The colour code: how to find your make-up match

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The colour code: how to find your make-up match

Think you can’t pull off blue shadow? Certain red lips won’t work on you? Think again. The experts reveal how you can look amazing in anything …

Accessorise your eyes

“No matter what colour eyes you have, you can wear eye make-up of any colour,” says make-up artist Cassandra Rae Ferguson. Keeping close to the colour of your eye can be delicately demure (as with caramel washed over brown eyes) or penetrating (think electric blue on blue), but applying a contrast truly makes those peepers pop. “Wearing a colour from the opposite or adjacent part of the colour spectrum will definitely bring more attention to your eye,” Rae Ferguson explains. 

Meet your match

Rae Ferguson recommends …

Brown/hazel eyes: Apply bright blues, purples, turquoise green and gold for an extra eye-catching effect.
Try: Covergirl Eyeslicks Eyecolour in Glistening Gold or Aqua Flash, $14.50
Jemma Kidd Makeup School Stardust Cream Shadow in Aurora, $29

Blue/violet eyes: To give your look extra punch, offset your cool eye colour with gold, bronze, peach, chocolate, pink or olive.
Try:Pop Beauty Eye Class in Blue Eyes (palette), $59.95
SLA Creations Miracle Texture Soft Shadow in Dark Brown, $33

Green/turquoise eyes: Dark blue, silver, gold, slate or bronze will best bring your eyes to sparkling, jewel-like life.
Try: Napoleon Perdis Color Discs in Periwinkle or Navy Blue, $24 each
Bloom Eye Shadow in Platinum, Slate and Antique Gold, $24 each

Gorgeous lip colour guaranteed

The search for your perfect lip colour begins with your skin. “Skin tone is the most important factor in choosing lip colour as it is the backdrop for the lips,” explains international colour guru and chief make-up artist at Max Factor Jan Thomas. A lipstick too close to your natural colouring can leave you looking washed out, he warns, but something too intense can be overpowering – and that’s what scares many women off trying something new.

So which colours best compliment your complexion? “In the broad sense, every woman can wear any colour on her lips – you just have to find the right shade,” says Thomas. “Women with darker skin can wear a wider range of distinct colours while fairer skin tones can wear a broader range of similar colours.”

Meet your match

Thomas suggests … 

Fair skin

Red: Classic blue-toned red or true scarlet can make a statement and give your skin a luminous look.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Hint of Red or Rosewood, $19.95 each

Pink: Soft pastels look pretty and feminine. Stronger, clear pinks enhance a pale complexion.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Angel Pink, Plush Blush or English Rose, $19.95 each

Brown: Soft browns with dusky peach undertones give you a natural look and make a fair complexion look creamy.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Soft Suede, Bronzed Glow or Mocha Latte, $19.95 each

Orange: Soft peachy orange gives pale skin a fresh, youthful look.
Try:Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Orange Shine, $19.95

Medium skin

Red: Clear or blue-based reds will lift a medium complexion.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Flame Tree, $19.95

Pink: Pink gives clarity to this in-between skin tone. Rosy pinks and vibrant corals tend to bring out your best.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Dusky Rose or Bewitching Coral, $19.95 each

Brown: Shades with golden, bronze or dusky pink undertones work wonderfully with your natural colouring. Avoid flat browns as these can ‘deaden’ your complexion.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Sunbronze or Amber, $19.95 each

Orange: Softest coral or oranges tinged with pink give a fresh, lively look to a medium complexion.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Pearl Orange, $19.95

Purple: Dusky, berry-toned hues will warm your face.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collection Lipstick in Dusky Rose or Maple, $19.95 each 

Dark skin

Red: Boldly brilliant berry and wine tones liven up a dark complexion and give it a vibrant, youthful look.

Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Intensely Red or Night Valley Red, $19.95 each

Pink: Dark complexions need a pink with depth. Strong raspberry and fuchsia pinks will warm and lift the skin while pale pinks will just make you look chalky.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Chili or Penny Candy, $19.95

Brown: Choose bronze- or brick-toned browns for a natural look. Avoid flat, deep earth tones as these can look draining.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Copper Penny or Coffee Toffee, $19.95

Orange: Orange is often thought a no-no for deep skin, but a strong coral-based orange can give you a fresh and sunny look.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Pearl Orange, $19.95

Purple: Burgundies, vampish plums or pinkish purples add a touch of drama and also enhance the richness of darker complexions.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Midnight Mauve, $19.95

Yellow-toned skin

Red: Sensuous scarlets or brickish brown-toned crimsons liven up this skin tone and give it a clearer, more golden appearance.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Flame Tree, $19.95

Pink: Clear, peach-based pinks freshen and lift yellow skin tones.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Pink Blush or English Rose, $19.95

Brown: Bronzes with gold or burgundy undertones have a richness that gives yellow skin tones a flattering golden glow.
Try: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Bronzed Glow or Sunbronze, $19.95

– Tracey Withers

Related articles:

Find your perfect foundation
How to look amazing in the nude: mastering the neutral mouth

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