April 7, 2015 Diana Crisan Spotlight

How to Choose the Right Makeup for Fair Skin Tones

Hey, Snow White! Others fawn over your fair complexion resembling that of a porcelain doll — but little do they know how frustrating finding the right makeup for your skin tone can be. Even the lightest of colors seems to be too dark in comparison and blending your heart out just leaves you with what’s known as the “makeup mask.” Ditch the colors that sorta, kinda work because MDC is here to help you find the ideal shades to complement your ivory complexion. Here’s what you fair-skinned beauties need to look for when taking a trip down the makeup aisle.

fair skin

Work With Your Undertones

If you think your understanding of your skin tone doesn’t need to extend past the fair skin category, you would be mistaken. Choosing the right makeup is dependent on your undertones, too! When looking for foundation, you may get overwhelmed by your options as most brands will have two to three colors that look almost identical. For example, Lancôme Teint Visionnaire comes in Ivoire C, Ivoire W and Ivoire N —cool, warm and neutral. What does this mean? Well, on the surface, your skin tone is visibly light, but beneath the surface lies a subtle hue of one of the following:

Cool: Pink, red, or blue undertones
Yellow, peach or golden undertones
A balance between both cool and warm

Not sure what your undertones are? Here’s how to find out:

The White vs Cream Test: Grab two articles of clothing (or even a towel) – one white and the other off-white. While wearing NO makeup, decide which color complements your skin tone best? If it’s the pure-white shade, your undertones are warm. If the cream color suits you more (because the white washes you out), then you have cool undertones. If both flatter you just the same, you’re neutral!

The Vein Test: Look at the veins on your wrists. If they’re green, then you have warm undertones. If your veins are blue, then you have cool undertones. Do you have both colors or do they appear to be blue-green? Then you have neutral undertones.

Still not sure? Here’s one more for good measure!

The Jewelry Test: If gold jewelry enhances your complexion, then you’re likely on the warmer side, if silver jewelry looks best on your skin tone, then you have cool undertones.

Foundation for Fair Skin

Working with your undertone will help you determine which foundation is perfect for your fair complexion. Have you figured out whether you’re cool, warm or neutral? Perfect. (If you’re still unsure, ask an expert at a beauty department counter.) Try one of these fair-friendly foundations and pinpoint your exact shade based on your undertone findings!

Fair-Skinned Favorites: Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H, L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup

Choosing the Right Blush

Finding the right blush can be difficult since many shades can look too stark and obvious against your fair skin. A little flush is meant to look natural (not clown-like!). Ideal hues include soft pink, peach or coral — more specifically, warm skin tones look best in peach and coral while cool tones look best in rosy pinks and light mauves.

Related: How to Find the Right Blush for Your Skin Tone

Best Bronzer for You

You might feel like bronzer is not even in the realm of possibility — that’s definitely not the case. Not only can you rock bronzer, but you can rock it in multiple ways – including in contouring your fair skin. Add a little warmth to your cheeks by finding a sheer shade that has a hint of peach or shimmery pink (just not too shimmery!). As a rule of thumb, less is more — you can always add on as needed, but too much bronzer and you won’t be fooling anyone!

The Basics of Bronzer

Eye Shadow Shades

You’ve heard it before: Eye shadow shades that are too dark will come off bruise-like and hues that are too rosy will make you look sick. And neutral? Forget about it — they’ll blend right in with your skin tone! If you have warm undertones, it’s best to stick with bronze and earthy colors, while cool undertones look perfect in jewel-tones and gray or metallic shades. Looking for the shadow palette that will do it all, no matter your undertones? The Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette has it all!

Flattering Lipstick Colors

Contrary to what some may think, light-skinned ladies can wear shades that range from barely there to bright and bold! When shopping for the perfect nude, look for shades that have a slight pink or peach note, so that you don’t look washed out. We love the YSL Rouge Volupté is Nude Beige!

Shades with peachy-coral hues are perfect for cool undertones, while fair skin with warm undertones look stunning in orange lipstick! Still searching for a ravenous red? If you have cool undertones, opt for a bluish red like NYX Matte Lipstick in Perfect Red and those of you with warmer undertones look best with an orangey red like NYX Simply Red Lip Cream in Seduction.

Hey, light-skinned lovelies! What are some of your favorite fair-friendly shades? Share in the comments below!

Photo: iStock



    About the Author: Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.