The Most Flattering Eyeshadow Shade for Your Skin Tone

Why does the same makeup look so different from one woman to the next? Part of the reason is that it interacts with your complexion in a way that is unique to you. That is why it is vital to understand the basics of skin tone before you can possibly expect to find the eyeshadow palette that’s best for you.


You can thank genetics for your complexion, which is determined by how much dark brown or black melanin pigment can be found in the epidermis, the outer layer of your skin. Evolutionarily speaking, its purpose is to protect you from ultraviolet rays, thus explaining why people from sunnier parts of the world have darker skin. Although there are numerous subtle variations in shade, skin tone can generally be broken down into the following categories:

• Fair or light skin is found in cooler, less sunny climates such as northern Europe. Light-skinned people can appear pale and often burn easily in the sun.

• Beige or olive skin tones are found in people from southern Europe or northern Asia. These tones tend to be more neutral and balanced. When exposed to the sun, people with these tones usually tan – although UV protection should still be used.

• Dark skin tones are found in people who come from very sunny parts of the world such as Africa, India and the Middle East. Although people with dark skin can withstand the sun better, they are still susceptible to hyperpigmentation and sun damage and should use protectant products.

Your skin tone and the subtle undertones that give it further depth will help you determine what colors of foundation and blush will enhance your features the most.


Although it might be easy to think that your eyes are stand-alone features that have more to do with their own shape and color, their appearance is affected by your overall skin tone. Here are some examples of the three general skin tones and the eyeshadow palette that works well with each.

• Since fair or light skin has a delicate appearance, you want warm tones that wake up your skin and keep it from looking washed out. At the same time, you don’t want eyeshadow that is so dark and heavy that it overwhelms. Taupes, warm roses, light golds, and purples can bring your eyes to the fore in the best of all possible ways.

• Your olive skin tone is the perfect backdrop for bronzey coppers that serve to light up your whole face. The richness of burnt orange and burgundy also are terrific complements for your complexion. For days when you want to give your look some real pop, your skin tone also lends itself to bright jewel colors such as emerald green and sapphire blue on your lower lash line. If your skin seems to have a yellow undertone that bothers you, neutral shades can help to neutralize it.

• For dark tones, set them off with rich shades of copper, red and green. If you need some grounding for your look, offset these fiery shades with deeper green and brown hues.

The great thing about eyeshadow palettes is that they provide you with several options that you can mix and match until you achieve just the right look. Sid down with your new makeup on a lazy day when you’re not in a rush, and just have fun experimenting. You won’t believe the effects you can achieve.