How to Pick the Right Makeup Colors for Your Skin Tone

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Finding ideal makeup colors to match your complexion and skin tone allows you to conceal blemishes and smooth the overall appearance of your skin with ease. Using colors that complement your skin tone will also help with showing off and highlighting your other features, including your lips and eyes. When shopping for new makeup for yourself, it is important to understand the colors that will fit your skin tone to find a perfect foundation or color solution.

Things You'll Need

  • Lighted mirror
  • Tissues
  • Makeup sponges
  • Makeup samples
  • Makeup brushes
  • Soap
  • Water


  1. Make a list of the types of makeup you are looking for -- including foundation, blush or eye shadows. Create a budget to help with preparing yourself before overspending on beauty products.

  2. Wear bronze, peach and copper tones when looking for blush colors if you are fair-skinned. For fair skin, a light foundation (ivory colored) or nude tone will help to balance your skin's look. Warm peach, pink and nude colors go well on lips if you have fair skin. When shopping for eye shadow, opt for neutral colors including browns, khaki colors and earth tones. Avoid using black eye shadow or eyeliner; instead, use brown to mesh well with a fair complexion.

  3. Purchase neutral and nude colors when wearing foundation against medium or olive-toned skin. An olive complexion goes well with rose and plum blushes to give your face a natural-looking glow. Using neutrals such as beige, chocolate brown and caramel will bring out your eyes along with traditional golds and silvers.

  4. Avoid using dark purples or vibrant blues that will make your skin look swollen or bruised. For your lips with olive skin, stick with neutral and nude tones with a liner that is one shade darker for the optimum highlighting of your mouth.

  5. Use a pink highlight for shimmer and glow if you have a darker skin tone. To bring out your eyes, opt for golds, silvers, chocolates and deep colors including emerald green, violet and navy blue. Wear deep warm pink, fuchsia and apricot colors for blush, or stick with a bronze or berry-colored blush. Purchase shimmery lip gloss and colors from honey to gold. Other lip colors for darker skin include dark berry colors, darker reds and deep plums.

  6. Visit a makeup boutique or cosmetic store that allows testing to find the ideal makeup colors. When looking to find a matching foundation, dab a bit on to the inside of your wrist and blend it in. Allow it to dry to compare how it blends with your skin tone to view how it will look when used on your face.

Tips & Warnings

  • Browse makeup and beauty galleries online and flip through cosmetic magazines for inspiration on new makeup routines and ideas.
  • Don't choose colors that are for warm skin if yours is cool, or vice versa. The colors won't look right no matter how much you might like them.
  • Don't assume that expensive means better. That isn't always the case. Look at the ingredients of the makeup to find those that your skin requires.
  • Don't buy every new makeup that comes down the pike. "New" doesn't necessarily mean better. If you want to experiment with something, check to see if the company offers samples and use those for "try outs."
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  • Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

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