Introduction: How to Choose the Correct Makeup Shades Based on Your Skin Tone

About: Simple instructions for simple makeup. If you want to see me do a certain look or tutorial, please don't be afraid of dropping me a comment or a message! I'm always looking for new things to try out.

Every person is unique. Therefore, the combination of shades of makeup that flatter you is also unique! Everyone has a different ethnic background, and their skin, eye color, and hair color can be emphasized and perfected by using the right colors.

Remember, these are only suggestions! Please feel free to feel whatever colors you are comfortable in.

Step 1: Things You'll Need:

-a blank sheet of white paper

Step 2: Finding the Perfect Foundation and Blush

Remove any and all makeup you may have on your face. Then, grab your sheet of white paper and stand next to a window or any other source of natural light. Hold the piece of paper up to your face (preferably next to your cheek) and look in a mirror.

Does your face appear pink or bluish against the paper? If so, you have cool undertones. This is most common in people of European descent. You want a foundation that does not appear too orange or too yellow. It should be SLIGHTLY pink (emphasis on "slightly"). If the foundation is too pink, it will look like you've spread blush all over your face, which is not a good look. If the foundation is too yellow/orange, you will look like you have a bad fake tan.

In the photo above, I've chosen a cool toned foundation to match my cool undertones.

Does your face appear yellow or orange against the paper? If so, you have warm undertones. This is most common in people with Latin or Middle Eastern ancestry. If you're Asian, your skin should have fairly strong yellow undertones depending on where you're from. People with warm undertones are lucky, because nearly any undertone-specific foundation will look fine no matter what undertone it specifies. Usually. Choose a foundation with a warm appearance. It should be yellow-toned.

Does your face appear appear somewhere in between against the paper? If so, you've got neutral undertones. Lucky you! You can wear foundation with either cool or warm undertones. Both will look totally fine on you!

Does your face appear to have a deep brick-reddish hue against the paper? If so, you have red undertones. This is most common in people with Native American or Middle Eastern descent. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find foundations that are specifically suited to your undertone. The safest bet is to go with a warmer toned foundation.

Does your face appear to have a deep bluish-purple hue against the paper? If so, you have blue undertones. This is most common in people with African descent. Foundations specifically suited to blue undertones are even rarer than ones with red undertones. Because of this, it's the most safe to go with one that is suited for cool undertones.

IMPORTANT TIP: If you are stuck choosing between two foundations, ALWAYS CHOOSE THE LIGHTER OF THE TWO. I can't stress this enough! If your foundation is a tiny bit too light for your skin tone, it's nearly undetectable. If it's a little too dark, I can guarantee that you will have a foundation line. Instead of matching the foundation to your face, try matching it to your neck and jaw. Do NOT match it to your hand. The skin on your hand is usually darker than the skin on your face.

Now, on to the blush! Blush is much easier to find and work with, because one shade can appear many different ways on different people's skin.

If your undertones are cool, look for true baby pinks, pinks with just a hint of peach, and mauve/plum if you have a deeper skin tone. If you have fair skin, USE BLUSH SPARINGLY. Especially if your cheeks are naturally reddish, like mine. If too much is used, it's extremely overwhelming and will look like sunburn. Dust a little just on the high points of your cheeks, near your hairline.

Baby Pink

Plummy Mauve (don't be intimidated, this one is very sheer upon application)

If your undertones are warm, apricot is a knockout. It's the perfect blend of orange and pink, and will create the most beautiful flush. A medium-toned purple berry color is also great, because the blues in it will contrast nicely with the warm hues in your skin tone. If you have darker skin, a fiery orange will make you look flawless!

Purple berry


Fiery orange (if only I could wear this one without looking like I smeared Cheeto dust on my face.)

If your undertones are neutral, apricot is also great! You can work with blushes suited for any skin tone, just watch out for purpley-reds. They can make your skin look discolored rather than flushed. Super bright neon pinks aren't great either, unless you have a medium to dark skin tone. Then they can look very flattering!

Step 3: Choosing the Perfect Eye Makeup

Fortunately, flattering eye shadow and eyeliner colors are much more easy to find than flattering foundation colors. One color can flatter a few different eye colors, so they're pretty versatile.

The general rule with choosing an eye makeup color is that you want a product that is the opposite of your eye color. Unless your eyes are brown, gray, or hazel, wearing a product that is the same color as your eyes is not flattering at all. Wearing a contrasting color will make your eyes really pop! Feel free to experiment with colors, as there are no rules to makeup, but I will list a few of the most attractive shades for your eye color.

PS: In the photo above, notice how I used dark brown on the edges of my eye and a light bronzy color in the center. These colors flatter both green and gray, which is where my eyes tend to fluctuate.

