The perfect make-up colour palette for your complexion | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

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We all have a favourite colour which we make a beeline for when it comes to clothes and we tend to know what suits us, but when it comes to make-up colour palettes the rules may appear more difficult to follow.

Celebrity make-up artist, and member of SmileDirectClub’s Confidence Council, Pauline Briscoe is on hand to share her advice on selecting the perfect shades to enhance your features and build your confidence.

The golden rule to follow is to start off by examining your skin undertones. Whether your complexion is light, medium or dark you will either have a warm undertone, such as golden, peachy or yellowish, cool undertone, such as blueish or pinky, or neutral. People who fall into the neutral group can experiment with both warm or cool tones.

If you have fair skin, you should opt for softer, cooler makeup. Think soft pinks and beige/ bronze tones, pastel colours are also great for fairer skin. If you have a medium skin tone, go for warmer colours such as gold, browns and oranges. Darker skin can go bold with bright colours or dark smokey looks depending on the season.

Pauline delves deeper into which colour palettes to use for each feature, eyes, lips and blush to best suit your complexion and to help you make confident make-up choices.


Make-up at home.

For light skin and a warm undertone, go for a bronze. Cooler skin types can try a coppery tone. For dark skin, think about going bold with metallics and very bright colours. For cool tones, women need to be selective while rosey golds work well for those with warmer undertones. Medium skin is often complemented by warm undertones so bronze gold, toffee and orange colours can look great.

If you have brown eyes, lucky you! You can get away with any colour. Navy blues look great with cool skin tones and golds, greens, bronze are a match for warmer tones.

For blue eyes; browns, lilac/purple and cranberry shades will really make your eyes pop.

Pauline’s top tip: The darker your complexion, use a stronger pigment, if you’re fairer opt for a lighter pigment. Apply to lids with a medium size fluffy eyeshadow brush for precision or use your ring finger for a softer, smudged natural effect. Using your fingertips to help to warm up the eyeshadow in turn gives a more pigmented look.

My recommended palettes would include NYX swear by it (and I do swear by it!), Urban decay Born to Run is a staple palette for everyone with great browns/neutrals and Make up by Mario is also brilliant for a neutral palette.

Pauline recommends: For a bright palette I would recommend Huda Beauty as the pigment is rich producing popping bright colours. Uoma Beauty is also richly pigmented with gorgeous sapphire blues and teals, great for Christmas!


Lips can really make or break a ‘look’ so it’s important to spend time getting it right. If you have darker skin try a dark plum shade. For warm tones, go for rusty reds and for cooler tones, try shades which are more purple such as a cherry-red. Neutral tones can work well with a number of colours so this group should experiment with whatever takes their fancy. Mauves, pinks or berries are good starting points.

Pauline’s top tip: Use a lip pencil to define and create fuller lips. Lip gloss is always a winner if you have smaller lips as it will create the illusion of a plump fleshy pout. I always say your look is never complete without a smile!

Pauline recommends: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick and lip pencil range, MAC cosmetics lipsticks and lip pencils, Huda Beauty liquid lipsticks/stains, Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb lip gloss range.


Adding a healthy glow is what we’re looking to achieve on our cheeks. For fair skin, try a baby pink for a subtle flush. Softer shades definitely work better on fairer skin. Medium skin tones benefit from apricot shades which add a certain warmth, while darker skin looks great with a berry shade.

Pauline’s top tip: Choose a shade that is close to your natural flush, you can match this by gently pinching your cheeks, then apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks and sweep upwards.

Pauline recommends: Mac powder blushers, Stila cosmetics cream lipsticks, Bare Minerals Gen Nude powder blushers.

Pauline Briscoe is part of SmileDirectClub’s Confidence Council, which aims to boost the nation’s confidence levels.

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