Keep It Natural: The Best Neutral Makeup Shades for Every Skin Tone
We hate to break it to you, but the effortlessly pretty no-makeup makeup look seen on celebrities like Amy Adams and Brie Larson on the 2016 Golden Globe Awards red carpet, actually involves applying a little bit of makeup. The tricky part about pulling off this universally flattering, wear-anywhere trend, is finding the right flesh-toned shades that will suit your individual skin tone.
The goal is to enhance your features and add depth, but with a subtler touch than a smoky eye and bright lip. But, with so many neutral palettes and nude lipsticks out there, which ones should you bring home with you? We’ve rounded up the best barely-there eye, lip, and blush shades to complement your complexion and trick everyone into thinking you just woke up with a radiant glow.
If you’re very fair, a pale pink blush with slight rose gold undertones like The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder The Barest Blush in Purr Pink ($28; sephora.com) will add a soft, flattering flush to the apples of your cheeks. To highlight, Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant ($38; sephora.com) will give your complexion a healthy sheen. Follow the same champagne hue on your eyes by sweeping a shimmery shadow like Stila Eye Shadow in Kitten ($18; sephora.com) over your eyelid to give the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes. On your lips, a pink or peach-toned balm like CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Blush Twist ($7; drugstore.com) will enhance your natural color, and keep you from looking washed out.
Brush Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Blissful ($28; sephora.com), a warm peach blush with hints of gold flecks, to create a sun-kissed glow on your cheeks. If you’re medium-fair you’re lucky. Virtually any highlighter flatters this skin tone. To add even more luminosity to your complexion, brush on a rose gold tinged highlighter like Laura Mercier Illuminator ($32; saksfifthavenue.com). A beige-brown shadow with a hint of gold will brighten your eyes, without overdoing it. A swipe of a peach tinted hydrating lip balm like Revlon Juicy Color Burst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya ($6; target.com) will give lips just a hint of color.
Medium-deep skin tones should look to a vibrant pink blush to give their cheeks a pretty flush. Sweep Clinique Cheek Pop in Plum Pink ($22; clinique.com) for your most flattering blush. To give skin a healthy glow, opt for a highlighter like Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder in Bronze Glow ($46; bobbibrown.com). On your eyes, a pearly brown shade like NYX Cosmetics Hot Singles Eyeshadow in Top Notch (nyxcosmetics.com) will brighten up your peepers without being too shimmery. Stick with warm caramel tones on your lips to elevate your natural color. A few swipes of Maybelline New York Color Sensation Lipcolor Buffs in Stormy Sahara ($5; drugstore.com) does the trick.
Deep skin tones should choose a blush with burgundy undertones such as Nars Blush in Dolce Vita ($30; narscosmetics.com) for a captivating glow. Apply The Honest Company Illuminizing Powder in Dusk Reflection ($25; honestbeauty.com), a bronze-gold shimmer highlighter, to create a lit-from-within glow. Matte shades can get lost on deep skin tones. A brown shadow with gold shimmering undertones such as Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Fashion Label ($20; lancome-usa.com) widens eyes and makes skin appear richer. On your lips, swipe a chesnut-toned sheer bullet like Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Lip Color in Sheer Seashell 020 ($11; target.com) for a flattering, flesh-toned look.