From the Vault: Makeup for Fair Skin Girls

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Gone are the days when porcelain skin in shades of MAC NC 15 or NW 15 were drowned in bronzer for a sunkissed glow. The look dujour these days is to play up fair skin with icy, shimmery luminzers.


The first step when it comes to makeup for fair skin girls is to choose the right foundation. Step out in natural light and check out your skin in a mirror. Do you notice pink/red in your undertones? How about peach/yellow? Figure out your undertone first—at the MAC counter if your undertones are in the pink/red range, go for “NW” foundations. If they fall in the peach/yellow range, go for “NC” foundations. Your ideal shade will match your skin shade AND undertone of your neck. When you find your perfect shade, ask for a sample of foundation that is a shade or two darker so you can mix it in with your regular foundation when your skin tends to get a bit darker in the warmer months. See also Foundation 101.

Brands that carry foundations for fair skin include (but are not limited to): MAC, Becca Cosmetics, Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, Lancome, and Prescriptives.

Discoloration like rosacea tends to be more obvious in fairer skin tones. To combat rosacea, use a salmon-based concealer prior to applying foundation. The salmon color will cancel out the redness. Makeup artist Eve Pearl makes a very good concealer–check it out. Another trick that works is to use the opposite undertone concealer to cancel out red discoloration. So if you’re an NW 15 in foundation, use NC 15 in concealer. Be sure to set with a loose finishing powder. Try Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Finishing Powder or for a bright glow, try Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

To get the icy luminizing look, mix in a few drops of a luminizing liquid like Benefit High Beam or if you prefer a powder, try DiorShow Powder.


MAC Eyeshadow suggestionsNeutrals: Vanilla, Dazzlelight, Phloof! Malt, Grain, Naked Lunch, Soft Brown, All That Glitters, Soba
Evening/for fun: Electra, Crystal Avalanche, Pink Freeze, Black Tied, Filament, Greensmoke, Nehru, Knight Devine, Beautiful Iris, Crystal, Satellite Dreams, Swimming, Parfait Amour, Print, Purple Haze, Stars and Rockets

Don’t be shy to rock a bright eye shadow color (as long as everything else remains understated). The bright color makes for an interesting contrast against your fair skin. The only color that may be a bit harder to pull off on the eyes is yellow—it can tend to make you look under the weather.


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know nothing makes my lips quiver more than NARS Blush! My fair ladies will look good in NARS Blush shades like Orgasm, Albatross, Desire, Nico, Oasis, and Zen.


A classic rep lip looks divine on fair skin tones. Some reds to try: MAC Ruby Woo, Brave Red, Russian Red, and Lady Danger. Pinks and purples look great, too (MAC Sweet Thing, Show Orchid, Up the Amp, Hug Me, and Speed Dial—just to name a few)

Don’t go too pale with your lip color or risk losing any color in your face. If you want to do a nude, go for one with a pink tint to it.

See also:
Makeup for Dark Skin Girls
Makeup for Asian Girls
Makeup for Olive Toned Skin
Makeup for Women of a Certain Age

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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7 Responses to From the Vault: Makeup for Fair Skin Girls

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  4. Danielle says:

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  7. Tammy says:

    Thanks–I needed this! I’m MAC NC15 :x

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