Here Are 14 of the Best Makeup Products for Pale Skin

The Armani Beauty Neo Nude Foundation is a must for anyone with pale skin

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Best Makeup for Pale Skin

Sephora

So often, makeup brands think they’re launching something entirely innovative and inclusive only to miss the mark when it comes to the far ends of the shade spectrum. While makeup shades for dark skin tones are known outliers in the category — and that is true and needs to be addressed — it’s worth mentioning that ultra-light skin tones tend to be left out as well. Or, the shades are light enough but the undertones of the products simply don’t cut it when it comes to creating a natural-looking complexion. With that in mind, we thought it was high time to chat with experts in the field about the best makeup for pale skin.

 Throughout our research and discussions with makeup artists, we found that the number-one must-have product for anyone with pale skin is the Armani Beauty Neo Nude Foundation. The white formula allows users to concoct their perfect shade at home when many brands ultimately fall short. Of course, that’s just one of more than a dozen all-star products for pale skin. 

 Ahead, find the best makeup for pale skin, according to makeup artists.

Best Overall: Giorgio Armani Neo Nude Foundation

Armani Neo Nude

What We Love: The creamy white shade makes it easy to customize any face makeup product. 
What We Don’t Love: It’s often unavailable because it regularly sells out.

Celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern can’t recommend Armani Beauty’s Neo Nude Foundation in the shade 0 enough. “It’s basically a white foundation that can be added to any foundation to make it lighter and perfect for anyone with fair skin—it’s fabulous,” she says. Beyond the 0 shade, this foundation is sold in four other pale-appropriate shades. Beyond the color pay-off, the formula offers hydrating benefits thanks to being infused with glycerin and hyaluronic acid. 

Shades: 26 | Size: 1.1 oz.

Best Foundation: Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance

Nordstrom

What We Love: It’s sold in 40 shades, including at least 12 pale shades. 
What We Don’t Love: This product is certainly an investment. 

If you’re looking for a liquid foundation that blurs pores, brightens the complexion, and offers a virtually identical pale shade for your skin tone, Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation is worth investing in. “I really love the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate foundations for pale skin,” celebrity makeup artist Kindra Mann admits. “There are numerous pale shades and varying undertones in each color to really get a great match.” What’s more, she says that the formula offers great coverage, as it’s buildable and blends easily. “There is such a huge shade range you can always find the perfect match,” she adds.


Shades: 40 | Size: 1 oz.

Best Stick Foundation: Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

4.8
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Love: The triangular shape makes it easy to apply in small face crevices, like under the eyes and around the nose. 
What We Don’t Love: It’s pricey given the size. 

In the market for a more convenient, on-the-go foundation? The Hourglass Vanish Sticks are a great option. In addition to being incredibly easy to apply — as you can seamlessly blend it in with your fingers should you not want to fuss with a brush or sponge — it offers great coverage and even better undertones. 

“The Hourglass Vanish Sticks have a great blend of subtle pink, yellow, or neutral undertones,” celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon says. “It’s [one of the most full coverage foundations] but you can use it a couple of different ways: as a concealer (at its fullest coverage) or blended lightly over your moisturizer for a lighter looking finish.” 

 Shades: 32 | Size: 0.25 oz.

Best Liquid Concealer: Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer

Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer and Daytime Eye Cream

Sephora

What We Love: It’s sold in 10 light shades that cater to various undertones. 
What We Don’t Love: If not set, it can crease under the eyes. 

For those that love a liquid concealer, Mann says to look no further than the Kosas Revealer Concealer. “It offers a wonderful rage of pale tones for even the fairest of completions, and even the light shades come in neutral, pink, peach, and golden undertones, so you can get the exact match,” she says. Beyond the shade offering, she points out that the Revealer Concealer is incredibly creamy, which makes it particularly easy to blend in, whether under the eye or over a blemish. That said, since it is so creamy, it’s best to set it with translucent powder to keep it from creasing throughout the day. 

Shades: 28 | Size: 0.2 oz.

Best Satin Lipstick: Saint Jane Luxury Lip Cream in Halo

Saint Jane Luxury Lip Cream in Halo

Neiman Marcus

What We Love: The Halo shade is a universally-flattering nude hue for pale skin tones of any undertone. 
What We Don’t Love: Be careful in the heat, this ultra creamy formula may melt in a hot car. 

Finding a nude lipstick for pale skin can often be a challenge — too pale and you end up with powdered donut lips, but too pigmented and it becomes a standment lippy. Not anymore! Mann assures us that Saint Jane’s Luxury Lip Cream in the shade Halo is the ultimate natural pink lip shade. “Its subtle pink color is universally flattering on any undertone,” she adds.

