Beauty Insider – May 2013: How Do I Know the Right Colors for Me?

How do you know which colors are best for you? That is probably the number one question women ask me when it comes to makeup.

If you didn’t really study makeup application, color theory or anything else color-related, chances are you will be at a serious disadvantage in this conceptual area. I generally advise women to stay with neutral, earthy colors when in doubt, but what does that mean?

It generally means browns, golds, beiges – you know, colors that portray warmth. I know, you’re wondering, “But there’s gotta be more to it than this right?” Of course there is.

It’s a little easier to determine things like the color bronzer or blush for someone based on their skin tone, than it is to pick out the right eye shadows and lipsticks. There are so many options of shades out there, and every one of you comes in every possible combinations of colors. You may have blue eyes and blonde hair, but then you may have a dark olive complexion. You may be pale and have red hair, with deep brown eyes. If I try to sit here and list all possible combinations I would go mad.

So when it comes down to it, you can really wear any colors you desire, just as long as you find the right tone and shade for yourself.

I will however, try to list a few basic combinations and colors below.

Bronzer: This popular product is not necessarily meant make you look tanned, but to create a dimension of the face, and is especially recommended for makeup in photographs and on television. I love bronzers from Smashbox, Cargo and Dior.

Here are my recommendations, with the skin tone description to the left. If that describes you, the product to the right is my suggestion.

Alabaster/Porcelain: Pinky or peachy satin/shimmer bronzer (or even a blush)
Light: Brownish beige bronzer
Light Olive to Olive: Tawny or honey bronzer
Deep Tan: Deeply bronzed bronzer
Dark: Deep bronze with gold shimmer bronzer
Very Dark: Copper and dark bronze

Blush: The right shade of blush can really be flattering, even for deep-colored skin. I love just a subtle pop of color on the apples of my cheeks, and I achieve that look from a buildable but sheer product like the baked blushes from Chanel, and the gel/powder formula from Maybelline.

Here are my recommendations, with the skin tone description to the left. If that describes you, the product to the right is my suggestion.

Alabaster/Porcelain: Soft pink, pinky beige, sheer/light coral
Light: Light rose, light pinkish/coral
Light Olive to Olive: Light apricot, pale peach, or coral
Medium to Olive: Deep pinks, tawny roses, sheer cherry
Dark: Cinnamons, bronzes, deep corals
Very Dark: Deep berries, gold infused plums

Eye Shadow + Eyeliner:

Brown eyes, light-medium skin: Vanilla, sheer gold/soft browns, eggplant, emeralds
Brown eyes, medium-dark complexion: Gold, golden brown, copper, deep brown, violet, olive
Blue eyes, light-medium complexion: Grayish blue, warm gold, soft blue, grey, violet
Blue eyes, medium to dark complexion: Brown, gold, violets, dark browns, dark grey, blacks
Hazel eyes, light-medium complexion: Light olive, medium brown, gold, eggplant
Hazel eyes, medium to dark complexion: Olive, gold, deep brown, black, violet
Green eyes, light-medium complexion: Gold, copper, eggplant, browns
Green eyes, medium-dark complexion: Eggplant, dark brown, gold, black

This should be a guide that helps, and don’t forget that there is a shade and a tone of every color out there, so that means there are shades and tones just right for you. It might just take a little while. Think of the color you want to wear, and then go to your local Sephora or department store and try a few shades.

Samantha Lennon, Makeup Consultant & Artist
“Your Makeup Artist”

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