Category Archives: Dark Skin Makeup

Icon of the Hour: Lupita Nyong’o

A scene from Lupita’s breakout film, 12 Years a Slave.

Written by : I. Ella Noor

Happy Wednesday everyone! If you haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave yet, consider it your homework assignment for the week. Whether you watch it to immerse yourself in some American history or for the heart-touching story of a black man’s kidnapping into slavery, there’s one character who will undoubtedly captivate you. Lupita Nyong’o, the radiant woman whom this post is about, plays Patsey, a 23 year old slave who becomes subject to her master’s disgusting commands. Patsey endures whipping, sexual misconduct, and some of the worst forms of degradation by her master and remains in the hearts of the audience long after the ending credits. Lupita’s performance as Patsey was so commendable that it earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress! This breakout film has earned her more than just a few awards (about 30 in fact); the spotlight is on this brown-beauty all over Hollywood and here at Cinnamon Spirit.

Lupita1Lupita Nyong’o (now 30 years old) graduated Yale Drama School only after playing Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. She was cast three weeks before graduation and insists she had “imposter’s syndrome” until she actually landed in Louisiana. She and her parents are of Kenyan descent although she was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1983.  At the time of Lupita’s birth, her parents were politically exiled and unable to return to Kenya. Therefore, her parents paved their own way – her mother became a leader of the Africa Cancer Foundation! Before Yale, she attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and earned her bachelors degree in film in 2003.

Lupita's all-white outfit on Ellen
Lupita’s all-white outfit on Ellen

In an interview with Ellen Degeneres (2/21/14) Lupita enters wearing a fabulous minimalist, all white double breasted vest and shorts outfit and subtle earrings. She is immediately greeted by the host and the audience; and her humble personality shines right on through. She says she had never even seen her face on The New Yorker or any other of the numerous magazines she’s been featured in. Lupita is thrilled to be kick starting her acting career as she looks forward to the Oscar Awards coming up.

Official Instagram:

Some fun facts about Lupita Nyong’o:
1. She loves Scandal – Lupita even says that some of her style is copied from fellow dark-skinned darling, Kerry Washington.
2. She wanted to be an actress after watching Stephen Spielberg’s The Color Purple.
3. She once had a horrible braiding experience in New York – therefore she learned how to do it herself. She can cornrow, box braid, and more!

Below is a photo of Lupita Nyong is in a stunning gown by Gucci at the annual SAG Awards (1/18). Her eye make-up speaks for itself. I am personally obsessed with the gold and blue making her features pop.

Lupita Nyong'o at the SAG Awards in Gucci
Lupita Nyong’o at the SAG Awards in Gucci

Get the look for less!

Just $19.60 at JC Penny!
Just $19.60 at JC Penny!
John Lewis True Decadence Maxi Dress (£44.00)
John Lewis True Decadence Maxi Dress (£44.00)

Foundations for dark skin tone

Finding a suitable foundation that works for  our skin tone can be tricky. Here are some tips for you to find something you love wearing everyday. The idea is to match your skin tone and give it a smooth, natural look.


  • Test 3 shades that you think will work on your jawline. Resist the urge to blend and wait five minutes for it to settle.
  • If you have oily skin, go one shade lighter
  • If you have dry skin or wrinkles, powders can accentuate this problem.
  • When using a foam foundation, shake well, pump a quarter-size blob into your palm, then stipple it onto your face with a damp sponge. This will keep the bubbles intact till it gets to your skin and spreads evenly.
  • When in doubt, look for warmer bronze shades to avoid the ashy look.
  • We’ve included the price of these products so you can go out and experiment with what suits you.

1. Becca Ever Matte Shine Proof FoundationThis product has four different shades for darker tones, making it much easier to find your match….$US42.00cinnamon-spirit-becca

2. Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation: The darkest shade, espresso, has a tiny bit of sparkle, giving you an all-over glow that’s noticeable even on your chocolate skin….US$ 40.00


3. Lancôme Teint Visionniare Foundation: It comes with a spot corrector, perfect to combat manchas or patches in skin tone…         US$ 60.00


4. Makeup Forever HD Foundation: This one includes five different shades of brown and is oil-free….US$42.00


5. Black Opal Foundation Stick: This brand is formulated specifically for brown skin, so it’s guaranteed to meet your needs. Plus it is one fourth the price of some others…US$ 10.00


6. Fashion Fair Oil-Free Perfect Finish Foundation: This cream-to-powder foundation comes with 17 different shades of brown and glides on without that caked-on look that often happens when using powder foundations…. US$ 25.00


7. Clinique Even Better Foundation: This compact foundation comes with many deep shades, and it also combats dry skin…         US$ 32.00


8. Covergirl Queen Collection All Day Flawless Foundation: No need to drive yourself nuts trying to find matching products — this is a primer, concealer, and foundation all in one….US$ 12.00

9. L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation: The name speaks for itself. The variety of shades blend smoothly into skin, leaving a natural, fresh-faced finish… US$ 11.00


10. Urban Decay Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup: The three dark shades address your specific undertones too, making it a flawless match… US$ 39.00



This article has gathered it’s information from ‘s work for the Cosmopoliton,  Alden Wicker‘s post for LearnVest and Erica Smith‘s article for

All about that bass, ’bout that bass….

Love the skin you’re in …. that’s a popular tagline however our skin is like a house plant or pet that needs regular TLC (Tender Loving Care)

Neglect can make it feel sad and the by product … you look sorry. Eeek!cinnamon-spirit-male-model-face

Whether a man or a woman, this four step, 5 minute routine should improve the health of your skin 30 percent and make a visible difference within a week. Get ready to bare it all and look fabulous!


  • Cleanse …. You don’t need a fancy cleanser! Find a soap free, oil free cleanser at the drug store, which should cost around $US 10.00. Cetaphil, Boscia, Purity, Neutrogena, Clinique… they are all good.
  • Tone … Find a toner that is water based and make sure it has no alcohol or glycerin. Again, this does not have to be expensive. Neutrogena and Boots have toners for under 5 bucks. Toners help with the PH balance, freshens the skin and repairs it.
  • Moisturize … This is the last step to perfect skin. Give your skin a little moisture if it is off dry to normal skin type. If you have oily skin, you can skip this step. Find a mild, perfume free moisturizer. My favorites under $20 is Josie Maran, Cerave, ROC and Neutrogena.
  • Finally…repeat this routine every night. Or twice a day. It just does not work when you do it once in a while…

Beautiful Brown Girl

Maybe it’s the clear skin, distinctive eyes, the eye and face makeup, the jewelry or just the color of her skin! It just works.

In particular I like the way her makeup is done.  Slight blush to accentuate her cheek bones and the dark outline of lipstick that keeps things natural. She has served as my poster child on several occasions  to help my glamour effort….simply because our skin tone is almost the same.