Shades: 7 | Size: 0.16 oz.

Best Powder Bronzer: Benefit Hoola In Natural Bronze

Hoola In Natural Bronze

What We Love: It’s the perfect matte shade for pale skin. 
What We Don’t Love: The packaging is cardboard, which is easy to damage in cramped makeup bags. 

Craving a kiss of color? Benefit Cosmetics has you covered. The brand recently expanded its cult-favorite Hoola Bronzer (which has earned over 310,000 hearts at Sephora) into lighter and darker shades. The matte Hoola Bronzer in the shade Hoola Lite is perfect for contouring on pale skin tones.

 Shades: 4 | Size: 0.28 oz.

Best Cream Bronzer: NARS ​​ Laguna Bronzing Cream in Laguna

NARS ​​Laguna Bronzing Cream in Laguna

Sephora

What We Love: It’s super creamy and easy to blend in. 
What We Don’t Love: It’s lightly scented, which may not be suitable for sensitive skin. 

Prefer a cream contour? The NARS Laguna Bronzing Cream in Laguna 01 is a gorgeous option for fair skin tones. In addition to being the correct tone to create a shadow to sharpen your features, the formula is silky and blends like a dream. No harsh lines to be found. It also is not too orange or red to give realistic color on fair skin.

 Shades: 5 | Size: 0.67 oz.

Best Powder Blush: Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Blush

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic

Charlotte Tilbury

What We Love: It combines blush and highlighter for a subtle pink glow.
What We Don’t Love: This is not a travel-friendly compact as the powders are delicate.

ICYMI: Blush is having a major moment here in 2022. In fact, one of the easiest ways to refresh your face is with a draped blush look on your cheeks and a touch on the bridge of your nose to top it off (just look at TikTok’s sunburn blush trend). 

If you prefer powder formulas, Mann says that the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush is a must. “There is a good variety of shades that are very light with a little shimmer,” she says, noting that the First Love shade is a personal favorite since it gives a subtle pop of color along with a glimpse of highlight. 

Shades: 9 | Size: 0.28 oz.

Best Cream Blush: Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm

4.6
Tower 28 BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm

What We Love: It imparts color while calming the skin. 
What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t come in a bunch of light shades, but the two it does come in are fairly universal.

Cream blush tends to look a little more natural-looking since the formula can better melt into the skin. So, if you choose to take the cream blush route when accentuating your pale skin tone, Stern and Aharon agree: The Tower 28 Beauty Beach Please Lip + Cheek Cream Blush in Magic Hour is a must-have. The rosy hue is “a perfect shade for fair skin as it adds just the right amount of flush without ever looking like too much,” Stern says.

“It has more coverage but can be easily blended over the lightest complexion,” Aharon adds. “It's a wonderful option for those that suffer from skin allergies too.” That’s because it’s vegan, fragrance-free, and infused with soothing aloe vera and green tea extract.

 Shades: 6 | Size: 0.158 oz.

Best Powder Highlighter: Sigma Beauty HIGHLIGHTER MOONBEAM

Sigma Beauty Highlighter

Sigma Beauty

What We Love: It’s lightweight and easy to blend. 
What We Don’t Love: If you layer it on, it can become a bit cakey.

Killawatt cheekbones are the goal, no? Sigma Beauty’s Highlighter is a game-changer for achieving the look, no matter your skin tone. The Moonbeam, Savanna, and Sizzle shades, in particular, blend seamlessly into the skin so that the shine factor is stunning in the right light, but nearly invisible head-on—which is the ultimate highlighter goal according to TikTok sensation Rose Siard

 Shades: 6 | Size: 0.28 oz.

Best Liquid Highlighter: Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight

5
Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight

Sephora

What We Love: the creamy formula, stunning shades, and beautiful packaging. 
What We Don’t Love: This is a more subtle highlighter.

Selena Gomez might be one to watch for her music and television career (Only Murders in the Building Season 2 is finally here!) but she’s also got her finger on the pulse of what’s most needed in the makeup world. Case in point? She released her Liquid Light Luminizer Highlight and it’s downright spectacular. The light-coverage, long-wear formula can be just as easily applied with your fingers as it can a brush. It gives skin a lit-from-within glow, rather than a beaming headlight effect.

 Shades: 8 | Size: 0.5 oz.

Best Stick Concealer: Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer SPF 25

4.5
cle de peau foundation stick

Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Love: It sinks into the skin to brighten and conceal any area, without caking in the process. 
What We Don’t Love: A higher SPF would be nice to give fuller protection.

