How to Choose Makeup that Flatters Your Face

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I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a makeup junkie. I love trying new shades, even incredibly out-there colors that some women wouldn’t be caught dead in. While heading outside of your comfort zone can be fun, in normal circumstances you should strive to choose makeup that flatters your skin tone.


Wearing the right makeup shades can mean the difference between looking dull, washed out, and tired or vibrant and fresh. Need to know how to figure out your skin tone? I have you covered.

1. Determining your Skin Tone

Makeup colors that closely match your natural skin tone will look the best on you, so it’s important to discover what color your skin really is.

While your skin may have several variations of color, you want to focus on the undertones of your skin in order to figure out which makeup shades will flatter you. To do this, pinch the skin on the underside of your arm and observe which colors appear.

Do you notice pinkish undertones? Yellow? Blue/red? What about peach or reddish-orange? Once you’ve figured out what kind of undertones your skin has, you’ll be able to choose makeup shades that flatter your base color.

Depending on the undertones of your skin, you are also usually cool toned or warm toned. This is fairly easy to predict; fairer skinned people are generally cool, while olive skinned and darker complected women are warm toned.

2. Makeup Shades

Based on the undertones you noticed in your skin, there are specific makeup shades that will flatter your particular complexion. While face makeup and blush are particularly important to match to your natural hue, lip color and eye makeup can be played with a little more. Whether you enjoy a daring look or something a little more subtle, lipstick and eyeliner or eyeshadow can be your playground.

In general, here are some rules to follow when choosing makeup to flatter your complexion:

Cool Skin Tones

Cool skin tones (women with fair skin and pinkish, blue, or peachy undertones) will look stunning in makeup shades that are pink, beige, pale blues or purples, or light reddish-browns (this encompasses all makeup, aside from foundation). For foundation, you’ll want to choose a shade that closely matches your natural skin tone. Foundations with blue or pink undertones will work best for cooler skin, but test out foundation first — if it nearly disappears on your face, that’s the right shade for you.

Warm Skin Tones

Warm skin tones encompass olive-skinned women, deep complected women, and those who have very dark skin tones. Peach and coral colors work exceptionally well on deep skinned women, while darker women should go for makeup shades in plums or deep browns/bronzes. You can also try roses, magentas, and dark pink shades. For true olive-skinned women, light pink (nearly pale) shades and light reds will flatter your complexion very well. Yellow-hued foundations will work well on dark-skinned women, but as with cool skin tones you should test out foundation in natural light before settling on the correct shade.

Choosing makeup colors that flatter your face can make you look vibrant, beautiful and natural. If you choose the wrong shades of makeup for your skin tone, you will undoubtedly look dull and tired. Hopefully, this guide should help you pick the shades that will flatter your complexion the most.

Questions? Comments? I want to hear them! What makeup shades have you discovered work best for your particular skin tone?

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