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8 makeup tricks every pale beauty should know

by Martha Adams

Full disclosure: I don’t fit into the ‘pale girl’ category. Sure, in winter I feel a little pasty, but overall, I cannot fully identify (and will never claim to) with how hard certain things can be in life when you’re a pale woman .

Like when you step into the sun,

Or when you get comments like this

And this

And when sometimes, you feel like this

But that doesn’t mean I don’t care. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – as far as I’m concerned, your problems are my problems.

Having a fairer complexion means you deal with a few beauty issues, like foundation that’s always too dark, make-up shades that are way too harsh against your alabaster skin, and the fear that just a touch too much blush will leave you looking comical.

So here are a few handy tricks that’ll nix those problems and improve your make-up routine. Every. Time.

#1: Find the right foundation

Sometimes, the lightest shade in a foundation range can still be too dark for your complexion. Or too pink. Or too yellow. OR JUST NEVER RIGHT. Going to a counter with a make-up artist on hand to test different shades before you buy will help (as will wearing the foundation for a few hours to see if it oxidises and goes too dark), but there’s another trick you can use.

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 01 White is just the thing the make-up doctor ordered for every pale girl who can’t find her right shade. While it’s ideally used as a highlighter, you can actually mix it with another shade of foundation (so maybe one that’s the right tone for you but just a touch too dark) to create your perfect hue.

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#2: Control your blush

Blush should look like a natural flush on your skin, so using a sheer formula (or even a cream blush) is excellent for giving your complexion some warmth. In terms of colours you should choose, avoid anything that is too dark or too orange. Your best bet is to try a sheer pink or peach and start by layering lightly and building it up if your heart desires.

Oh, and if you spot a rosy or berry-coloured blush you really want to try – go for it. But keep the application very, very light.

#3: Ditto with your bronzer

When your complexion is on the lighter side, it’s easy for a bronzer to look a little muddy on your skin. So make sure you apply it lightly at first and build as needed. To make sure you know when to stop, stand in good lighting. It’s a simple but effective tip!

#4: Don’t be scared of colour on your lips

It’s a myth that pale girls can’t rock bold pouts, as these fair-skinned celebs have beautifully debunked:

See how brilliantly a bold lip can work with a fair complexion and simple eye make-up? If you prefer a neutral look, it’s best to stay away from anything that’s too pale, as this will make you look a little washed out. Instead, look for natural colours that have hints of pink or berry in them. Think your natural lip colour, but a bit deeper.

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#5: Go realllllly black when it comes to mascara

Defined, black lashes against your fair complexion will make your eyes pop like nothing else, so use a mascara that’s super-pigmented. Plus, if you have fair eyelashes, too, a dark mascara will give them extra oomph.

bh recommends:

Maybelline New York Great Lash in Blackest Black

Rimmel London Extra Super Lash Mascara in Black Black

L’Oréal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara in Extra Black

#6: But maybe a little lighter with the eyeliner

For an everyday look, opt for a navy, brown, or charcoal eyeliner, as the black-on-black mascara and eyeliner combo can look a bit intense on you. That being said, when you’re dolling yourself up for a night out, feel free to go nuts with the black.

#7: Pick eyeshadow colours wisely

Using an eyeshadow that’s a bit dark can look harsh against your skin (and almost like you’re bruised around the eyes), and anything that’s too pink or red can make you look tired and worn out. The shades that will suit lighter skin tones are champagnes, greys and cool browns. Dark shades aren’t completely off the list – just make sure you use them lightly and in moderation. The Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette features pale-girl-friendly shades, as does the Paula’s Choice The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette.

#8: Groomed brows are everything

Defined, well-groomed brows can make for a beautifully striking contrast on fair skin – especially if your brow hairs are particularly fair. But if we had to offer one piece of advice, it would be to use a brow pencil or gel that’s only slightly darker than your hair. And don’t draw in your brows – instead, use soft strokes to fill them in.

Stockists: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, $68, myer.com.au Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, $78, mecca.com.au

Do you have pale skin? What make-up tips and advice do you have for your fellow fair-skinned friends?

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