Originally published on Bride & Blossom
When Rihanna launched her cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, in 2017, she included forty shades of foundation (there are now fifty). This was unprecedented at the time – other leading makeup brands only offered half the amount. In just three years, Fenty Beauty has changed the game regarding what it means to be beauty inclusive, moving other cosmetic lines to vastly expand their selection to customers.
The impact that this movement has had on bridal beauty is apparent. Every woman, regardless if she is into makeup or not, wants to look (and feel) her best on her wedding day. Most likely, you will be enlisting a beauty team, with the conversation about wedding makeup commencing well before the big day. It is important that your team understands your skin tone and which products are best for you. To help guide this discussion, we checked in with Megan Glenn, a beauty writer and rep for American Beauty School in New York City. Here, Megan shares essential bridal beauty tips for every skin tone.
Makeup is so much more than just a magic trick that allows us to cover a blemish or two. It’s an extremely personal interaction that mixes with the human body’s largest organ–our skin. Aside from the wedding gown, makeup can be one of the biggest challenges for brides, and on the first day that marks a new beginning, looking and feeling your best is an absolute must.
Beauty comes in every shade and whether your skin consists of lighter hues, medium tones, or is a deeper shade, understanding the collection of colors that make up your personal skin tone is an absolute must to get a perfectly matched foundation, and a color palette of shades that will bring out your lips, brows, eyes, and cheeks.
Understanding The Many Shades Of You
When it comes to makeup and your skin, very few people have just one undertone or no undertones at all. Keeping this in mind can be helpful when piecing together the perfect look for your skin tone. There are three traditional undertones that everyone has: warm, cool, and neutral. Figuring out your skin coloration is just the beginning, and every undertone has shades within shades. For example, cool skin tones can contain pink and blue undertones. Warmer tones often have a peach, yellow, or golden undertone and neutral skin tones have the same color as your actual skin tone.
Undertones can be tricky, and it may be hard to tell what your true undertones really are. If you’re unsure, take a look at the veins on your arm, and if they appear to have a green tint, you might have warm undertones. Blue or purple-tinted veins could be the indicator of cooler undertones. If you only see your veins’ outline and no specific coloring, you likely have a neutral skin tone. The vein method is only one of many indicators. If this doesn’t quite help you find the answers that you need, try taking a hard look at your jewelry collection and your wardrobe as a whole. Gravitating towards yellowy gold pieces and brown hues could be proof that you have a warmer skin tone. If you find yourself drifting to silver pieces and black clothes because of how it brings out your skin, you might have a cooler skin tone.
Thinking about how the sun affects your skin may also be helpful. Even though sunscreen is necessary for every skin tone, cooler tones tend to sunburn easily. Warmer tones may not be as affected by the sun, but because of the broad spectrum of undertones that make up the warm category, this may or may not be accurate in every case.
Recommended Color Palettes For Each Skin Tone
The following list of best practices for light, medium, and deep skin tones can be helpful in choosing the shades that are right for you and help you to mix shades if need be. In the world of makeup, one size will never fit all, and it’s essential to keep this in mind when looking for the best shades that fit your unique and beautiful skin type.
Lighter Skin Tones
Foundation for fair skin tones will more than likely have a pink or peach base, which works well if you have pink, blue, green, or purple undertones. Some lighter skin tones have a combination of yellow and pink. If this is the case, you may need to find a foundation that has a yellow undertone and try mixing two different bases or using a face powder that has a yellow base.
Jewel-toned eyeshadows and eyeliners really pop cool tones. Although these colors do not necessarily have to be drastic, choosing an eyeshadow with blue, purple, green, or magenta coloring will accentuate your eyes. A lighter look for a day event could include a softer color, whereas a darker look could be used for a night look. A neutral lip color or a deeper berry lip color is also a great look and flatters cooler skin tones. Warm colors work well for cheeks, such as a light rosier tone.
Medium Skin Tones
Medium skin tones are often a beautiful mixture of complex yellows, gold, and red. Foundations with either a red or yellow base are best for this skin tone. If you find that you have a bit of both, mixing your foundation will give you a perfect look.
Your choice of eyeshadow can explore an array of brilliant bronze, gold, emerald green, and rust colors. Purple is an impeccable lip color, and highlighting cheeks with bronzer will bring your cheekbones out.
Deep Skin Tones
Foundation for deep skin tones will need to have a gold and/or blue base to really bring out this shade’s depth. If you find yourself having to mix foundations, use the lighter tones in the middle of your face (under the eyes and around your nose and mouth) and work outwards, using the deeper hued foundation towards the outside of your face.
Warm eye shades work perfectly for deeper skin tones, but really any color out there will look stunning. It will come down to the type of look that you are trying to achieve. If you venture into pinker shades, look for a blue base versus a cooler base. Any lipstick shade will look lovely, but red, purple, and brown are a few hues that will look spectacular. For cheeks, highlighters work well, and trying blush underneath a bronzer will add a burst of color that will blend seamlessly into your skin.
There are an infinite amount of pigment combinations that make up every person’s skin tone, and as you start your makeup journey, you might need to mix and match to come up with your own formula. Consulting with a makeup artist can help you find the right look that works for you, and don’t forget to update your color palette when tanning season comes around.