Make-up tips: buying the right colors for your skin tone


The key to choosing the perfect make-up to enhance your natural beauty is to find the best shades for your skin tone.

With so many products available for so many millions of women, it would make sense that choosing the right make-up color would be easy. However, this is not the case. Instead, we repeatedly buy foundations, eye shadows, and lipsticks that looked great in the store but dreadful on our faces. It can seem impossible to know what will work and what will be a waste of hard-earned money. Luckily, it does not take magic or an expensive consultant to choose the right make-up colors. All you need to do is figure out what skin tone you have and then use the hues that flatter it.

Finding Your Skin Tone

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Before you can begin to choose make-up colors suited to your skin tone, you must first figure out what type of complexion you have. In general, skin tones fall into two categories: cool and warm. Although skin tones are highly varied, all of us can classify our skin as dark, olive or yellow (Asian or Latin people usually have this color), rosy, tanned, or fair. Holding a piece of white paper up to your face and identifying the main color you see will help you decide into which category you fall. Still, it is easy to get confused by these terms, so to simplify the process try this simple test. Try on a white shirt and then a cream or off-white top. If you look better in the white blouse, you most likely have cool skin. If the cream top is more flattering, your skin is probably warm. Another good indicator of skin tone is which jewelry looks best on you. Silver tends to work well for cool skin while gold makes warm skin glow. Either of these methods will help you to easily identify your coloring, at which point you can begin selecting make-up colors that will look excellent on you.

Foundation

Since foundation is the base on which you will build your entire look, it is important that it be perfectly matched to your skin tone. Foundations generally have either a golden or blue-toned base, with variations that flatter a wide group of faces in the warm and cool ranges. Basically, if you have cool skin, choose a foundation that has blue or pink undertones. Use a yellow-base foundation for warm skin. Be sure to test to color on your face (not your wrist or hand!) and have a look at yourself in sunlight to make sure that you have a good match. Once properly blended, your foundation should even out your skin tone but look completely natural. When in doubt, consult a specialist at the make-up counter for help. Remember that if you choose the wrong base, your color will be unattractively distorted.

Blush

When choosing a blush to suit your skin tone, pay special attention to your coloration. Fair skin tones are best suited to pink, tawny, and beige blushes. Darker skin tones look best in plumbs if they are cooler and auburns or rich bronzes if they are warmer. For olive to yellow skin tones, try blushes in copper, almond, and warm brown shades. Finally, tanned skin often looks best on warm colors like peach, coral, apricot, and orange. Varying the intensity of blush — bolder colors for darker skin and softer colors for fairer skin– will help you achieve a natural glow.

Powder

Since most women rely on their foundation to lend color to their complexions, translucent powders are the best choice. Designed both to set the make-up and control excess shine, powder will give your face a perfectly made-up look. Avoid using pressed powder compacts, which can streak foundation or clump in spots. Instead, opt for a loose powder that you can apply evenly over the face with a blush brush. If you do not use foundation, you can try a tinted complexion powder to even out the skin. Follow the same rules you would with foundation, selecting a shade that is warm or cool to match your skin tone.

Lipstick

Lipstick is the most difficult make-up for many women to select. Colors that look incredible in the store can be hideous once you put them on, drawing out unattractive tones in your skin or washing it out. Again, the problem is that some colors are only suited to specific skin tones. Examine a tester version of lipsticks on a sheet of white paper to discover their dominant color. If they are mostly brown, warm red, or very pale, they will look excellent on yellow skin. Many shades of red and pink are flattering on skin with a rosy tint. As for dark skin, try rose, magenta, and shades of purple. Tanned skin is flattered most by a variety of true pinks. Finally, if you have very light skin, try pinks, orange/red shades, and light purples. Purchase coordinating lip liner at the same time as lipstick to achieve a perfect match.

Eye Shadow

There are more shades of eye shadow than could possibly be covered in one small article. However, there are certain common colors that work best with warm and cool skin tones. If you have warm skin, experiment with different tones of bronze, cream, light brown, red/pink, soft green, and coral. For cool skin, white, silver, pale blue, purple, dark green, and gray are good choices of eye shadow. Hold any colors you are unsure of up to your face to decide if they are becoming.

Knowing your skin tone will make the once-daunting task of buying make-up simple. When you know whether you are warm or cool and to what degree, you can walk into the cosmetic department with confidence. Say goodbye to the days of wasted money on the wrong lipstick and enjoy the knowledge that you can pick make-up like a professional.

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