How to choose the right makeup colors

How to choose the correct Makeup colors

Choosing the right makeup shade can be a little nerve racking sometimes. I know when it comes to ordering makeup online I never seem to choose the right shade for my skin tone. So you decide to take a trip to Sephora so you can make absolutely sure which shade will actually match your skin and there are tons of shades to choose from. Where do you even begin? It can get a little over whelming at times.



One thing that many people may not be aware of is that you could be saving lots of wasted money spent on the wrong shade of makeup by checking your favorite store’s return policy. Believe it or not, most stores allow you to bring back makeup that you have opened and even used some of it.  Stores such as Ulta, for example, allow you to return open, used makeup for a store credit towards something you would rather have. I purchased some of the It Cosmetics CC Creme of a shade too dark for my skin tone and I returned it after only using a small portion of the product. Once you return something, of course, they can no longer sell it so unfortunately, they have to be destroyed. I know that seems like such a waste of an expensive product but it’s for the customer’s safety and health. There are some crazy folks out there in this world these days.  Here is an infographic that is taken from that might make things a little bit easier when it comes to making the right choice on that next makeup purchase.


How To Choose the Most Flattering Makeup Colors #infographic

You can also find more infographics at Visualistan


  1. Examine your skin in neutral light to find your complexion.

     Your complexion refers to the surface shade of your skin, such as fair, medium, olive, tan, or dark and is not necessarily fixed. So your complexion may be lighter in the winter and darker during the summer. By looking at the skin near your jawline, you should be able to determine your coloring.

    • Make sure your skin is clean and free of any product, such as foundation, powder, or lotion.
    • If your skin can be described as very white, pale or translucent, you are fair skinned. You may have freckles or a little redness to your complexion. Your skin is very sensitive to the sun and burns easily.You may have cool or warm undertones.
    • If you have pale skin that burns in the sun but then deepens into a tan, you have light skin. You may have a little red coloring and your skin may be mildly sensitive. May have cool or warm undertones.
    • If you can tan very easily and rarely burn, you have a medium skin tone. You likely have warm or golden undertones. This is a very common complexion.
    • If your skin is olive or tan year-round (even in the winter), your complexion is likely tan. You almost never get a sunburn and your undertone is probably neutral or warm.
    • If you have warm, brown skin and black or dark brown hair, you have a warm complexion. Your skin darkens very quickly in the sun and you rarely burn. Your undertones are almost always warm. Women of Indian or African descent often fall into this category.
    • If you have very dark, even ebony skin and have black or dark brown hair, you have a deep complexion. You may have a warm or cool skin tone and your skin hardly ever burns.
  2. Image titled Determine Skin Tone Step 8

    Use your skin tone to choose the right colors for your clothing.

     Remember, these are not rules, only suggestions. Matching your skin tone with a flattering color can help you look your best, but feel free to branch out and experiment with whatever shades really grab you.

    • Warm undertones should try neutrals, like beige, cream, orangey-coral, mustard, off-white, yellow, orange, brown, warm red, and yellow-greens.
    • Cool undertones should try blue-red, blue, purple, pink, green, plum, navy, magenta, and blue-green.
    • Neutral undertones can draw from both groups. Most shades will flatter your skin.
  3. Image titled Determine Skin Tone Step 9

    Consider your skin tone and complexion to find your new favorite lipstick.

    Start out with these guidelines and recommendations, but don’t be afraid to branch out.

    • If you have fair or light skin, try light pink or coral, nude, beige, or dusty red. If you have cool undertones, look for raspberry or mocha or nudes, especially. Warm undertones may want to try red with blue undertones (this will make your teeth look very white, too), coral, pale pink or peachy nudes.
    • If you have tan or medium skin, go for cherry red, rose, mauve, or berry. Deep pinks or corals will look good, too. If you have warm undertones, focus on tangerine, orange-red, copper, or bronze. If you have cool undertones, look for wine colored shades or cranberry.
    • If you have a dark or deep complexion, look for browns, purples, caramel, plum, or wine colored lipsticks. If you have warm undertones, try copper, bronze, or even a blue-based red. If you have cool undertones, look for metallic shades in ruby red or a deep wine shade.

    Disclaimer: Portions of this post was taken from   Infographic from Visualistan.

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  • Love these tips! Definitely agree with them. It also finally helped me confirm that I am cool-toned. I always thought so but never really looked much into it.

    xo, Kimberly

  • Helpful tips here! I’m so picky about the makeup I use — I don’t use it often — but when I do, I always want it to have a natural, not ‘too done’ look. Also, so true about returning the products you purchase even after using them! I just recently found out that they do that at Sephora too :))

    • Yeah, I found out by watching YouTube. A girl said she goes through all her old makeup and takes it and trades it in. I have only returned one thing and only because the shade was entirely too dark for my skin.

  • This was very helpful! I struggle with foundation because I have very light skin but it is warm toned. Even some of the warmest foundations still look pink on me!

    • Thank you for sharing. I’m glad it helped.

  • Chevelle

    This is an amazing resource. I have spent so much time and money finding colors that just didn’t work for me. I am so bad at remembering to return things but I definitely need to start!