What is skin tone?
Do you struggle to match your foundation to your skin? Do you wonder what lip colour best suits your complexion? Do you look at eyeshadows palettes and panic at the range of shades wondering if they will wash you out or be too much?
Wearing my 2 hats of Beauty Editor for British Bride Magazine and professional Makeup Artist, I always try to offer information and tips that help to provide a solution to your beauty struggles.
Skin tones and colour matching is always up there on frequently asked questions. I am often amazed when clients get in touch to book their makeup with me and tell me “I can never find a foundation to match my skin, will you be able to?” or “I’ve got black skin, do you cater for dark skin?”. The answer is simply yes! Whether you are porcelain, tanned or black skinned, a reputable Makeup Artist will be fully stocked with a range of shades and colour correcting products to help you achieve a balanced skin canvas before you add the finer makeup details.
Generally speaking there are 3 different types of skin – fair, medium and dark. Within this, you also need to know if you are cool toned, warm toned, or neutral. Your undertone will not change regardless of whether you are tanned from the sun or pale from the gloomy winter weather. Knowing which category you fall in then helps to determine the right shades of makeup for you. This even goes further than just makeup – it can also help you when picking flattering hair colours and complimentary clothing colours.
In the new issue of British Bride Magazine, I took the opportunity to share some tips on finding the best colour options for your skin type. So here you go…
It can be tricky finding your shade of foundation when you are at the pale end of the skin tone spectrum but matching your skin tone correctly is vital to avoid the “tidemark” scenario around the neckline. When looking for face powders, stick to the products labelled fair/light. For eyeshadows, try soft pink, grey and grey-brown tones. With both blush and lip colours, try soft pink, coral and peach tones. If you are looking for a red lip, you are likely to need a blue-red tone.
You are not pale but you are not dark skinned – you sit in the middle. For eyeshadows, try bronze, gold and golden-brown hues. With blush, you can step up the intensity gradually to desired finish using pinks and glowy peaches. There are lots of options for lip colours but try experimenting with coral, peachy-nude, rich burgundy/berry, medium to deep pinks and if you looking for a red lip, you are likely to need a yellow-red tone.
Dark skin can often be multi-tonal and therefore it is necessary to balance out the skin tone as part of the base application process. Commonly referred to as colour correction – this process involves certain colours to “neutralize” the appearance. Peach, orange and red concealers generally work best to neutralize the appearance of purple/dark brown discolouration. For eyeshadows, you can have fun with jewel-tones and metallic hues such as copper. Try blush products in burgundy, deep pink or orange and red tones to lift the complexion. With lips, dark skin works well with fuchsia, chocolate brown, bronze tones and deep reds.
So next time you are contemplating spending your hard earned pennies on a gamble, think about choosing shades and colours carefully. Its better to have a head start by knowing what shades will suit you. After all, we all have products lurking in our makeup bags, where we have splurged in the hope it would suit us and sometimes it doesn’t so it has been a waste of money as we never touch it again… sometimes it doesn’t suit us and we wear it anyway, like a rule-breaking badass 😀
Why not screenshot your skin tone and keep it on your phone to use for reference next time you go makeup shopping! Hope this helps
Publication – British Bride Magazine
Photography – Michael Sreenan
Makeup – Gemma Rimmington
Hair – Vicky Medhurst
Models – Olivia Hamilton, Sophiah Dearden and Chisanga Mwila