When it comes to choosing the right colors for your skin tone, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Take the color pink - it's everywhere, but the truth is that pale pinks only work well on light skin tones (see Slide 4 for more).
Finding the shades that'll make your skin glow and eyes sparkle is not as daunting as it seems. For every skin tone, there are a few bare necessities that you need to remember, and if you stick to those you'll always look your best. We spoke with makeup artist Carmindy, the beauty expert from TLC's What Not to Wear, on the colors that look best on light, medium and dark skin tones.
- by Laura Kenney
LIGHTER SKIN TONES
When you have lighter skin, choosing the rights shades are very important. The lighter you are, the more your features can disappear, and makeup is a great way to enhance them and bring them out. Opt for cool tones, especially if you have blond hair and light skin. If you have dark hair and light skin, still stick with the cool and neutral color families.
LIGHTER SKIN TONES – EYES
Pick cool brown and taupe shades. This gives you a little hint of contouring on the eyes without overpowering them. "Too much bright shadow will be distracting," says Carmindy. Apply the shadow on your upper lids from lash line to crease, and then sweep the color beneath the eye to act as a subtle liner.
LIGHTER SKIN TONES – CHEEKS
"The way to think is pink," says Carmindy. If you're blond, or if you're light skinned, you want to wake up the face by bringing a little bit of color into it." Medium pink shades will mimic your natural, youthful flush. Sweep the color from the apples of the cheeks up to the temples.
LIGHTER SKIN TONES – LIPS
To balance off your pink cheeks, opt for pink on the lips as well. A creamy, petal pink lipstick will wake up the face, enhance the shape of your lips and give the color you need.
LIGHTER SKIN TONES – CHEAT SHEET
When your skin is fair, don't fade away. Bring life to your complexion by using cool taupes and browns on the eyes, followed by light, creamy pinks on the cheeks and lips.
EYES: Cool Taupes & Browns
CHEEKS: Pink Blush
LIPS: Petal Pink Lipstick
MEDIUM SKIN TONES
Medium skin tones usually have warm yellow and olive undertones. Your color choices can be more intense than lighter skin, but you should still stick to cool neutrals to play up your golden undertones. Carmindy suggests plum and berries – "They really make the skin come alive," she says.
MEDIUM SKIN TONES – EYES
On the eyes, use smoky quartzes and plum shades to make them stand out. Sweep the shadow on the upper lid from lash line to crease, and then rim the bottom of the eyes for extra oomph.
MEDIUM SKIN TONES – CHEEKS
Darker, berry tone pinks will make medium skin glow. To apply, smile and start the color on the apples of the cheeks, sweeping the blush back to the hairline.
MEDIUM SKIN TONES – LIPS
Since you're wearing plum tones on your eyes, downplay the lips down with a really translucent, plum-berry lip color. "A sheer gloss will really play up the skin," says Carmindy.