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How to Choose Makeup & Clothing Colors For Your Skin Tone

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September 7, 2020

Nothing makes us feel as confident as when we feel good in our skin. But making sure we also choose a flattering color to wear and the right cosmetic colors help us look our absolute glowing best. Do you know your skin tone and which colors to use to make you look bright and vibrant?

First, take a look at your veins on your wrist. Are they blue or purple? If so, then you have cool undertones. Green or olive-colored veins? You have warm undertones. And for the rest of us with blue/green veins, we are neutrals.

If you need a little more help, try this test. Hold a piece of white paper next to your jawline, neck, and chest. What colors do you see in your skin? Blue, rosy or pink means a cool tone. Greenish, yellowish or gold means warm. If your skin looks ashy or grey, you’re likely neutral.

So now that you know this, what do you do with this knowledge? Choose the makeup and clothes that flatter you the most!

Choosing Foundation

Cool tone skin looks best with a cool tone foundation and the same for warm. If you go against that rule, you risk looking sallow, pale, or unnaturally orange. Try a little swipe of color along your jawline and when it blends well with your skin tone, almost disappearing, you’ve got a match. Luckily, nowadays many brands label (c), (w) and (n) right along with the shade name. If your brand doesn’t and you struggle to find a flattering shade, find a brand that offers a large selection in each color range with those specific cool/warm/neutral labels.

Choosing Blush

You want it to look like you just came in from a short jog. Whatever redness your skin gets naturally from a workout is the best guide for blush. If your skin has warm tones, look for peach or tawny blushes. Cooler tones get flushed pink or plum, so stick with that for your most natural and beautiful look.

Choosing Lipstick

Lipsticks look best when they enhance the natural color of your lips, though some say true reds look amazing on most women. Neutral skin can work with many shades. Cool skin looks better with blue or purple hues, warm skin with red and orange undertones. If you’re wearing a mask, skip the lipstick and play up your eyes.

Choosing Clothing

For warm-toned people (think Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Salma Hayak, and Jessica Alba), avoid “icy” cool shades of jewel tones like sapphire and ruby. In the cool range of clothing colors, you can try a green like olive, a deep moss green, or a purply red, like magenta. For neutral clothing, choose a creamy white or wheat color. Taupes are ok too. From the warm clothing colors, try amber, honey-gold, or orange.

Cool-toned people (think Lucy Lui, Lupita Nyong’o, or Anne Hathoway) look vivid in bright blue, royal blue, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, deep purple or even lavender. Some can wear shocking pink or ruby. For neutral clothing colors choose a pristine white, grey or navy. Avoid orange and yellow which will make skin look less than flattering.

For those of us neutral, we look best in middle spectrum colors (think Amal Clooney, Kerry Washington, and Julia Roberts.) Clothing in shades of lighter peaches, dusty pinks, soft roses, soft blues, and jade green. Grey, taupe, and vanilla too. Avoid bright colors like bright yellow or red that can overwhelm this tone skin.

When you’re just not sure about a color, ask a friend for honest advice. Besides our normal undertones, our hair color and level of tan, can affect the look of a certain color that is “supposed” to be perfect for you. Often, though, we just know when we put on a certain color. Looking in the mirror in true lighting or taking a picture in natural light will show you how you appear to everyone else. If you have a special occasion coming or will be in a lot of pictures, you definitely want to be in a color that makes your skin glow and your eyes pop.

This fall is a great time to overhaul your cosmetic drawer and your closet. Choose the colors that flatter you to feel and look your best. And who doesn’t love buying some brand new makeup anyway?

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