Blue or Gray eyes:

If you're looking for a nice, natural look, try shades of nude, peach, and medium brown. Since blue eyes are so light in color, deeper shades of brown will overpower your natural color. Blue or gray eyes look great with all different types of shadow: shimmer, satin matte, matte, and even glitter!

If you want something a little more dramatic, like a smokey eye, deeper browns and grays will look nice. If you want to use gray, make sure it is a little more warm-toned. Cooler grays will make your eye color look a bit washed out. Be careful when using darker colors, because they can make your eyes look closed-off and smaller. This is especially true for blue eyes. However, black liquid eyeliner in a relatively thin line will really make your eyes pop.

If you want to make a bold statement, try using a shimmering gold. Make sure the gold isn't too yellow-toned, because yellow eye shadow rarely looks good on anyone. You want a gold that is warm and bronzy. You could spread this over your lid and under eye area in a relatively messy fashion for an effortless effect, but make sure you blend it out!

*this is a great palette, I just wish there was a gold!

Green Eyes

Green eyes can drastically vary in shades. But for most people with green eyes, their eyes are either greenish gray or leafy green with brown or yellow speckles. Both are extremely gorgeous, and very rare! Only 2% of the world's population has green eyes.

If you're looking for a natural look, try shades of medium brown, warm amber, rosey gold, and light pink. Be careful with pink though, because too much of it can make your eyes look irritated or tired. The pink should be light and warm-toned. Cool toned pinks can look harsh and unnatural.

If you want something more dramatic, golds, deep browns, plums, icy purples, and deep cool-toned purples are very flattering. I have green eyes myself, and one of my favorite looks consists of deep gold-brown shadow on my lid and icy purple on my lower lashline. Green eyes really pop with contrasting shades of eyeshadow! If your eyes are more of a warm yellow-green, golds and amber colors in a smokey fashion are ravishing. If you want a dramatic eyeliner style, try a cat-eye with plum or medium purple liner. Purple is a great color for green eyes because the contrast is lovely.

If you want to make a bold statement, try doing a bright smokey eye with icy purple. It can either be clownish or classy depending on the way you execute it. Use two different shades of icy purple, and spread the darker of the two on your lid and under eye area. Blend it up into your crease using the lighter of the two.

this is Naked3, which has some of the best shades for green eyes on the market.

Brown Eyes

Lucky you! You have by far the most versatile eye color. No matter if your eyes or amber or chocolate brown, your eye will be flattered by virtually every eyeshadow shade out there.

If you're looking for something natural, rose gold, taupe, and all shades of brown will be great on you. Dark gold is also absolutely beautiful, and if it's worn sparingly it can be very natural and striking.

If you want something dramatic, black eyeshadow is always a winner. Brown eyes can usually pull black off pretty well without looking too extreme. If you like a little more color, navy smokey eyes are beautiful. Place a dark navy shadow on the outer half of your lid, and use c-shaped motions to blend it up into your crease. Blend it the rest of the way across your lid and then a bit on your bottom lashline.

If you're looking for a bold statement, use bright colors! Since brown is a neutral color by nature, bright colors will make your eyes pop. Try a bright mossy green or violet purple in the form of a liner or smokey eye. This is just me, but I really don't recommend bright blue eyeshadow. They might be contrasting colors, but blue eyeshadow in general just isn't flattering. A little clownish.

The original Naked palette does have blue eyeshadow, but the other shades are just gorgeous.

Step 4: Choosing the Perfect Lip Color

When choosing a good lip color, you want to consider your hair and skin tone, rather than your eyes. They're not that close to your lips! Lip colors are very easy to work with, like blush, because one shade can flatter many different skin tones. In the photo above, I chose a cool-toned red.

Check out this handy dandy chart:

Light Hair

Warm Undertones- deep fiery reds, warm peachy pinks, and lighter corals

Neutral Undertones- true and pure reds, plummy pinks, and baby pinks

Cool Undertones- blue-reds, plummy purples, jewel-toned reds, and slightly purple toned pinks.

Medium Hair

Warm Undertones- (lucky you, you can get away with really bright colors!) barbie pinks, orangey-reds, bright corals, and peachy-pink nudes.

Neutral Undertones- peachy pinks, pure pinks, true reds

Cool Undertones- blue-reds, purple-y reds, vampy reds, beige-y pinks.

Dark Hair

Warm Undertones- true fuchsia (my favorite), true plum, deep orange reds, brick reds.

Neutral Undertones- the colors for the above neutral undertones will also work well for you.

Cool undertones- vampy plum-reds, bright blue-red, purple-y pinks, and pinky-nudes.

If you'd like a more generalized approach:

-warm undertones look great with yellow or orange tinted lipstick. (

-neutral undertones can usually go either way.

-cool undertones are flattered by blue-toned lipsticks. (