Makeup tutorials for women of all shades

Choosing the right products for your skin colour is the key to makeup success. Stick to our tips and you won’t go wrong.

The best way to find out what makeup colours suit you is to experiment. Test lots of different bases, eye shadows, lipsticks and blushers: it’s a process of elimination. The right makeup should emphasise your features, make your skin look smooth and healthy and make you feel awesome.

Pale skin

Makeup tips for pale skin

Photo credit: Lauren Curtis/YouTube

Pale skin makeup Collage


If you have the complexion of a porcelain doll, it’s best to avoid the overly made-up look. Really pale-skinned women don’t normally manage to get that sun-kissed glow the natural way (SPF 30+ all the way) so to achieve gorgeous dewy skin, start off with a good quality tinted moisturiser. Use face powder sparingly as pale skin is more susceptible to that caked-on look. Try: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer.


Brown mascara and eyeliner should be a pale-skinned girl’s makeup bag essentials. Black eyeliner should be used with caution and only when balanced out with eye shadow. Brown will blend in with your skin much better, particularly if you have a pink-toned complexion. A light taupe or peach shimmery shadow over your entire lid with a pale champagne highlighter is always a winning combination on pale skin. Try: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow in Champagne.


Pale skin doesn’t have to mean pale lipstick. Be brave enough to experiment with brighter shades. Just remember the one golden rule: bright lips work best with muted eyes. Try a few different lip colours until you find the one that best suits your skin tone. If you want to stick to a subtle lip, go for a pinky beige balm. Try: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Satisfaction.


Again, finding the right blusher for your pale skin depends on its tone (i.e. pink or orange). A honey-apricot blush, applied onto the fullest part of your cheeks and swept up towards the temples, is great for warming up pale skin. Stay away from sparkly or glittery blushers, which look awesome on darker skin shades but are likely to turn you into a circus act. Try: Rimmel London Stay Blushed in Apricot Glow.

Medium skin

Makeup tips for medium skin

Photo credit: Dulce Candy/YouTube

Medium skin make up collage


If you have medium skin, you can afford to spice up your neutrals a bit more than your pale-skinned sisters. Foundation and concealer with yellow undertones will flatter your pale-but-not-too-pale complexion. Try: Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in Medium.


For a variation of the dark smokey eye that looks great on medium skin, apply a light layer of pale golden-bronze or rose-gold shadow from lids to creases. To open up your eye area, blend a shimmery highlighter in a pearl hue along your brow bone and in the inner corners of your eyes. Try: Jemma Kidd Eye Essentials Shimmer Eyeshadow in Pearl.


A nude lip is always a great lip choice either for that “no makeup” day look or with dark eyes for night. You can’t go wrong with a reddish-brown lip liner to warm up your lips; it will work with any colour of lipstick. Try: Body Shop Lip Liner in Beech.


A soft, pinkish-brown blush is your best friend if you have medium skin, as your skin is probably already warm and only needs a little enhancement. This lets you go bolder with the rest of your makeup look. A muted mauve blush is perfect for a slightly edgier look. Try: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Soft Colour Mono Blush in Pink Rose.

More: Makeup for round faces

Olive skin

Makeup tips for olive skin

Photo credit: happytreasuress/YouTube

Olive skin makeup


Women with olive skin, as well as those from India and the Middle East and with Hispanic roots, are lucky in that they can pull off the widest range of makeup colours. For a base that complements but doesn’t mask the natural beauty of your skin, pick dewy products with names like caramel and honey. Try: Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Caramel.


Olive skins can really go to town with eye makeup, from rich browns and burgundies to dark greens and sapphire blues. Eye shadow with a shimmer effect will lift your eyes rather than weigh them down. Pair with dark brown or black eyeliner and mascara to really enhance your peepers. Try: Shu Uemura Pressed Eyeshadow in Dark Green.


Warm pinks, sheer shimmery nudes, corals, peachy apricots, bronzes, golds and sheer blood reds are just a few of the lip colours that work really well on olive skin. Try: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Heftiest Hibiscus.


Olive skin has green undertones so finding the right colour blush is crucial. Warm colours work best such as berries, deep peaches, golden corals, deep warm pinks, dark apricots and bronzes. Go for a cream formula to get that dewy look. Try: Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Rude.

Dark skin

Makeup tips for dark skin

Photo credit: Destiny Godley/YouTube

Dark skin make up collage


The darker your complexion, the more careful you have to be with your base. If you have a lot of ashiness in your skin, counteract it with a warm base with red in it. Go for an extra-hydrating concealer to keep your skin glowing. Try: Lancôme Teint Visionnaire Skin Perfecting Makeup Duo in 15.


Gold eye shadow is the best highlighter for dark skin. You can wear the boldest eye colours of all skin shades: coppers, bronzes, coffees, jewel-toned greens, purples and blues and the darkest blues, purples and greys will look amazing. Make the whites of your eyes really pop with a sapphire blue eye pencil along the inner rims. Try: Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigment Palette.


Go for sheer lip gloss in shimmering bronzes, golds, honeys, oranges, corals, tangerines and plums or lipstick in sheer blackberry, maroon, burgundy and raisin. Try: Max Factor Lipfinity in Frivolous.


Use a bold, highly pigmented blush shade on your dark skin, otherwise it will look muddy or simply won’t show up at all. A chocolate blush under the apples of your cheeks and up towards your temples always works on dark skin but don’t be afraid to try burnt orange, magenta or fuchsia, which would look intimidating on paler complexions but are super pretty on dark skin. Try: Sleek Blush By 3 in Pumpkin.

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