How To Determine Skin Tone Color?
Very fair skins and spun-sugar silvery blond hair, epitomized by Scandinavian good looks, need the greatest possible care in make-up. The skin tends to be delicate, often very sensitive and dry and must always be protected from the sun. Moisturizer is essential at all times and should always be used under foundation. Only the lightest foundation is needed to achieve a smooth creamy texture which is the first step to porcelain pink-and-white looks; alternatively, a gel makeup gives a tinge of honey color that is very attractive but almost impossible to acquire safely from the sun. A light hand is a golden rule for fair good looks — experiment with almost any color you like, but stick to the lightest shades.
The prettiest natural look for daytime is to make the most of the eyes, shadowing them in neutral colors that blend with the eyes, intensifying with kohl and mascara, shining lips with gloss, and just a hint of blush. In the evening a beautiful purity can be the answer — rose pink lips and cheeks, gray eyes highlighted with pink and gold, for instance.
Natural blondes, and particularly dark blondes, often have a lot of red in their hair color; their skin tends to burn easily and freckle, like redheads. But they can take stronger colors than the very fair and have more choice than redheads. They are often considered the lucky ones — any color looks good on them. However, their skin is likely to be on the dry side and they should be careful using strong colors as their makeup should never be harsh.
It’s easy to look washed-out wearing bright colors, but if you’re fair-skinned and blond, be careful not to look over made-up. Choose a light-textured foundation (which allows your skin to show through) in a shade nearest your skin tone (test on the side of your jaw and choose in good daylight). Smoky colors — plum, gray, green, blue — look good around the eyes; use a pink to plum blusher and true pink or real red lipsticks.
Redheads with their tendency to beautiful translucent skin often have freckles too. The skin only has a small amount of melanin (the pigment that turns skin brown) in it and this means they burn easily or acquire freckles, which come from irregular pigmentation. Freckles don’t appear only on the face but often all over the body — particularly across the shoulders. All freckles tend to fade during the winter but return as soon as the sun shines on the skin again. You can’t stop them appearing, but a really good sunscreen will minimize them.
The best makeup results will come from learning to love your freckles and make the most of the natural healthy coloring — only covering up for a specific smooth look in the evening. Freckles can be a terrific asset — many girls paint on fake ones for a healthy effect — so use a bronze gel base or just a moisturizing sunscreen during the day and a more covering foundation in the evening if you like.
With very pale, almost white eyelashes, it’s worth considering having them dyed from time to time. Most salons do this, requiring a patch test twenty-four hours in advance to make sure you have no bad reaction; it is quite simple and makes a great difference to your looks. Otherwise, use lots of coats of mascara.
Natural colors for cheeks and lips are the tawny shades — peach, Sienna, copper, bronze, and terracotta — with rust, green and apricot tones around the eyes. Iridescent is great in the evening and gold is the redhead’s natural highlighter, but stay away from silver. If you want to be more adventurous, play up either eyes or lips with a surprise color but not both at once. Try violet or orchid pink around the eyes, shocking pink or raspberry lips.
Orientals often have creamy skin (with the tone ranging from pale ivory to warm olive) and black hair. This can look wonderful with really strong bright lips and smudgy charcoal eyes.
Brunettes with olive skin may find a mauve-tinted moisturizer helpful in reducing any sallowness in the skin and often look best in earth tones for lips and cheeks — the darker your skin the more dramatic the color can be; paler skins should stick to a softer look. Try green, bronze, brown around the eyes and highlight with creamy gold.
Girls with dark skins and dark brown or black hair often complain their skins are greasy and their make-up too shiny. This normally begins to disappear in their thirties, but then the danger is that the skin often goes very dry and, if neglected or not cleaned meticulously, may develop a gray or ashy look.
Dark skins need little or no tinted foundation or powder as they usually have a natural bloom and good all-over tone, but, if patchy, makeup can help to even out the tone; often a gel-bronze foundation is all that is needed. Red or yellow tints of the foundation are not usually flattering — cool brown and earthy shades are best — and the gel or liquid varieties rather than stick or cream are usually most satisfactory.
Blushers in brick or wine shades (it’s usually better to avoid light pink or red) and lipsticks in earth tones or wine are most becoming. Girls with the lighter types of brown skin can look wonderful with the brilliance of a true red or cyclamen pink. Pearlized lipsticks are inclined to make a mouth look larger; well-defined mouths usually look best with a minimum of color, just glossed.
For eye makeup, avoid pearly colors if lids or the eye area is at all puffy. Where lids are narrow, a pearlized gel can help to shape the lid. If lashes are on the short side, a narrow band of cream or bone color on the lid can give the illusion of more length. Kohl on the inner rims is very effective, as is lots of mascara. Good color palettes to choose from are green through copper and bronze to a golden brown and deep blue through plum to smoky gray.
Black skins have many variations in shade from mahogany to almost black, and normally tend to be oily. But, if exposed to a cold climate, many black skins suffer from dryness too. These complexions can burn in the sun, though not as severely as paler skins. The well-conditioned black skin should appear smooth and burnished and of an even tone — a grayish sheen means it’s suffering from dryness or the wrong shade of foundation is being used.
Foundations and powders formulated for white skins are often not suitable for black because they contain ingredients to deposit the grayish sheen mentioned above or a too red or too yellow tone. Many black skins, because of their oily texture, suffer from enlarged pores and, if exposed to cold and suffering from dryness, need moisturizing protection. Therefore, the choice of foundation is a vital one for successful make-up — a tinted moisturizer or bronzing gel may give just the right amount of coverage to protect and even out the skin tone, but if a heavier coverage is required, the base must be selected with great care. Most cosmetic ranges have dark shades of foundation and powder specially formulated for black skins, and there are cosmetic ranges specifically for black girls too.
The trick is to improve the natural polish of black skin. The use of highlighter (transparent white or a pink one with gold in it) above cheekbones, just above the upper lip, down the bridge of the nose and around the eye area is particularly effective. Use sparingly and let the natural skin show the surface sheen. Transparency is the prettiest effect to aim at, no matter how many colors you choose to apply. Thin cheek gels in copper, wine or even magenta; and lip gloss, over a matte color if you like, ranging from coral, brick, plum and brandy shades to the darkest wine and blackberry are good products to experiment with. For eyes, all the iridescent products are perfect — for a neutral makeup, shade in gold, apricot, and rust, or amethyst, rose and burgundy, depending on the particular tone of your skin; for evening or for fun, try the peacock blues, greens, purples with silver or gold highlight. Add Kohl pencil inside the lower rim and lots of mascara in several coats, separating the lashes as you go.
A good rule is to stay away from muddy colors and experiment with the clear vivid ones that look harsh on paler complexions.