best makeup for skintone

Photos: Peter Rosa/David Wyffels

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Get ready to meet your matches. We've assembled a makeup wardrobe—flattering foundations, shimmery eyeshadows, and lush lipcolors—for skin tones from palest porcelain to ebony.


Fair: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation in Ivoire (C)
This silky fluid evens discoloration and redness, which are more noticeable on pale skin. Bonus: The formula has SPF 50.

Fair to Medium: Chanel Ultrawear Flawless Compact Foundation in Beige
Sponge on this cream-colored powder to get a natural-looking veil of coverage. The lightweight formula imparts a satin finish.

Medium: Clinique Superbalanced Silk Makeup in Silk Honeymilk
With silica (to mattify) and sodium hyaluronate (to moisturize), this liquid foundation creates a perfectly smooth canvas.

Medium to Dark: CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream in Medium/Deep
This caramel base contains powders to reduce shine, which can be more visible on darker skin.
$9; drugstores

Dark: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation in R540
Water accounts for 80 percent of the formula in this super-sheer espresso base, so it blends beautifully.


Fair: Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand in Porcelain
This ivory shade camouflages imperfections without chalkiness, and the fuzzy sponge applicator easily buffs the concealer into your skin.
$40; bobbi

Fair to Medium: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer in Tan
Hide dark circles and blemishes with this highly pigmented concealer; light-reflecting particles counteract dullness.

Medium: Giorgio Armani Compact Cream Concealer in 3
This compact packs a one-two punch: The brush precisely places concealer; the formula's emollient base melts into skin.

Medium to Dark: Dior Fix It 2-in-1 Prime & Conceal in Dark Honey
Love a multitasker? This hybrid has a balmlike primer at the core to prevent the creamy concealer from settling into fine lines.

Dark: Guerlain Multi-Perfecting Concealer in Very Deep Cool
No matter how heavy your application, the rich brown tone of this buildable concealer never looks ashy.


Fair: No7 Powder Blush in Peony Mist
Don't be intimidated by this vivid pink: The velvety formula turns sheer on porcelain skin, leaving a subtle flush.

Fair to Medium: Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo in Kink & Kisses
Shimmer can make fair skin look washed-out, but this blend of sparkly pale pink and opaque rose creates a delicate glow.

Medium: Pixi MultiBalm in Wild Rose
Subtle hues or sheer textures may disappear on medium skin tones, but this creamy berry blush leaves a pretty pop of color.

Medium to Dark: Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rouge Profond
Warm up your complexion with this terracotta shade—more flattering for dark skin than cool tones, which can look flat.

Dark: NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick in Rose Petal Pop
Dramatic hues complement deep skin tones, so go for bold with this vibrant strawberry shade.
$8; drugstores


Fair: Urban Decay Razor Sharp Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in Snakebite
Black liner may look harsh against very fair skin; instead try this soft brown, with a hint of eye-brightening shimmer.

Fair to Medium: Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon in (Cinder)ella
A subtle alternative to ebony, this richly pigmented gray gel pencil glides on without tugging and doesn't budge.

Medium: Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Bold Defining 24HR Liquid Eye Liner in Mystic Green
This long-lasting formula stays put for up to 24 hours and contrasts stunningly with olive skin.

Medium to Dark: Givenchy Vinyl Liner in 02 Heroic Blue
Toffee skin tones can gorgeously pull off vivid colors, so try this shiny cobalt liquid liner. The extra-thin brush makes application easy.

Dark: Sephora Collection Contour Brushed Metal Gel Eyeliner in Moscow Mule
This sparkling copper pencil dazzles against a mocha complexion.