I’ve often been compared to a ghost or a piece of paper. I prefer when people tell me that my skin is like porcelain or ivory. Having pale skin can be difficult in this world where bronzed goddesses rule, but it certainly as its benefits as well. Staying out of the sun can prevent premature aging and skin cancer, and pale skin can look beautiful and classic as long as you use the right shades of makeup. Through lots and lots of trial and error, I’ve discovered what works for pale skin, and also what doesn’t.
The most important thing is to pick the right brand of cosmetics. The wrong shade of foundation, concealer, or cover up can spell disaster for your face. Bobbi Brown has the best colors for pale skin out of all the many brands I have tried.
Skip the “color correction” products. Green may tone down red on darker skin tones, but on pale skin it will just look green. Stick with colors that match your own skin tone instead.
Be careful with bright colors. If you want to make a bold statement, bright colors are great. But be aware that colors stand out much more on pale skin. Pastel colors can make you look like a silly preteen (especially if you are also blonde) and darker tones can wash you out.
Avoid brown tones. Brownish lipstick or blush not only looks dated, but can also make pale skin look dirty. They will highlight the lack of brown tones in your own skin. For blush and bronzers, look for peach, gold or apricot undertones instead of brown.
For your everyday look, it is best to highlight either your eyes or you lips, not both. Too much makeup can look silly on pale skin, especially for the everyday. If you go heavy on your lip color, just use mascara on your eyes. If you do up your eyes, just use a nude gloss or lip balm on your lips.
For more formal occasions it is okay to go with the classic smoky eyes and red lips look. Just make sure to tone it down to fit your coloring. Instead of black eyeliner, try a charcoal grey color and smudge it out around the edges. For your lips, skip the matte red lipstick. Find a cranberry colored gloss or lip stain. You will look fresh and classic, with a modern twist. You will also avoid looking like a washed out vampire.
Pale skin can be very beautiful. The worst thing you can do to it is try and hide it under tons of makeup and harsh colors. Learn what works with your own particular coloring and don’t try to mimic what your darker skinned friends are wearing.