a sachet of Matcha I can depend on, and a bright fuchsia lip colour. My current favourite is ColourPop Cosmetics’ Maxed Out. Image: Instagram (@naturally.hope)