So often, stick concealers get a rap for being cakey. Not the Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, though. The cult-favorite stick concealer melts into the skin, whether you use a finger or a brush, Aharon points out. Additionally, she says that the Ivory and Beige shades seem to suit any pale skin tone she’s worked with.  What’s also worth mentioning is that, since it’s made with chestnut rosa fruit extract, it works to fight off free radical damage, which also prevents it from oxidizing and changing color throughout the day, which is a common concern for lighter makeup shades. 

Shades: 12 | Size: 0.17 oz.

Best Powder: LovelySkin The Organic Pharmacy Hydrating Translucent Powder

The Organic Pharmacy Hydrating Translucent Powder

LovelySkin

What We Love: It’s super sheer, so it sets makeup without looking cakey. 
What We Don’t Love: It’s pricier than many translucent powders on the market. 

Cherbonnier says that powder can be tricky for super fair skin. “A lot of times, even the most light-colored powders have enough pigment to oxidize and turn darker on the skin,” she explains. For that reason, she suggests always opting for a translucent powder that can be worn over liquid foundation or concealer, as opposed to reaching for a powder foundation.

As far as Stern is concerned, no translucent powder compares to the Organic Pharmacy Hydrating Translucent Powder. “It has a gorgeous finish,” she says.

 Shades: 1 | Size: .17 oz.

Best Sheer Lipstick: Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviving Lip Balm

dior-addict-lip-balm

Nordstrom

What We Love: It’s so natural looking—and hydrating, too. 
What We Don’t Love: It’s pricey for what’s ultimately a tinted lip balm — but still so worth it. 

Love the no-makeup makeup lip look? The Dior Addict Lip Glow in Pink will get the job done, Aharon says. It’s formulated with hydrating shea butter and shine-enhancing sunflower wax, both of which make lips look plump and pouty in all the best ways. We know there sticker price is a shock, but we promise the effortlessly beautiful look and the range of shades will sell you on it. 

Shades: 13 | Size: 0.11 oz.

What to Keep in Mind

Undertones

The trickiest part about finding makeup products for pale skin is uncovering your ideal undertone match. While many brands offer at least a few pale shades in their range, fewer actually take the time to consider which pigments are needed to match undertones, as well as which pigments are worth steering clear of to prevent oxidized color on lighter complexions. 

Oxidation, aka when a product changes color, is common with very pale foundation shades. They often turn orange when exposed to air or the oils in your skin. “Fair skin isn’t forgiving when the undertones aren’t correct, you see everything,” Aharon says. With that in mind, it’s helpful to always look for face makeup products that clearly depict a variety of undertones, including cool, neutral, and warm. 

Blendability

Another thing Aharon says is vital when shopping for makeup products for pale skin? Blendability. If a makeup product doesn’t blend in seamlessly, it will be even more apparent on fair skin, she warns. A thick stripe of bronzer or foundation along the jawline stands out — and not in a good way — even if the shade match is accurate. 

Your Questions, Answered

How do you figure out your skin undertones?

While looking at your neck or forearm can help you best match your undertones, it helps to know how to identify your undertones in the first place. “Sometimes it's easy to tell your undertones just by looking at your skin, but if you aren’t sure I always recommend checking with a makeup artist at a counter and having a professional help you with picking up on undertones you haven’t noticed,” Mann says. 

If you’re more of a DIY-er, though, Stern says that holding up colors of construction paper next to your face while peering into a well-lit mirror can help you find your undertones. “You can tell instantly if green, blue, or red makes the skin pop or drain of color,” she says. “It’s a very easy way to grasp what color family your undertones are in.”

How do you shop for makeup for pale skin?

The best way to ensure a pale skin makeup match is to try multiple shades, Mann says. “I love to swatch at least three different foundations on my clients before deciding which one is truly the correct match,” she shares. 

When swatching, Stern says to try the shades on the inside of your forearm or on your neck in order to get the most seamless match. “These spots rarely see the sun and will give you an accurate match to the fair undertones,” she says. “Then from there you can decide if you want to add a bit more pigment for a little more color.”

Another benefit of swatching before wearing? It can help you uncover whether a product will oxidize on your skin. “That can be a deciding factor when picking a shade,” Mann confirms.

Why Trust InStyle

Rebecca Norris is a full-time freelance writer. She writes for a variety of publications, covering everything from beauty and wellness to style and celebrity news. In order to find products that are best for pale skin, Norris researched the available options, read reviews, and considered her own favorite makeup products. She also interviewed makeup artists, so they could weigh in on the shade range of products they use and love.

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