Hey Black Girl- Banana Powder Is Not Your Friend!

Banana powder seems to be the rage these days with makeup fanatics of every race and color. Especially black girls. Youtube offers an abundance of videos detailing Kim Kardashian’s highlighting and contouring regimen including Ben Nye’s Luxury Powder in “Banana”.

I have news for everybody. BANANA POWDER IS NOT YOUR FRIEND, BOO. Listen,  Ben Nye makeup has been around for almost fifty years. The founder of the company was a world-renowned makeup artist in Hollywood cinema and television. The makeup was created, specifically, for the big screen, television and stage. Enough of the history lesson. Let’s get to the business at hand.

This is a public service announcement for all black girls. I know Kim Kardashian keeps a beat face. She has a contour and highlight to die for. However, “banana” powder is not a color for everybody even if you are just highlighting. Ben Nye powders have at least nine colors for the black girl spectrum. Choose one. Hell- choose two or three. You can even custom blend if you have to. I do it with two colors. Just stop giving me pasty canary with cafe au lait or milk chocolate. Your pictures should be proof positive that this is not working for you. That t-zone looks like a light yellow landing strip. THIS is NOT how this works.

Banana powder isn't the end all be all to baking your face.
Banana powder is NOT your friend. See how my neck matches my face. We should all strive for this. These brows though. Sun-kissed skin with a peachy, nude gloss is perfect for Florida weather. The products that I used are above.  BTW- my hair was perfection but you can’t tell that by this photo.

Anyway, the actual process of flawless skin is an old school technique used in movies. Remember the “less is more” trend in makeup? Throw that out of the window. This is about the pack and bake. This is how I originally learned to put on makeup over 2 decades ago. Yes, I’m THAT old. Moving on.

It’s heavy coverage. N0- REALLY! It’s a lot of product on the face. Especially the concealing, contouring, highlighting and setting phase of your application. I don’t think women are prepared for how much actual product is on the face. This isn’t even for everyday wear but if you must do it, we can fake a natural  flawless look. Color correction may be involved as well. Please see above photo. There are many sisters who want to walk around with the extra overdone beat even if they are only checking the mail. However, the goal of wearing makeup is to look like you aren’t. Please email me for the tutorial. That’s not what this post is about. I promise I will walk you through it step  by step.

In a nutshell, the packing and baking process for your setting powder where the highlight is concerned should only be a shade lighter than your actual complexion. There should be a soft glow versus looking luminescent or opalescent. Your lines should also be damn near undetectable. This is about subtlety and creating flawless looking skin. You should not look like all types of swirl soft serve ice cream because you want to wear “banana” powder. It’s more about the process versus using that specific powder to achieve that look. I don’t think Mario Dedivanovic (Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist) anticipated having to tell women of color to buy the color that’s for YOU. Seems like a no brainer. I mean you wouldn’t wear foundation that was 3 -4 shades lighter or darker than your skin. It’s safe to say that the same principle applies to your setting powder.

Custom blending of powders for a flawless complexion.
These are the two colors that I use to set my face. Note: you do not see BANANA powder anywhere.

The colors above are for my complexion. There are tons of color possibilities for all women of color. This isn’t a one stop shop for all. Makeup isn’t a one stop shop for all. I do recommend a pigmented loose or translucent powder instead of white or yellow. If you remember how black women looked in makeup in the back in the day, you will understand why. Also, our skin color changes with the various seasons. I encourage you to create a summer shade and a winter shade.

Flawless skin doesn’t mean that you have to use one technique to look beautiful or that you have to alter your face until you’re unrecognizable. Makeup should LOOK like it requires very little effort and if you are using banana powder, I can assure you that you look like you are doing the ABSOLUTE MOST.

Catch THAT beat!

K.

K. Araújo, a native Detroiter, is a cross between Claire Huxtable, Rosie Pérez and Millie Jackson. Widow, professional dragger of filth and Mami to the dopest Ethiopian EVER, she is the Editor in Chief of "Negra With Tumbao" and a Staff Writer for "The Urban Twist". Keka has been known to shake what her mama gave her, is the hell and high water, an expert salsera and cussologist with a penchant for the finer things in life and is and forever shall be- unapologetically black.
  • Jennifer

    SWEATERGAWWWWDDDDDD if I see one more pale faced mocha skinned woman I’m gon scream. I don’t do makeup often but when I do, I don’t wanna look ashy. I wanna look like dressy me not half dead me!!

  • Great post, good info for my clients

  • “I mean you wouldn’t wear foundation that was 3 -4 shades lighter or darker than your skin.” GIRL. You would think….I’ve seen too many YouTube tutorials with black bloggers using foundations that ARE 3-4 shades lighter x__x I’m like “NOOOOO! Please–use the right shade of brown!” But yes, everything you said needed to be said

  • Interesting read, and good to hear that these powders are helpful to all skin tones. There is a good selection available now from Ben Nye.

  • There are other Ben Nye and many shades to suit about every skin tone. Ben Nye banana isn’t for all, but there are so many shades there is certainly one for all out there.

  • Emma Mccrane

    I don’t think banana powder for dark skin goes, But there are plenty of other shades to give similar results.