Wedding Style: The Most Flattering Type of Base for Your Complexion

Wedding Makeup: Base for Cool and Warm Complexions

While you're on the hunt to find the perfect foundation, it's likely that you'll be asked what kind of complexion you have -- cool or warm? Since a quick glance in the mirror is often not enough to determine which category you fall into, take a closer look at your skin and examine the veins on your underarm. Usually women with green veins are classified as warm, and those with blue veins are cool.

Women with cool complexions usually look best in pink, grey and blue and should wear foundations that accent their skin tones. Avoid shades that are too dark if you're fair-skinned, and choose a base with soft undertones, like porcelain pink or light beige, instead.

Those who have a yellow hue to their skin, like women of Latino, African, European and Asian descent, are considered to have warm complexions. A foundation with a hint of yellow typically flatters a warm complexion -- usually characterized as bronze, olive or golden skin. Women who have a medium to dark complexion will often look best in base makeup with apricot undertones. Avoid makeup with pink undertones if you fall into the warm category; these shades will look unnatural and could wash you out in photographs.

Whether you have a cool or warm complexion, shimmery foundations -- sold as luminizing, matte and semimatte -- usually flatter all skin tones. Luminizing foundations include very small particles that reflect light, like crushed pearls and mica, lending brides a little bit of sparkle on the big day. Not only can this base makeup moisturize dry skin, but it can actually diminish any signs of wrinkles or fine lines, too. Matte foundations can often be purchased with a moisturizer included in the powder formula, and other brands are advertised as shine-free, leaving your face dry with a clean, powdery finish. When in doubt, choose a semimatte foundation -- its natural look and feel complements practically any skin tone, allowing you to truly shine in your wedding-day makeup.

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More Great Links


  • Champion, Lindsay. "How to Find the Best Foundation Makeup." (Aug. 14, 2012)
  • Clairol. "Know Your Starting Hair Color & Tone – Get Better Color Results." (Aug. 13, 2012)
  • Dior. "Choosing a Foundation." (Aug. 14, 2012)
  • Matlin, Jessica. "Problems with Foundation: The Puzzle Solved." Sept. 2007. (Aug. 13, 2012)
  • "Make-up for Warm Skin Tones." Oct. 20, 2008. (Aug. 13, 2012)
  • Shapouri, Beth. "Don't Know If Your Skin Is Warm or Cool? Here's a Quick Way to Tell." Glamour. May 11, 2009. (Aug. 13, 2012)

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