BECCA founder explains: how to know which colours suit you

Most of us have an idea of which colours we like, but do they translate into make-up that suits our features? BECCA‘s Rebecca Morrice Williams gives us some pointers on how to look good and have fun with cosmetics (And yes, blue eye shadow is allowed!)

As a rule of thumb, which shades suit which colourings?

Generally pale skins suit pinky tones for blushes and lips but not for the eyes (as it makes them look washed out and tired). Blue eyes can wear shades of blue (if desired) and golden browns make blue eyes pop nicely. Charcoal greys look great for a smokey eye look – better than black, which can be too harsh.

Tanned and olive complexions look gorgeous in peachy shades for cheeks and lips. Green eyes again can wear shades of green but russet/purple tinged tones make the eyes stand out. Brown eyes can wear most brown shades of eye shadow – muted tones of blue and navy intensify the colour. Hazel eyes look great in similar toned shades of khaki and golden hazels but can also wear purple/reddish tinged browns to intensify.

Darker skins can wear orange/reds for cheeks and many rich and bright shades for lips. Darker eyes look wonderful in browns, some jewel- like colours and black is gorgeous for a dramatic smokey eye.

In general neutral eye shadows work for all eye colours.

How can I be sure my foundation matches perfectly to my skin?

The trick here is simply to look in natural light and to make sure that the blend between face, neck and décolletage looks seamless. Don’t match colour specifically to the neck as this is usually the lightest part – test foundation on the jaw line. If your chest area is a lot darker than the face and neck, you might want to use a darker but sheer foundation colour on the face to even everything out or apply a little contouring powder on top. I like to use BECCA Lowlight/Highlighting Palette specifically for this.

I dye my hair a lot – will this affect which make-up colours I should be wearing?

In general, the darker the colour of your hair the more washed out you can look unless you have a tan or dark skin tone to begin with. If your hair is red I would l stay with neutral shades. If you go blonde, stay with soft peach pinks and soft neutral beige tones for eyes. If you are dying your hair brown you may find you need some bronzer and more obvious peachy blush as well as bronzed shades for the eyes, to give your skin some life. Really dark hair may call for some rich shades and if you plan to go grey then you may need some bright cool toned shades for cheeks and lips to avoid looking drained.

Are there particular shades that are ageing, or conversely, that make you look younger?

There are some things that definitely make you look younger versus older. Too much foundation, too much concealer under the eyes and too much powder will all serve to make you look older – keep your base as sheer as you can get away with and always match to your skin tone. Colours that are too dark or too light will age you.

A little radiance is a must-have for keeping your skin looking youthful – this is where BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector becomes a necessity. A swipe of the powder or a pump of the liquid, added to foundation, will put back a healthy dose of radiance.

Always use a little blush to look younger and healthier – tints, gels and creams applied to the apples of the cheeks work like magic!

Avoid deep and bright colours for lips as well as super matte tones. I personally think red lipstick is not great after a certain age and does make you look older. Perhaps it’s fun and quirky much later in life (ie 70). Neutral rosy and pink tones for lips are better in formulations that are cream and/or semi -glossy.

Eye colours that are neutral, soft and not too shimmery are best to keep eyes looking fresh and younger. Avoid too much mascara or eyeliner.

I like to experiment with colour – how can I do so without coming across as garish?

Definitely only play with bright colour on one area of your face – either lips or cheeks or eyes or nails – not all at once. A rich, bright lip looks wonderful with beautiful, minimalistic skin. A touch of coloured eyeliner can be fun with next to nothing lips and cheeks. Don’t match colours to your outfit – opposites look modern.

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Tell us below, do you experiment with colour?