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The Best Makeup Palette for Your Skin Tone

Think of palettes as one-stop shopping for complexion perfection. Read on for expert picks for your skin tone.

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revolve palettevia

Best makeup palette for fair skin

Fair and porcelain complexions—a la Nicole Kidman and Michelle Williams—as gorgeous as they can be, do have a tendency to look dull. For a healthy flush, apply a blush to the apples of your cheeks. And sweep highlighter on cheekbones, cupid’s bow, inner eyes, and brow bone for a hint of luminosity. “Kosas Color & Light Fine Pressed Powder in Papaya 1972 is a lovely peach and soft ivory duo that’s great for defining and illuminating fair skin,” says Suzy Gerstein, makeup artist. (Here’s how to find the best blush for your skin tone)

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mac cosmetics palettevia

Best makeup palette for light skin

According to makeup artist DeeDee Kelly, light complexions should avoid warm browns, which tend to oxidize orange. “My top pick is NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette, because all colors are cool tones and they blend really well.” She’s also a fan of MAC Extra Dimension X 2 Compact, which gives skin a pearlized natural boost, and Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Palette. “You can use the shades individually or blend them together into a masterful highlight/contour combo.” (This is how to figure out what colors look best on you, based on your skin tone.)

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kevyn aucoin palettesvia

Best makeup palette for medium skin

For women with medium skin, like Blake Lively and Jessica Biel, Lauren Serra, senior makeup artist at Blushington UES, suggests Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Trio Palette. “It includes three ombré minis. And the bronzer is a soft, cool shade that can be used to warm up sallow skin.” The universal highlighter is a cooler-neutral tone, and there’s even a setting powder that’s infused with light-diffusing pigments. And COVERGIRL truBLEND Contour Palette in Medium is a steal at just $8. Find out more secret weapons from makeup artists.

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becca palettevia

Best makeup palette for tan skin

There are so many heavenly makeup palettes for tan-skinned beauties. Serra recommends Becca X Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, which comes loaded with a pink blush, amber bronzer, and two champagne-toned highlighters for that just-returned-from-a-tropical-vacation glow. “I often show clients how to create several looks with this one palette. It’s great for everyday and traveling!” Added bonus: Becca is cruelty-free.

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morphe brushes palettevia

Best makeup palette for olive skin

“Many colors made for olive skin (hello, JLo!) are too deep or too red, but the Morphe 06PW Warm Pro Definition Palette is perfect. The contour, pressed powder, and highlighter have just the right balance of warmth and grayness,” explains Kelly. As anyone who’s picked out foundation knows, it’s imperative to get color matched. “It’s the best way to guarantee it’s spot on with your complexion,” explains Gerstein.

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bh cosmetics palettesvia

Best makeup palette for dark skin

“I have so many picks for dark skin because it’s my personal tone,” explains Kelly. (She’s in good company with Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o.) “I would recommend BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Perfecting Concealer because it allows you to custom mix to create a shade that works for you, it’s  buildable, and can be used as a concealer or foundation.” What’s awesome about dark skin is that it can pull off rich pigments like no other! Don’t be afraid to explore and have some fun. Try a deep, gold-flecked bronzer or a bold lip. Not sure which shade to choose? Read up on these tricks for finding the perfect lipstick for your skin tone.

Lindsay Cohn
Lindsay is an avid traveler who has visited 45 countries across six continents. At, she covers both domestic and international travel. When she's not writing, you can find her doing yoga and adding to her ever-growing list of future adventures.