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Tips for choosing makeup colors for your Fair, Mocha, Dark, and Olive Skin

By Jaime J. BrownPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

As Lizzo sings “I DO MY HAIR TOSS, CHECK MY NAILS, BABY HOW YOU FEELIN’? FEELIN’ GOOD AS HELL!” That song exudes confidence, right? But when it comes to our looks, we only see what’s wrong with us, how we can fix it, and how we can achieve someone else’s idea of perfection.

Beauty comes in all colors, shapes, and sizes — it isn’t one size fits all and neither is makeup. What looks good on someone else may not look good on you and vice versa.

Women, we must learn to retrain our brains! Instead of focusing on what is wrong, we need to focus on what we already possess that is beautiful and learn to use the right products that highlight our features.

Use the tips below as a general guide to help you choose your basic, no-fail hues when looking for the right colors for your skin tone and hair color.


A lot of women with porcelain skin have a tough time finding makeup colors that look best on them but please know that your alabaster complexion is super romantic and alluring. Soft peaches, bronzy tones, and coppers will make your skin glow (even those lovely freckles) like nothing else!

By Bruno Gomiero on Unsplash

Highlight: look for a vanilla or sheer white tone because it will make your eyes pop

Eyes: Choose taupes, pale golds, peaches, light bronze, burgundy and chocolate browns, sable, eggplant or khaki greens. Try brown mascara instead of black.

Cheeks: Pick apricot pinks, light coral, or peaches

Lips: Choose sheer corals, honey-colored nudes, raisin, reds with flecks of gold, warm pinks, and peaches


Blondes come in a wide array of skin tones, from porcelain to olive. Shades like rose and pink provide contrast as well as bring color to your face. Hence the saying “Blondes have more fun!”

By Taylor Heery on Unsplash

Highlight: Try an opal iridescent shimmer, because of the blue-pink oil in water, it gives a glow that shows when light hits it. It will give your skin an ethereal, sexy look.

Eyes: Look for shades in cool browns, taupes, bronzes, tawny pinks, pastels, plums, and mauve

Cheeks: Cool peaches, pinky bronze, corals, and roses will create a fresh and healthy look

Lips: Think sandy pinks, roses, mauves, golden raspberries, mocha pinks, and cherry reds

(* BEAUTY TIP: Light shimmery colors will make your lips look larger than darker ones; plump your lips by dabbing shimmery pale pink or gold gloss on the center of your lower lip*)


Brunettes typically have medium-toned skin which allows them to choose from a wide array of colors than women with other skin tones. Since brunettes have naturally dark eyebrows and lashes that frame and define their eyes, they can get away with wearing less makeup.

By Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

Highlight: Champagne shimmer will work best on you

Eyes: Have fun with navy and sapphire, forest greens, purples and plums, burgundies, gold and bronze, mochas, silvery taupes, golden pinks, and all shades of shimmering browns

Cheeks: Pick berries, rose, and terracottas

Lips: Avoid pastel lip colors as they will wash you out due to some shades that look like white is mixed in them. Instead, wear berries, rose hues, sheer corals, wines, true reds, shimmering mochas, browny pinks, plums, golden pinks, and rose hues


Asian complexions look best when color is brought to your cheeks and eyes are defined.

By Bin Thiều on Unsplash

Highlight: Pale pink shimmer makes the most of your natural skin tone

Eyes: Choose colors in shades of shimmering taupes, deep purples, silvery plum, emerald green, granite, vanilla, burgundy, and shimmering taupes and browns.

(*BEAUTY TIP: Because your eyelashes tend to turn downward, curl them with a small curler to create an eye-opening effect. Using a small curler will help you to follow your natural lash line. After you curl them, apply waterproof mascara which holds curls longer than regular mascara*)

Cheeks: Wear roses, plums, berries, and pinks

Lips: Choose pinks like shimmering beiges, nudes, raspberry, roses, mauves, deep plum stains, golden pink shimmers


Mocha-skinned women are blessed because they have so many makeup colors to choose from and look radiant in golden hues!

By Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Highlight: Golden pink shimmer brings out the natural gold in your skin

Eyes: Caramels, deep plums, deep wines, golds, bronzes, emerald greens, teals, navy blues, granites, coffees, chocolate browns, violets, and toffees look amazing

(* BEAUTY TIP: Because you usually have a natural lash curve, you can get away with not needing a lash curler, the downside to that is when you apply mascara your wet lashes touch your brow bone and leave tiny splotches. You can easily avoid this by wiping the wand with a paper towel before applying then sweep the wand back and forth vertically across your lashes as you apply which will help you see fewer smears*)

Cheeks: Dark apricots, deep warm pinks, terracottas, golden corals and berries look best

Lips: Pick sheer raisins, garnet reds, bronzes, toffees, caramels, sheer golds, wines, berries, plums, pinks, corals, and beiges


Dark skin girls look radiant with bold, jewel-toned colors so don’t be scared “YOU GO, GIRL!” Try to stay away from anything too light or sheer because it can make you look like “Ashy Larry”! A lot of dark skin women struggle to find the perfect foundation, concealer, and powder because of too much pink in the products which can make your skin look dull or ashy. The best ones have golden tones that stay true because they are in sync with your natural color.

By Clarke Sanders on Unsplash

Highlight: The perfect hue is a true gold color

Eyes: Coppers, gold, deep mahogany, and chocolate browns, deep navy and cobalt, coffees, deep jewel-toned greens, slate, and charcoal gray, rich dark eggplant, ebony, metallics

(* BEAUTY TIP: You can make the whites of your eyes pop by applying sapphire blue pencil along with your inner rim*)

Cheeks: Pick dark raisins, burnt orange, Fuschia, magentas, and blood reds

Lips: Choose lipsticks in blackberry, maroon, raisin, deep red, or sheer mahogany. Sheep lipgloss choices in honey, caramels, bronzy pinks, shimmery clear, tangerine, corals, oranges, deep plums, and bronzy pinks


Women with olive skin, this group includes all women from Italy, India, or the Middle East in addition to women with Hispanic roots. Wear bright colors, like coral on your cheeks and lips, and everything from pale golds, shimmery bronzes to deep greens and blues around your eyes to play up your amazing skin color.

By Sai Maddali on Unsplash

Highlight: To create a luminous glow, use pale and pinky golds to highlight your skin

Eyes: Colors like warm plums, deep forest greens, sapphire blues, copper, bronze, gold, tawny pinks, eggplants, and warm plums, rich sparkling browns, and burgundies help your eyes look amazing

Cheeks: Think bronze, warm pinks, brownish rose, corals, and apricot

Lips: Choose peachy apricots, bronze, and golds, sheer shimmery nudes, corals, sheer blood reds, bronze and golds, golden berry shimmer, warm pinks, and peachy apricot

Now that you have this handy guide, how many of you will be making a trip to Sephora?

Jaime Brown is a Boston-based freelance wine and beauty writer and content creator with a passion for all things Rosè and Red Lipstick. In addition to Food & Wine Magazine, she's contributed to Apartment Therapy, The Daily Beast's SCOUTED, Archer Roose Wine, and her blog Lipstick and Rosay. You can find her on socials IG:@rosaywithjaime & @swedishjealousy |Twitter: @jaimejbrown |

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About the Creator

Jaime J. Brown

Jaime Brown is a Boston-based freelance wine and beauty writer and content creator with a passion for all things Rosè and Red Lipstick. You can find her @rosaywithjaime or her blog

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