When it comes to rocking nude eyeshadow, the truth is that there is very little room for error. Even so, if you’re choosing your first neutral eyeshadow palette, you certainly want to take your skin tone into account. Having a palette with colors that suit your skin will make the process of putting together nude makeup looks a total breeze. In this article, we’ll explain how to choose the best nude eyeshadow colors for your skin tone and eye color.
How to Choose the Best Nude Eyeshadow for Your Skin Tone
First it is best to determine the darkness level and the ratio of light to dark eyeshadows that you want in your palette, based on exactly how dark your skin tone is. It’s practically a given that a color that might look very dark on someone with pale skin might be the perfect highlight shade on someone with darker skin.
You want your neutral eyeshadow palette to include at least one shade that is lighter than your skin tone, one shade that matches it in strength, and at least one or two shades that are a touch darker – one of these could also work for filling in your eyebrows, depending on your hair color. Having a very dark crease shade would also be nice, as that shade can double as an eyeliner.
If you’re unsure when looking at the nude eyeshadow palette, then simply swatch the colors on your arm and see how they compare to your skin tone. If you’re purchasing online then try and find swatches of the eyeshadows on someone whose skin tone is similar to yours.
Determining Your Skin Undertone
After getting darkness out of the way, it’s important for us to talk about undertones. Before we get into the undertones you’ll find in nude eyeshadow palettes, figure out what your own undertone is. The easiest way to find this out is by looking at your skin and the way your veins peek through it.
- Warm undertone refers to skin with a lot of yellow to it, where the veins appear slightly greenish.
- Cool undertone refers to skin with a lot of pink to it, with veins that appear more purple.
- Neutral undertone refers to skin that has an equal amount of both so it looks quite beige, with veins that appear blue.
- Lastly, there is olive skin, which can be either warm or neutral depending on whether there is any yellow in the skin, with veins that appear very green.
Nude Eyeshadow Undertones
Nude eyeshadows tend to come in three different undertones, similar to the skin: yellow, red, and blue.
True neutrals contain an even mixture of the three, and therefore their undertones are nearly impossible to make out. These shades seem like the truest beiges or browns, and they will suit all of the skin undertones I mentioned earlier.
Some nude eyeshadow palettes will include eyeshadows that all have the same undertone, while other eyeshadow palettes will include a mixture of undertones.
Nude Eyeshadows with Yellow Undertones
Dandelion beiges and warm taupes are nude eyeshadows with warm yellow undertones, and they tend to work best for those with warm undertones to their skin, as well as for those with olive undertones that are either warm or neutral.
As eyeshadows get darker, yellow undertones tend to become harder to detect, so most warm dark eyeshadows intended for crease will simply look like a neutral espresso brown. Larger palettes with nude tones for warm skin may also include a few metallics, including golds and bronzes.
Those with cool undertones to their skin have to be very careful if they want to wear yellow-based nude eyeshadows, as they can sometimes look unflattering. Peaches and copper tones also count as “warm” but they actually tend to work quite well for those with cool undertones.
Nude Eyeshadows with Red Undertones
Next, let’s examine the red-heavy nude eyeshadows, which are easily the best for those with cool undertones to their skin although they also work for those with neutral undertones. Those with warm undertones can also wear these colors beautifully, but they won’t necessarily register as nude, and they will certainly require being more careful with the rest of the makeup color story.
These shadows include slightly peachy beiges and champages, rosy taupes and mauve browns. Cool crease shades include darker plums and reddish browns, although chocolate browns, which are more neutral, will also work well for those with cool undertones.
Some cool nude eyeshadow palettes will also include metallic shades like coppers and rose golds, which are technically warm shades but tend to work in pink undertones in the skin. Those with olive undertones to their skin will want to be careful, however, as the reddish tones might give their skin a sickly cast.
Nude Eyeshadows with Blue Undertones
Then there are the blue-based neutral eyeshadow shades, which usually work best for those with neutral and cool undertones, as well as for those with olive skin. These are the kinds of nude eyeshadow shades that register closest to gray, and they include white, gray-taupe, and espresso brown.
Additionally, gunmetal and soft brown-silver shades also fall under this category. These types of neutral eyeshadow shades blend well with cool eyeshadows, and they work beautifully for anyone who wants a nude smoky effect.
Universally Flattering Neutral Nude Eyeshadows
Lastly, there are the neutral colors that tend to work for everyone no matter their skin tone. These shades include true creamy beige and its metallic counterpart, as well as true brown and chocolate shades that really incorporate an equal amount of all of the primary colors.
These nude eyeshadow shades are great for creating a very neutral nude makeup look, but sometimes they require the added color boost of a nude eyeshadow with a more prominent undertone.
How to Choose the Best Nude Eyeshadow for Your Eye Color
While skin tone is definitely more important when choosing your nude eyeshadow, you can certainly also take your eye color into account.
Best Nude Eyeshadow Colors for Brown and Hazel Eyes
Brown eyes are fairly neutral so any nude eyeshadow color can work well with them. The only neutral eyeshadow that those with brown eyes will want to avoid is one that matches too closely to their eye color.
A brown eyeshadow of the same strength as your eye color can have a negating effect that will draw attention away from the eyes, particularly if it’s applied strongly rather than as an accent. Instead, opt for nude eyeshadow looks that will open up the eye and brighten up the area around it. Blending metallics and mattes will be particularly fetching.
The actual undertones of the neutral eyeshadow palettes you choose should depend more on your skin tone, but you can still consult the color wheel, particularly if your brown eyes lean towards hazel. Nude makeup with cool gray or blue undertones will bring out golden flecks in your eyes, mauves will bring out green tones, while coppers and yellows will bring out blues.
Best Nude Eyeshadow Colors for Blue and Gray Eyes
Since blue eyes are decidedly cool toned, any warm nude eyeshadow will do a fantastic job of bringing them out.
- For those with warm undertones to their skin, golden and warm taupe eyeshadows are the way to go.
- Those with cool undertones to their skin will prefer to use coppers and peaches instead, as well as red-leaning browns.
Mauves and metallic rose tones also tend to look beautiful when framing blue eyes, even though they don’t intensify them as much. Neutral eyeshadow palettes with blue or gray undertones will actually have a subduing effect on blue eyes, so they should either be avoided or only used as a small accent to the crease.
Best Nude Eyeshadow Colors for Green Eyes
When it comes to green eyes and nude eyeshadow, pretty much anything goes. For maximum greenness, red-leaning nude eyeshadow shades including mauves, peaches, coppers, and red-leaning taupes and browns will certainly work best, but warm-toned eyeshadows with golden undertones can also be extremely flattering.
Eyeshadows with cool blue or gray undertones won’t necessarily emphasize the greenness of your eyes, but they will instead lend a smoky effect that can be quite lovely. There aren’t many green-leaning nude eyeshadows on the market these days, but theoretically these are the only eyeshadow tones that won’t emphasize your eye color.
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