Belfast Telegraph

Flawless foundation: 5 top tips for pale skin

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and every week he tells you everything you need to know about the latest make-up techniques

By Paddy McGurgan

If you are more of a porcelain beauty and less a bronzed J-Lo, then you will understand the struggle of finding the perfect pale skin foundation.

The most important factor to take into consideration when choosing your foundation, especially if you have a pale complexion, is the undertone of your own skin.

If you have ever had your make-up done by a make-up artist or have received any consultations at beauty counters you will have heard the terms “cool”, “warm” or “neutral” when describing your skin.

Understanding your skintone is the key to choosing the perfect foundation and shade for you.

  • Cool - a peach/pink complexion
  • Neutral - no obvious overtones of pink or sallow skin, but rather the skin’s natural colour is more evident
  • Warm - sallow, yellow or golden undertones

There are several ways to check your undertone, including:

Look at the inside of your wrist — what colour are your veins? Blue or purple means you are cool-toned. Green means you are warm and if the colour is a mixture of blue/green then you are a neutral undertone.

Another question often asked when determining your skintone is: do you burn in the sun easily? If the answer is yes, then you are a cool-toned person. If the answer is no, that you tan easily, then you have warm undertones.

Now that you have determined your undertone, here are my favourite pale skin foundations.

1. Illamasqua Skin Base in shade 02/03 (£33). The Skin Base Foundation range has more than 18 shades to choose from, but what I love most of all about this gel-based foundation is how well the shades mix together so that you can create your own perfect shade. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural and buildable coverage.

2. A second foundation which is amazing for pale skin is L’Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation in Ivory (£9.99, Boots). First of all the price is so competitive and makes this a real bargain. I love the range of shades and the matte finish of this foundation, and how easily it builds upon itself. Try this the next time you are in Boots!

3. Another of my favourite foundation ranges available to buy at the moment is Kat Von D’s Lock it Liquid Foundation (£27, Debenhams). I adore Kat Von D, both for her range and for her skills as an artist. Her Lock it Foundation gives full coverage and really accommodates pale skin — she, too, is a porcelain beauty.

4. A foundation I cannot live without in my kit has to be the Make-up Forever Ultra HD Liquid Foundation (£30, Debenhams Belfast, Make-up Pro Store Belfast). I adore using this foundation on my pale skinned clients as I am so impressed by their 40-plus shades and how flawless and even this foundation applies. It is a medium to full coverage which means that I am able to use it on a broad range of clients — and it suits almost all skin types as well!

5. Finally, Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation 115 Ivory (£6.99) has taken over social media at the moment. I know of so many make-up artists who swear by this foundation for oily/combination skin types. This range has almost 45 shades, which is amazing for anyone who wants a new foundation and for make-up artists to add to their kit. It is an ultra-blendable liquid foundation for a natural-looking matte finish - it targets shine and visibly erases the look of pores and contains blotting micro powders and lightweight blurring powders.

My top tips for pale skin foundation

1. When setting your foundation, always use a translucent no-coloured powder to set so that it does not change the colour of your foundation!

2.  Know your undertone.

Determining your skin undertone will help you choose the right foundation for you, so go to a professional beauty house or make-up artist to get advice on the perfect foundation and shade for you.

3. Choose gentle blushes. As your skin is already pale, you do not want to subject it to harsh blasts of colour — so choose soft pinks and pastel peach tones for your cheeks.

4. Add drama to your pale complexion with black eyeliner, which will define the eye.

5. Channel your inner Emma Stone (left) and don a strong, bold lip! This will contrast beautifully against your porcelain skin.

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