Beauty Chemists Give Their Best Makeup Advice
Beauty & Fashion

Beauty Chemists Give Their Best Makeup Advice

If you’re like me, one of your New Year's Resolutions was to get better at doing makeup. There’s only one problem: you don’t know where to start. There were many decades where, as a Black woman, going to the store to find makeup that matched and/or complemented our complexion was nearly impossible. Today, there’s an abundance of brands dedicated to celebrating the array of rich and beautiful shades that Black women come in. All these options can be a bit intimidating for first-time makeup users to choose from, not to mention all the other items used to accentuate our beauty.

xoNecole has caught up with a couple of beauty chemists, the scientists behind what goes into all of your favorite makeup items, who will tell you how to choose the best products based on your complexion and skin type.

Starasia Sabrena: Beauty Chemist, Esthetician


  • “Instead of letting someone put the foundation on you and immediately liking how it looks, you need to wait, go outside, gotta get some air, and then see how it's showing up on your skin. Because that test is the true test if that foundation is gonna fake you or not.”

Color Correction:

  • “If you're trying to focus on hyperpigmentation, you wanna use red. If you're trying to focus on like coloring bruises or making sure that it doesn't oxidize, blue works really well.”


  • “[Putting foundation on the back of your hand before putting it on your face], that heat transfer makes it smoother when it goes on and it's a more flawless application. You get to be able to use less product especially if you're trying to do like a buildup to a full face. If you heat it up first, you get a really good indicator of how it's gonna look in the buildup or without buildup. From there you save a lot of products and it just looks so much better.”

Brushes v. Blenders:

  • “A brush does seem to go on [the face] a little bit even versus the beauty blender and for whatever reason, I think people have a hard time cleaning their beauty blenders versus brushes…which creates bacteria which [also] promotes breakouts.”
  • “Brushes, the kabuki brush in particular, helps everything kind of just spread out a little bit more evenly, you can build up versus like the beauty blender. I feel like you have to have a perfect hand and you can't be [heavy]-handed or things get really cakey really quick.”


  • “Wear a physical sunscreen at night. It helps protect against the sun, UV rays, and it also helps with acne.”

Andrea Ichite: Beauty Chemist, Founder of Aini Organix 

Skin Type:

  • “I would say that to understand your skin, first of all. If you have like oily skin then maybe an oil-based foundation isn't best for you. You might want something like water-based or maybe even, a powder. And then a lot of makeup is fragranced and obviously fragrance can be very irritating, especially if you don't put a lot of stuff on your skin. So I would try to find products without fragrance.”

Finishing Spray:

  • “[Finishing spray] let's say, for lack of a better word, [is] almost an adhesive, like a sealant that's gonna kind of seal in your makeup. It's a polymer that's gonna just kind of trap the makeup in.”


  • “There are a couple different types of primers. It's like a protective layer between your skin and your makeup. It also makes your skin tacky so the makeup grips it better, which keeps it on longer.”

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Feature image by Nina Manandhar/ Getty Images

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