Everyone’s complexion is different, and working with your natural skin tone is critical in order to create a beautiful, glowing face. Color choices, application and even makeup styles are all influenced by skin tone. With the right colors, you can look fresh, alert and awake. The wrong makeup tones can make you look tired, ashy or unwell. A few colors work well for nearly everyone, and can be a good choice if you are unsure or don’t wear makeup often enough to spend the time finding the perfect shade.
Determine your overall coloring. Most people have either a cool or a warm undertone to their skin. Consider the colors you usually wear. Do you favor black and jewel tones, brown and autumnal colors or a lighter palette? Look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they appear greenish, you probably have a warmer skin tone. Bluish veins typically indicate a cooler skin tone. Skin tone has nothing to do with the color of your skin. Shades from pale alabaster to rich caramel can be either warm or cool. You may also find it helpful to hold a sheet of white paper up against your skin to determine whether your skin tone is warmer or cooler.
Purchase the right foundation. There are many different foundation formulations on the market, and finding the right shade is critical to looking good. Many women find that mineral makeup offers some of the best options, including easily customized shades for warm and cool skin tones, as well as suitable offerings for very pale and very dark skin and Asian skin tones. Some companies, like Prescriptives, will custom mix foundation at their cosmetic counters. Consider visiting Sephora or a similar store to try a wide variety of foundation shades to find the one that is just right for your skin tone. Drugstore makeup lines are also increasing the options available to include various skin tones. L’Oreal now offers both warm and cool shades ranging from pale to deep.
Add a good bronzer for everyday use. If you find choosing the right shade of blush confusing, bronzers work well for most skin tones and can add a healthy glow without too much color. Look for a lighter-toned bronzer if you are pale, and one with more color for darker skin. Sheer blushes work for most skin tones, especially if you choose a neutral tone. Benefit Cosmetics’ Benetint is a popular liquid choice that adds a sheer blush of color to any skin tone. If you are looking for a less neutral blush, choose a blush the color you naturally blush when flushed.
Play with eye makeup colors to make the most of your eyes. Warmer complexions may favor golden browns and peach-toned shades for a neutral daytime look. If you have a cooler complexion, consider taupe or gray shades for a neutral daytime eye. Try wearing the colors you enjoy in clothing in eye liner or shadow for a more playful look. Contrast your eye color and your eye makeup to bring your eyes out to their best advantage, especially in the evening. Green eyes can often wear violet well, while brown eyes may sparkle with a bit of blue eyeliner.
Wear a sheer neutral lip color like Clinique’s popular Black Honey to avoid concerns over your skin tone, or choose a stronger color that works with your skin tone and coloring. If you have cool undertones, choose pink, rose, mauve and plum tones. Look for a true or blue-toned red if you want a red lip. Warmer skin tones will be flattered by browns, oranges, corals and orange-based reds. Both light and dark lip colors can work with all skin tones. As with blushes, sheer colors may have more versatility, whether your skin is warm or cool. Cover Girl makeup now offers a product line called TruBlend that includes lipsticks that will work for 97 percent of skin tones. Try one of these for a near guarantee of color success with your skin tone.
- The most flattering shades for your skin tone can change as you age. Choose softer colors and moisturizing formulations to make the most of your makeup and skin tone as you get older.