"I have a medium skin tone with yellow undertones (in case it helps, my ethnicity's Chinese but I'm a bit darker than most of my relatives on either side of the Pacific.) I usually hear that such skin doesn't look good with blue make up, but I was wondering if you could suggest what kinds of blues might work for me."
Asked by Anonymous
You can DEFINITELY wear blues!
I think blue just tends to be scary for those of us with very yellow undertones as it is such a total opposite of our skin color that it can bring out all the sallowness when done wrong.
If you’re tan (maybe NC 35 onwards), I’d definitely recommend strong jewel-toned blues and deeper navies as the easier shades to wear since these strong shades tend to make yellow skins glow. I’d avoid grey tones or pale pastels (which can look very chalky or dull unless expertly paired with other shades).
The undertone of the blue (whether it leans towards more of a green-blue or purple-blue) does not really matter as long as it’s a rich deep blue. Purple-hued blues will be sultrier and turquoise-toned blues will be louder and brighter, depending on your preference.
It’s not that bright and pale blues don’t work for tan olive/yellow skins, but they are just harder to get right without a lot of other products.
Textures/Shades to try:
Go for strong, rich metallic blues and navies like MAC Deep Truth, Hard Candy Meteor Eyes in Asteroid, NYX Morocco and Frosted Ocean, or Urban Decay Adore. Metallic dark blue gel liners look wicked as well.
Don’t use anything that is too chalky or muddy in texture (e.g. Revlon Colorstay Quads) as these are much less flattering on the tanned.
Different looks to try:
1. Day/Beginner - If you have double-lids (or use double-lid tape/glue), try a deep, metallic blue. Blue is always gorgeous as an intense, clean swipe along the lashes, whether above or below.
Just make sure you wear plenty of mascara so the liner does not wash out your lash line.
NYX and Bourjois have some really nice metallic liners that you can check out, but gel liners in pots tend to come in nicer, deeper metallic blues.
If you have mono-lids or are still getting used to wearing the color, you can consider wearing it as a bottom liner, with black liner on the top lid, or just plenty of mascara.
2. Evening / “Advanced”
If you’re looking for a more dramatic look, you can by all means wear it all over the lids for a smokier, or more colorful look, but it all depends on your eye shape rather than skin color.
I love the very high-intensity blue look Eve is wearing in the above picture, but note 3 points:
- she keeps the color intense (not smoked out) and does not bring the color up past the socket line
- she runs the blue along the lower lash line as well. This helps to make a look more sultry and put-together and transforms a day look into a night look.
- She adds some darker shading around the outer halves of the crease line, and wears a ton of black along her lash line. Wearing one flat blue may look really unflattering. Arm yourself with a matte black shadow for contouring and a strong black pencil to run along your waterline and lash line if you don’t want to look like a bad 80’s flashback. Finish with either lots of mascara or false lashes!
You can choose either a dark or stronger/brighter blue shadow for this look as long as you pair it with some black. Brighter, stronger shades will make it more dramatic (like Eve’s look), and darker shades like those listed earlier will look more sultry and smoky.
Brighter blues to try:
MAC Cornflower pigment, MAC Freshwater shadow, or get yourself an 88 matte palette and play around with the blue shades!