Fashion Advice: Color For the Pasty

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Dear Budget Fashionista:

I have a very pale complexion, and recently I heard someone say that women with pale skin should wear mainly darker/more intense colours, because it creates a better contrast with their skin. So, my question is: should I stay away from pastel colours?

AYou can wear pastel even if you are fair of skin. In fact, back in the 1980’s, when everyone was totally into the whole “season” look and getting color analyzed, you would have been classified as a “winter”—someone with fairer skin with blue/purple undertones and encouraged to wear pastels.

The key is pulling off the pastel look when you have pale skin is make-up. Create a more dramatic, color intense mouth (darker pinks), define your eyes with brown eyeliner, and add a smidgen of blush to your cheeks for a little extra coloring. Try make-up from reliable sources like Avon or MAC. If you are unsure how to wear the make-up head over to or to celebrity make-up artist Elke Von Freudenberg’s Beauty Newsletter, for cosmetic tips.

Photo credit: Dyanna

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  • As a pale skinned (I call it “fish belly blue”) blonde (natural; I’m of norwegian descent), I know the struggle with wearing color.  Dark colors do look good contrasted with my skin, but they get kind of boring, and hot in the summer.  Light colors, however, can wash me out, so makeup is key.  I have found that another way to make them work on me is to anchor them with darker colors—like a pale pink shirt under a black jacket or sweater, or add a mixed color scarf (I often wear black pants, a pale top, and a black scarf with a floral pattern that matches.)  This helps me not fade into the background.

  • What should tanned girls do when we’re reccommended to wear shades of brown, gold and copper?