Dear Grace #2: make-up for fair skin

26 Jan

So my most recent note came from Jojo of Manchester, who has recently coloured her hair and wants to know how to adapt her make-up to her new colouring. Her new do is a fair red-blonde, her skin tone too is fair and she doesn’t want to look either ‘wishy-washy’ or too overdone as she approaches 40. This is indeed a tricky one – speaking as another fair-skinned make-up lover, you want to define your features and warm your skin tone but can run the risk of overdoing it and looking like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

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Bronzer I find especially difficult – in my fear of turning orange my barely-there bronzer is totally undetectable to the human eye and I end up as pale as ever. So firstly, I would say try MAC’s lightest bronzer – go to a counter or store though, and get the make-up artists there to try it out on your face, with just your usual foundation as a base. Then blush – it’s our friend. I’d stick with pale pinks rather than rich red tints – Laura Mercier has a beautiful array of creme and powder blushes that are perfect for our colouring. There is also a product in Nicola Roberts’ Dainty Doll collection (especially designed for fair skin – that girl really knows her stuff too) that is somewhere between a bronzer and a blush that kills those two birds with one stone, so if you’d rather keep your routine simple, give that one a go.  To bring your skin to live, use an illuminating primer – Estee Lauder or Becca – either under your foundation or mixed in with it. That subtle sheen combined with bronzer and blush will stop you ever seeming ‘wishy-washy’.

Now eyes. Jojo’s concern is that in your late 30s you want to define your features to make them stand out without going too smoky, bright or glittery. The answer is simple – buy all the usual tools but in very natural tones. Eyebrows are key – MAC and Clinique have some superb eyebrow pencils that come in an array of very natural colours so you can match to your own hair colour. Use fleeting, hair-like strokes to fill in the gaps rather than penciling in a fantasy-brow in one slick sweep of kohl (gag). Eyeshadows should have a little shimmer in them – Clarins Mono Couleur in Beige Shimmer, MAC Eyeshadow in Style Snob, Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadow in Gold 350 and Nars Eyeshadow in Blondie and Lola Lola. Intensify this colour with eyeliner – rather than black which might be a bit overwhelming, go for a warm brown – Barry M’s Extra Soft Crayons are perfectly smudgeable, and a firm favourite of mine. A little on the inner rims of the eyes, and smudge from the outer corner onto the lid for a subtle smokey effect. Press it into the lash line and finish with a dark brown mascara to make the most of your lashes, be they long or stubbby like mine. I also add in a YSL nude liner to the lower rim to brighten and widen the eyes – white can be a bit harsh when you’re pale, but redness shows in your eyes more when you’re fair.

Lips. I tend to keep mine nude through the week with the odd red or pink statement lip. Becca, Giorgio Armani and Bobbi Brown have the best warm nude lipsticks and lipglosses I’ve come across – think pink rather than pale nude tones, otherwise you might end up looking a bit sickly. In terms of a statement lip, I would say Jojo needs a warm red rather than one with blue tones, but to be honest I don’t believe in the hard-and-fast ‘rules’ of the red lip – you can’t beat trying them all out on the make-up counters to find the perfect one.

Let us know how you get on, Jojo!


3 Responses to “Dear Grace #2: make-up for fair skin”

  1. carrie January 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I’m a blondie, (mainly bottle) and I am always on the search for ‘how to’ tips. great to see some good ideas
    many thanks x


  1. Tweets that mention Dear Grace #2: make-up for fair skin « -- - January 26, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Grace Timothy, JoJoMoJo. JoJoMoJo said: The wonderful Grace did the following for me… RT @GraceTimothy: Dear 3 Graces #2 – from @jojomojo71 […]

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