My medium skin complexion has been the envy of my friends in the past. I'd be told that all colours under the rainbow suit my skin tone, though I've never believed that's actually true. Of course, I'm all for wearing whatever you want regardless, but whether it's makeup or clothing, there are definitely colours I feel uncomfortable and not myself in. My skin has yellow undertones, which means I tend to stay away from anything too warm-toned and colours I feel are going to clash against my skin tone rather than balance or complement it. Since I first got into wearing makeup all these years ago as a teen still shopping at the drugstore, I've always been drawn to the cooler shades and there's a very fine line between the warmer shades that flatter my skin tone and those that make it look sallow. In today's post, I've rummaged through my collection to pick out my favourite silvery taupes and cool brown eyeshadows, as well as my favourite neutral to blue-based cheek and lip products as a sort of guide into cool-toned makeup. Go grab yourself a cuppa because it's a long one!
When it comes to the eyes and cool-toned colours, this is where I have the most fun. I love silvery shimmery taupes and greys for dreamy, sultry eyes, and muted browns for creating soft, smokey grunge looks. When the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette was first released, I kept telling myself I didn't need it, but of course I ended up changing my mind, and after a trip to a Sephora store in Singapore last year, it finally made its way into my collection. Funnily enough, it was the release of Naked 3 and seeing swatches all over blogs comparing all three palettes that changed my mind. The first palette is neutral to warm, which I find still works for my skin tone, though Naked 3 is way too warm-toned and I know those pink hues will just clash! While I wouldn't describe Naked 2 as completely cool-toned, it's got some beautiful greyish/taupe-y shades. Urban Decay eyeshadows are incredibly pigmented, blend out beautifully, and some of my favourite shades within the palette include Bootycall, Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve and Busted.
MAC eyeshadows are a cult favourite within the beauty community and I'm sure that when I simply mention the names, "Satin Taupe" and "Patina", you know instantly what I'm talking about. Two of the most well-known MAC eyeshadows, they lean towards the cooler side of the spectrum - Satin Taupe being described as a "taupe with silver shimmer" and Patina as a "taupe brown with golden pearl". I'm not as in love with Patina as most people seem to be, but when smoked out with other cool-toned browns such as Charcoal Brown, Brun and Smut, it looks beautiful. Brun is also what I use to fill in my eyebrows and is one of my favourites as it's just so versatile. The last MAC eyeshadow I have to talk about is Club, which is a bit of a funny one. Described as a "red-brown with green pearl", it has the tendency to look warm-toned, but when the light catches the green pearl, it looks cool. As a duochrome shade, I love how it looks so complex and dreamy on the eyes, and is another great one for a smouldering smokey eye look.
Like everyone else here, I, too, have fallen head over heels for Charlotte Tilbury. Earlier in the year, I picked up her Luxury Palette in The Rock Chick (you can see me wearing it here), which is your one-step palette into achieving the undone, effortless smokey eye. If you couldn't tell already, I am all about smokey eyes. Inspired by the likes of Bridgette Bardot, Debbie Harry and Kate Moss, the colours in the palette are very grey and taupe and while the formula of the eyeshadows don't live up to those of Urban Decay and MAC, it all still feels very luxurious. I want to give the Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadows a go next!
A couple of cool-toned single eyeshadows I own are Make Up Store's Microshadow in Monty and the Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mushroom. They're more or less the same shimmery taupe shade, though Monty has purple undertones and Mushroom has more grey. I tend to forget about my single eyeshadows, but now looking at them, I'll definitely be remembering to use these more often because they're just so beautiful!
Last, but certainly not least is the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon. There is one word and one word only to describe this shade: DREAMY. Everybody seems to rave on about Misty Rock, but Bronze Moon is where it's at, people. I'm not even interested in any of the other shades because I am just so in love with this colour. Being called Bronze Moon, you'd think it'd be more of a warmer-toned shade, but the silver shimmer in it makes it more cool. The best cream eyeshadow formula I've ever tried, these are absolutely worth the hype and you 100% need it in your life.
Muted pops of pink is how I like my cheeks all year round. These pinks are more neutral and nude than cool, but I don't really own any cool-toned blushes! In the spring and summer, I'll bring back the peaches and corals that also complement my skin tone (they warm up my skin in a flattering way), but for the most part, this is what you'll see me wearing on my cheeks most frequently as they go with every lip and every eye look. MAC's Powder Blush in Cubic was one of the very first high end blushes I ever owned and all these years later, I probably own way too many soft, muted pink blushes than one person ever needs, but they're all slightly different from each other and I use them all, so I believe that's justifiable! Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed is more pink than Cubic, which leans towards the more neutral side. Then there's Well Dressed, which is a definite cool-toned blue-based pink and one I remember being a blogger favourite back in the day. A soft, sheeny and subtle flush of pink to the cheeks, I tend not to wear this blush all too often these days, but I think I'll definitely be bringing this out again soon as we transition into spring.
When it comes to getting the glow and keeping it cool, MAC's Mineralise Skinfinish in Lightscapade is my go-to. A soft sweep of this across the face and you're instantly looking lit from within without the warmth, which at times, can look out of place. The BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl gives the same effect and if you're after a natural radiance, Pearl is your shade. I use this as a highlighter, but for the majority of the time, it's used to mix in with my foundation for an all-over neutral-to-cool gleam.
The same rules apply to my lips as they do to my cheeks. Blue-based lip colours are the most flattering on my skin tone when I'm not wearing neutral or peachy/coral shades, and I tend to steer clear of anything too Barbie pink or fuchsia, which have the tendency to make yellow-toned skin look sallow. The pink lip products I wear are usually muted mauves like MAC's Lipstick in Faux, though there's one exception I do have in my collection, which comes in the form of Snob. It's a pretty out there colour - at least for me, anyway - but paired with the right makeup, I can pull it off. When wearing Snob, I like to go for a cool-toned smokey eye to balance out the brightness of the lipstick. I think this is a shade to suit girls with fairer skin tones than I too. MAC's Lip Pencil in Subculture is a my-lips-but-better shade with cool brown undertones and makes an excellent base to pair underneath any of my pink lipsticks. If it weren't already obvious, MAC lip products are by far my favourite as there's such a wide variety of shades to suit all skin complexions.
Still raving on about MAC, my love for their Lipstick in Ruby Woo is well-documented on my blog as it's my favourite red lip product ever. Naturally, when the the Lip Pencil of the same name was released earlier in the year, I immediately had to buy it to pair the two together. To me, Ruby Woo is the classic 1950s retro red and I can't help but feel oh-so-glamorous and very Mad Men when wearing it. MAC describes it as a "very matte vivid blue-red", which is definitely accurate, and although it's their most drying matte I've ever come across, that's all cancelled out by my complete adoration for this colour. There is just nothing else like it out there.
Another blue-based red that's probably my second favourite after Ruby Woo is NARS' Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. It's slightly darker than Ruby Woo and the formula of these lip pencils are, like the name suggests, velvety smooth and non-drying whatsoever. I can definitely see why these were all the rage not too long ago.
And just for reference, in my profile picture, I'm wearing By Terry's Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon all over the lid with MAC's Eyeshadow in Brun in the out corner on my eyes, and Cruella on my lips.
Are you a fan of cool-toned makeup?