How to Pick the Right Colors for Your Skin Tone
When you look inside your closet, you might notice a few running themes. Perhaps you always gravitate toward short hemlines or block heels. Maybe there are stacks of jeans or a collection of cool, structured bags. But are there any color themes? We’re betting there are. After some trial and error, you’ve probably learned which colors look best on you.
In case you haven’t, or in case you want to find out more hues to test-drive, we tapped celebrity stylist Karen Raphael to break down which colors will work for you and which ones to avoid. The good news? There is a wide range of hues that work for every skin color, so you’ll have a variety of options no matter what your tone is.
Keep reading to find out the best colors for your skin tone, and shop our picks.
For light skin that has a cool undertone, pastels like ice blue, lavender, light peach, pale pink, mint green, and seafoam green work best. Colors that are more subtle and don’t try to compete with your skin tone bring out a softness and gently complement fair skin. You can wear some bright hues like canary yellow or magenta, and even some bright red, but warmer versions of these colors are best to stay away from. Think Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, and Emma Stone.
The neutral medium skin tone works best with medium shades. Lilac, jade, rosy pink, blush, sky blue, and apricot look beautiful against neutral skin tones. In the middle of the spectrum—not too light and not too deep—these colors accentuate your features without being harsh.
Olive skin tone has a natural glow to it, and in order to bring out the glow, it’s recommended to wear more natural, wintery colors you’d find out in the forest. Think gold, olive, mustard, plum, medium corals, cream, and taupe. Extra-bright jewel tones or light pastels can easily wash out someone with olive/warm skin or dull the glow, so it’s best to avoid those shades. More muted, neutral tones also allow the deep honey hue to come out without competing. Think Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Alba.
Those with dark but cool skin (think Lupita Nyong’o) shine most in brighter tones, and the vibrancy of colors like jade, emerald green, turquoise, cooler reds like blood orange, or burgundy contrast beautifully with this skin tone.
For dark but deep/warm skin tone, bold and bright colors give your skin the best vibrancy. Think strong jewel tones like sapphire, ruby emerald, royal blue, smoky quartz, and amethyst. Think of the more primary colors that exist on the spectrum like red, green, blue, and bright purple, with the exception of yellow and orange.
Next, find out what every French girl will be wearing this fall.