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How do I match my makeup color?

Finding the right makeup colors to complement your skin tone can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! With some basic color theory knowledge and experimentation, you’ll be matching your makeup to your skin like a pro in no time.

Determine Your Skin Undertone

The first step is determining whether you have warm, cool, or neutral undertones. Your skin’s undertone is the natural color underneath the surface that influences how colors look on you. Here’s how to figure it out:

  • Warm undertones: Skin looks yellow, peach or golden. Veins appear greenish.
  • Cool undertones: Skin looks pink, red or bluish. Veins appear blue or purple.
  • Neutral undertones: Skin doesn’t lean warm or cool. Veins are blue and green.

The best way is to check the appearance of your veins on the inside of your wrist under natural light. If you still can’t tell, try draping different colored fabrics near your face and seeing which are most flattering.

Match Your Foundation and Concealer

When selecting foundation and concealer, you want the undertones to match your skin’s undertones to look natural.

Warm skin: Reach for yellow/peach/golden foundations and concealers. Avoid pink or rose toned makeup.

Cool skin: Choose pink, rose or red based makeup. Steer clear of yellow tones.

Neutral skin: Opt for foundations and concealers without strong pink or yellow pigments. Beige and tan work well.

If you can, test foundations on your jawline in natural lighting before purchasing. The right shade will disappear into your skin. Also, don’t forget to blend onto your neck!

Complementary Color Theory for Eyeshadow

The color wheel is your best friend when picking flattering eye makeup colors. Complementary colors are directly across from each other and create a vibrant contrast.

Warm eyes: Purple and gold eyeshadow flatters warm, yellow undertones. Bronze and navy also complements warm skin.

Cool eyes: Silvers, grays and icy pinks make blue undertones pop. Mauve and rose gold shadows are also ideal for cooler complexions.

Neutral eyes: Lucky you, neutral tones can wear any eyeshadow colors! But copper, plum and muted greens will make your eyes shine.

Apply the lighter shadow over the eyelid and use the deeper shade in the crease and outer corner. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color combinations to find your perfect palette!

Choose Lip Colors for Your Skin Tone

Lipstick and lip gloss shades should also be picked with your undertones in mind:

Warm skin: Coral, peach, brick red, copper and nude lipstick with orange undertones. Avoid berry shades.

Cool skin: Rose, mauve, deep reds, pinks and magentas. Steer clear of orangey nudes.

Neutral skin: You have lots of flexibility! Try muted pinks, plums, browns, corals and cherry reds. Most shades will work.

A rule of thumb is to look for lip colors with blue-based or orange-based undertones to complement your skin. Ask a makeup artist if you’re torn between shades.

Blush Colors for Your Complexion

Believe it or not, blush can look unnatural if not properly matched to your skin. Here are flattering shade options:

Warm skin: Reach for peachy, golden, bronze and apricot blushes. Avoid bold pinks.

Cool skin: Try soft pinks, mauves and plummy shades for a natural flush. Stay away from orange tones.

Neutral skin: Lucky again! Subtle pinks, peaches, roses and berries will all provide that perfect pop of color.

Look for blushes with matte rather than shimmery finishes. Smile and apply blush to the apples of your cheeks sweeping up to your temples. This mimics a natural flush.

Finishing Powder to Match Skin Tone

Translucent powder can look chalky and accentuate skin imperfections if it’s the wrong tone. Here are finishing powder guidelines:

Warm skin: Yellow-based powders provide an even, balanced finish. Avoid white powders.

Cool skin: Translucent or light blue-pink powders even out redness nicely. Steer clear of yellow.

Neutral skin: Sheer, colorless finishing powders are ideal and won’t add color. Stay away from bold white powders.

After applying foundation and concealer, dust finishing powder over your T-zone where shine peeks through. This will leave you with a flawless, matte look all day long!

How to Test Makeup Colors at Home

If you’re still unsure what makeup suits your complexion, here are some tips for testing colors:

  • Try makeup on at the store near natural light if possible.
  • Bring home makeup testers and sample sizes to experiment.
  • Swatch multiple shades along your jawline and neck to compare.
  • Have a friend help test makeup colors and provide feedback.
  • Take photos wearing different makeup colors and review.
  • Borrow a friend’s makeup to trial colors you don’t own.

Give new makeup looks a full test run before important events. You want to make sure you’re comfortable with the shades in different lighting. Don’t be afraid to play!

Top Makeup Shades for Skin Tones

As a quick reference, here are universally flattering makeup shades for each skin tone category:

Skin Tone Foundation Blush Eyeshadow Lip Color
Fair/Porcelain Neutral or pink toned Soft pink Purple, gray, light brown Pink, mauve, rose
Light Beige Warm yellow undertones Peach, pink Peach, copper, gold Peach, pink, rose
Medium Tan Yellow/golden undertones Coral, bronze Copper, olive green Coral, rose, plum
Deep Brown Neutral warm undertones Brick red Purple, emerald green Wine, red, nude

These suggestions serve as a great starting point, but always tweak makeup colors to match your personal skin tone and preferences. With practice, you’ll be an expert at choosing the most flattering shades!


Finding makeup that complements your skin doesn’t have to be frustrating. Learn your undertones, use color theory to guide shade selection and test, test, test! The time invested in finding colors tailored for you pays off with makeup looks that enhance your natural beauty. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try new things. Your perfect makeup palette is waiting to be discovered!