It’s always exciting to come across a cosmetics company that focuses solely on creating makeup for women of colour. Established in 1994, Black Opal’s core vision has always been focused around creating a makeup range for women blessed with beautifully browner or darker skin tones and as any other women of colour can tell you, there are definitely a shortage of brands with this kind of ethos. I got the chance to try out some of the new additions to the Black Opal lineup in South Africa to see if they really are the makeup brand every woman of colour has been searching for.
The first thing I was excited about when I got my hands on the new Black Opal products was their new look: a modern 80s inspired flair, chunky packaging and bold colours; they’re playful but also simple. The first products to get the royal treatment with the new look packaging, and new to the market in South Africa, are the BLK/OPL True Colour Foundations. The range comes in three varieties: Ultra Matte Foundation Powder; Mineral Matte Creme Powder Foundation (with a broad spectrum SPF 15), and a Pore Perfecting Powder Foundation.
The foundations come in a compact kit, complete with a small mirror and a sponge. I really liked the sponge, it’s soft and allows the foundation to really stretch. I didn’t have the right shade of BLK/OPL Foundations to test on my own skin but I still continued to use this sponge in my own day-to-day makeup routines. Talk about versatile!
The Pore Perfecting Powder Foundation is a cream foundation that dries to a matte finish. There are 12 shades in this range and it’s a good option for normal and oily skin. The Ultra Matte Foundation Powder is a lot more versatile and comes in 9 shades. You can use this either wet or dry. To use it wet, simply wet the sponge and dab it into the foundation. This foundation can also be used to set an existing layer of foundation giving you a mattifying-look. More finish, less shine! It should give you light to medium coverage.
As for the BLK/OPL Matte Creme Powder Foundation, I tried it out on a friend for a photo shoot and she really loved the creaminess of the foundation and how it evenly covered some of her blemishes. There are 10 shades in this formula and it is also hypoallergenic.
Also new to the lineup is the BLK/OPL Colour Splurge Risqué Matte Lipstick, which I have been using religiously over the past few weeks. I tried a colour called 120 Misfit which has a delicious fruity scent to it. For my skin tone, this earthy brown shade is a lot more practical than other shades I have used in the past.
For an evening out, I’ve used it as a dark lipstick, giving myself a modern take on the infamous 90s look. Then during the day time, I’ve used it as a light base on my lips before adding another more natural shade on top. I’d really recommend trying this lipstick if you want a natural shade that you can easily spruce up for a day or night look. The formula is quite creamy but also allows you to apply a healthy amount of lipstick in one glide. The lipstick is also very hydrating, non-drying and paraben-free, which I love.
Although, I didn’t have access to my exact shades of foundations for this review I am excited to explore the rest of the Black Opal range more and find the correct colour match for my skin tone. I was really impressed with the wide range of foundation and lipstick shades, specifically suited to darker skin tones, that are available in the range and would definitely recommend this brand to those who have struggled to find shades that work for them.
Black Opal products are available from Foschini, Red Square, and Clicks stores nationwide – price on request. For more information on Black Opal visit their website or say Hi to Black Opal South Africa on Facebook.