How to Choose Makeup to Compliment Skin Tone

Makeup that is well done can make you look fresh and vibrant, but the wrong colors can detract from your natural beauty rather than enhance it. Finding makeup that compliments your skin tone is essential for playing up features and making the most of your appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Swatch of silver fabric
  • Swatch of gold fabric
  • Mirror
  • Various types of makeup


    • 1

      Determine what your skin tone is. In order to find makeup that compliments your skin tone you will first have to figure out what skin tone you have. To do this you need to stand in front of a mirror and hold a swatch of gold fabric in one hand and a swatch of silver fabric in the other. Take turns holding the different fabrics up to your face. If the gold material compliments your face, but the silver material makes you look washed out then you have a warm skin tone. If the silver material makes you look bright and vibrant but the gold material gives your skin a sick appearance then you have a cool skin tone. If you look good in both then your skin tone is neutral.

    • 2

      Choose a foundation. People who have warm skin tones need to look for foundations with yellow bases that have warm sounding names such as almond, copper or honey beige, for example. Those who have a cool skin tone need to look for foundations with blue bases and cool sounding names such as ivory or rose tint.

    • 3

      Look for eye shadow, lip stick and blush colors to further enhance your skin. Skin with a cool tone looks best in mauve, plum, pink and rose colors. Warm skin tones are complimented by coral, red, neutral and brown colors. People with a neutral skin tone can wear most any color to compliment their skin tone.

    • 4

      Find nail polishes that are in the same color families as the makeup you chose to compliment the skin tone on your hands and fingers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the packaging of cosmetics to see if it tells you what skin tone that particular color of makeup works best with.
  • Try going to the cosmetic counters of department stores and get a complimentary makeover. The makeup artists can give you great tips on color and application techniques.
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