Black Up Cosmetics: General Review


One of my favourite brands of all time, Black Up is finally coming to Sephora, and I thought this was as good a time as any to do a general review of them. If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know that I STAN for BlackUp. It’s a French-based brand that makes cosmetics for women of colour. You can tell that a lot of effort has been put into making WOC-friendly products by this brand.

This brand has just only recently been getting attention in the media, but they’ve been around for quite some time. I used to see their stand in Accra Mall, Ghana all the way back in 2008-ish but I never paid much attention.

Fast forward to 2013 and I was looking for a good foundation, I tried high end, low end, different brands. There was always something wrong. Either the foundation was too dark or too light or it had the wrong undertone or I was between shades or it would break me out. I discovered Black Up when I saw the gorgeous That Igbo Chick wearing their cream to powder foundation. She had similar skin concerns to me so I thought if it worked for her perhaps it was worth a shot. I got shade matched at their counter and for once there was nothing wrong with the foundation. I went home and used it for a while. It was perfect. No issues. That was the beginning of my love affair with Black Up. I have picked up quite a few more things since I got the Cream to Powder foundation and I will be reviewing them briefly here.

I’ve already reviewed the CC cream in a previous post, but just to recap, it is a light weight, light coverage foundation. It is basically a tinted moisturizer with a little more coverage. There are 5 shades.  You can read the full review here.

I’ve also reviewed the Two Way Cake in a previous post as well. It is basically a pressed powder that can be used in different ways.  Full review here.

Mattifying Fluid Foundation
The shade range is very broad and the undertones are perfect, so you are sure to find your perfect match. This is a good medium-coverage foundation. I love wearing it when the weather is cool. It’s pretty long lasting if you don’t sweat. It is definitely mattifying, but not so much that it looks mask-like.  In cool weather, it stays matte pretty much all day, except on my nose. My nose is extra oily so it’s nothing against the foundation. I keep stressing cool weather because I have two very different experiences with this foundation.

In temperate climates, it is amazing. It lasts all day. Stays mostly matte, does not separate, even in the summer. It does not feel heavy on the skin. It looks very natural and photographs like a dream.

In the tropics i.e Nigeria. LOL! It just can’t cope with the humidity. It looks great for the first few hours of wear, but once I sweat or I’m in a very hot place… I get really oily and it starts to fade from my T-Zone, and it just doesn’t look so great anymore. So I have taken to wearing this on days when I either won’t be out for long, or when I know I’m going to be in a temperature controlled environment all through. The CC Cream fares much better with the humidity and heat. I love it as an everyday foundation. So if you live in Nigeria and you only need light coverage and you wanted to buy only one Black Up foundation, I would recommend the CC cream.

Black Up 8 Hour Correcting Primer: 


This primer is bae!!! It is my current fave. The consistency is amazing. It is like a lotion, the way it just disappears into the skin. It leaves the skin softly matte. There is no annoying white cast. It blurs my pores a little bit and foundation goes on like a dream.

Now it is not perfect. I do wish it was more mattifying for longer. But it is absolutely the best that I have tried so far. If nothing else, I recommend you at least pick up a sample and try this stuff.

Black Up Radiance Concealer: This is good too. Great colour range, great undertones, which you might not think matters in concealers but it totally does. I recently tried a concealer from another brand that left me white a weird gray cast that I didn’t love,  because the undertones were just off. Coverage is medium, I think, definitely not full. I like this when I’m going for a natural look.

Cream To Powder Foundation:
DSC_0429 DSC_0431
This is an oily girl’s dream. It definitely stands up to Nigeria’s humidity very well and performs very similarly to the CC cream. The only reason why I’d pick the CC cream over this is because cream foundations in general can be a little hard to apply. It takes a lot of effort to get my Real Techniques brush to actually pick up the product, and as a result applying this foundation takes longer than I have to spare most mornings. But Black Up has since released a brush specifically meant to be used with this so be sure to check that out if you intend to pick this up. Shade range is excellent, etc, etc.  You already know the drill. The finish is a natural matte.

Complexion Enhancer
This is basically a liquid highlighter. I’ll be honest, this was an impulse purchase, and it was my most recent Black Up purchase. My friend bought it and raved about it so of course I went and bought it.  I love the texture. It is like a shimmery gel. It is meant to be mixed in with foundation for a subtle all over glow or worn as a highlight. I mix it in with my foundation and it gives the most gorgeous natural glow.

I can’t wait for harmattan so I can rock it. (It’s currently too hot, and I’m too oily for liquid highlighters on my face, I prefer the powder version.) I also plan to get a lot of use out of it by mixing it in with my body moisturizer and slathering it all over my legs on days when I wear short dresses.

But for people with normal to dry skin, and for those of you who you don’t live in places where it’s 30 degrees Celsius and above all the bloody time, you’re going to love this stuff.

So yeah, that’s it. Black Up is amazing and their products are good. I for one am thrilled to have a cosmetics line that focuses solely on women of colour, and I can’t wait for them to launch at Sephora. I already have  access to their stuff but I am just so happy to see them going mainstream.

Black Up is currently available from Debenhams in the UK, Montaigne Place in major malls in Nigeria, and online via the Black Up website.

I hope I didn’t ramble too much. If there’s anything else you’d like to know please leave a comment.

0 Replies to “Black Up Cosmetics: General Review”

  1. Finally! Wanted to get samples of their matifying foundation but I guess I’d stroll into their store instead.
    Which foundation is perfect for nigerian weather with a wide shade range?

    1. I like their CC cream best for this weather, but the coverage is light to medium. I like the mattifying fluid foundation too, and it has better coverage, but it really doesn’t stand up the heat as well as the CC cream does. It’s not too bad though, if you don’t mind blotting every few hours.

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