What makeup colours will suit me

Heather Card Tue 13 Aug 2019
A easy guide to help you understand the theory of colour and why it is important when choosing your makeup colours.

As a professional Makeup Artist I get asked a lot by my clients, students and even brides what colours will suit me?

Well I have put together this blog to hopefully answer those questions and help you make the best decisions when it comes to picking and choosing your own makeup products that are going to help you make the most out of your natural colouring. 

This is not a hard and fast rule ‘Makeup is Art’ however if you want something that is going to enhance what your naturally have or perhaps you are not as confident at makeup then this blog is perfect for you.

 Any good makeup artist will tell you it’s about understanding colour and how colour's work or don’t work together.

Red and green should never be seen ……

This blog will hopefully help you choose your perfect colour palette to suit you.

I am not going to bore you with Primary, Secondary & Tertiary colours we all did art in school but what is important when working with colour especially for makeup is understanding what are complementary and analogous colours.

Complementary Colours

Complementary colours  are  colours that are opposite one another on the colour wheel for example blue is opposite Orange and Purple is opposite Yellow. In the makeup world complementary colours don’t actaully complement each other but are more contrasting or counteracting in some cases specially important when working with colour correctors and concealers.

Colour Correctors

Violet – corrects yellow, sallow tones

Orange – Corrects  Blue undertones predominantly under the eye and dark circles

Peach -  can also be used or salmon for pale skin tones. Even red can be used for very dark circles on a darker skin tone.

Green- Corrects Redness and Rosacea and broken capillaries ( use sparingly so you don’t end looking ill)

Analogous colours  

Analogous colours are found next to one another on the colour wheel and are from the same family so to speak. You find lots of analogous colours in eye shadow palettes. Often the layout of a palette is often designed so you can great an eye look just by using the analogous colours to create highlight and depth within the same colour family. 

One of my favorites in my kit is the Tartlette In Bloom Palette from Tarte  is set out into 3 rows designed to help you choose analogous colours to create 3 different eye makeup looks per palette. The darker shadow is used to add definition and depth to the eye and  also can be used us as liner which can be powder and blended for a softer look or mixed with a medium like Mac Fix it to create a liquid liner. The lighter colours are used to accentuate and highlight the eyelid and brow bone.

When choosing any colour weather it is Analogous or Complementary you must first determine you natural skins undertone colour. To find out how to choose your own skin's undertone click here 

If you have cool pinky under tones then pink colours will appear pinker where as blues will stand out more , if you have a darker skin tone especially with the brighter colours they can tend to look quite muted, using a lighter makeup base ( primer, concealer, eye base ) underneath the shadow colour will ensure the colour remains true.

Cool tones on a darker skin can tend to look ashy and grey so you would be better off using warmer tones. Golden tones brings out the beautiful undertones of Olive and darker skin tones.

Choosing your suitable lipstick colour

Once you know your skin undertone you will be able to choose a suitable lipstick with ease, always choose a lipstick from the same undertone as your skin as this will help brighten the complexion. A red-orange lip looks great on warmer and olive skin tones, were as a red-blue lip looks amazing on a cooler skin tone.

 If you want your lipstick to compliment your look and face then stick to the rules below. 

For warm under tones choose warm reds, pinks, oranges, and peaches

Cool undertones choose blue based reds, purples, magenta and even greens.

Choosing your suitable Blush shade

 Now with blusher you want to choose something with the opposite undertone to help it stand out against your skin tone, I love doing this for my brides to create something quite striking and beautiful.

If you have cool skin tones then stay away from pink or purple blushes instead opt for orange and peach.

Likewise for a warm skin tones opt for pinks, and purples they will look fabulous.

If you have neutral skin tones lucky you, go nuts you can get away with either you lucky thing

Not only have you taken the skins undertones into consideration when choosing your suitable concealer, foundation, lipstick and blush but what about your eye shadow ?

Do you want your blue eyes to pop, or perhaps you want something suitable to wear with your dazzling green eyes then you want to be using complementary colours ( the opposites on the colour wheel) to help contrast and extenuatee those beautiful baby blues..

Blue Eyes

Blue Eyes- Orange is the opposite colour on the colour theory wheel however this does not mean chuck on  the orange eye shadow although how fantastic would that look, but instead opt for eyeshadows in the orange family like gold, bronze, brown even some reds.

I highly recommend Urban Decay Heat palette as this is a fantastic palette of satin and matte warm orange, red, purple shades and I just love the soft velvety colours.  If this is perhaps a bit too much and you would prefer a softer colour contrast then I would recommend Benefit Matte Peaches Palette this has lovely soft peaches, cream and oranges in the palette and  I just love it I sometimes hit it with a little bit of shimmer for my brides and define with a Ripe Peach (a purple brown shade to accent and define the eye either dry or mixed with Mac Fix it dependent on my clients wishes.

I have blue eyes and I love to use Too faced Naturals Palette in the shade “Push Up” is incredible it’s like a gold/fudge colour and I love sweeping

this across my eye with a smokey eyeliner is just perfect for lovely everyday makeup.

Green eyes

Green eyes are quite rare and I find them so beautiful, I love using pinks and purples on my clients who have green eyes and I often like to use those shades on my beautiful red head clients and brides.


I like to use my Tarte pro palette as it has lots of pink and purple matt shades, Nyx also do some nice purple shades in a tiny compact which have been quite useful.

Brown eyes

You are lucky having brown eyes this means you can get away with almost anything as brown is a neutral colour, the trick is finding a shade that works with your skin and hair colour too.

Purple is a complementary colour as it is an opposite on the colour wheel so this shade will help brown eyes pop and is also quite safe to use with any hair colour. You willwant to choose a blue purple as this contrasts with the warmth of your brown eyes.

Blue eye shadow will make the whites of your brown eyes appear whiter opt for a royal blue or navy try not to go to 80’s with the liner though.

 If your brown eyes are more hazel and you want to use a gold shadow try going for a bronze or copper gold and applying it alongside purple or navy blue.

Silver looks great on a brown eye really contrasts  against the warmth of the brown just make sure you don’t over do it underneath as silver can extenuate dark circles under the eyes so use it sparingly underneath.

Brown eye shadow can still work well as you might not want to wear purple etc for a day to day makeup, I like to choose browns with hints of purple or even khaki colours instead of a flat brown shade you can apply it as a definition shade or  just under the lower lash line to make your eyes pop, this little splash of color is just enough for

daytime without being over the top.

Colour theory plays a huge role when designing makeup, these are all things your makeup artist should take into consideration when designing you your perfect look, they will also look at your hair colour, your style and preference. For weddings I always like to ask my Brides the colours of the flowers, decor and bridesmaids dresses as this can all help when  designing you something truly unique and YOU for your special day.

 I hope you have found this blog useful and will be able to pick out your own perfect palette of colours to suit you.

You might want to go for something more bizarre or striking, mix it up and go for it , explore , have fun with your makeup.

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