What Colors Look Good On Pale Skin?

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Choosing the right color for your skin tone can mean the difference between a look that positively glows and a totally sad, washed-out look.

This is especially true for those with pale skin.

In this article, we are going to look at what colors look good on pale skin. We’ll look at how to determine your skin tone to choose which of those colors are best for your skin, as well as certain colors you may want to avoid and why.


What Colors Look Good on Pale Skin?

The colors that will look best on you are determined by the tone of your skin (light, medium, olive, dark) and your skin’s undertones.

Undertones are separated into three categories – warm, cool, and neutral. However, those with really pale skin usually fall into either the warm or cool categories.

  • Those with warm-toned skin will often have freckles, red, chestnut, golden blond, or strawberry blond hair.  
  • Those with cool skin undertones will tend not to have much color in their cheeks and have ash blond, dark brown or black hair, kind of like Snow White.

Now regardless of whether you fall into the group with warm or cool undertones, there are some colors that those with pale skin best avoid across the board.

If you don’t know how to determine your skin’s undertone, see our skin undertone guide here.


What Colors to Avoid with Pale Skin

Now whether you fall into the warm, cool or even neutral group, if you have pale skin, there are some colors you should avoid altogether.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

What to Avoid?

1. Skin Tone

Anything that is the same tone as your skin will make you look drab and washed out. You can see from the photo above, the background is about the same color as her skin tone and she gets totally lost there.

Fleshy tones can not only wash you out, but pick up on and highlight pink discoloration in your skin and make you look rashy or blotchy. The color of her dress isn’t doing much for her either.

There is however one exception to this “avoid skin tone” rule – nude shoes.

Nude shoes are great because they go with everything. The whole purpose of wearing nude shoes is to have them disappear and let your outfit shine, so nude shoes are totally okay.

Just make sure you have an outfit in a color that looks great on you to show off!  And avoid garments next to a lot of skin in a fleshy skin tone.

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2. Pastels

Pastel tones for pale skin just don’t provide enough contrast and don’t tend to bring out the best in your skin. While some colors are better than others (depending on whether you have warm or cool skin undertones), the wrong pastel color will make your skin look even paler!

It will drain all of what little color you do have in your skin out and make you look sickly.

3. White

Like nude and pastels, white doesn’t do a pale girl any favors. It does not make enough of a contrast between your skin, leaving you looking bland and washed out.

4. Black

It’s important for those with pale skin to make enough of a contrast between the colors they wear and their skin. But for some, black goes a little too far to the other end of the spectrum.

If you have really pale skin, black can have you looking more goth than glam… which is great if you were going for goth, but if not, black can be a little harsh with pale skin.

Slightly off black or navy blue can look much better.

5. Neon

Neon can look great for those with medium toned skin and make a tan really pop, and for those with darker skin tones, bring out the warmth and richness of the skin.

But if you have really pale skin, it’s too much and neon colors will just make your skin look grey.

Zombie Chic is not a thing.

Have a look at this image below.

Same pale girl, but just different colors under her face. The white and fleshy colors make her look even paler. Pastel blue leaves her with no color at all. Neon green is definitely not her color and overpowers her light skin and kind of makes her look like she has jaundice. 

But notice how the deep emerald green and rich red bring out the warm tones in her hair and skin and make her green eyes pop. Wearing the wrong color around your face can make the difference between looking lively and vibrant and looking sickly.

*When we say ‘avoid’ the colors above, we just mean: don’t wear them right up against your face or anywhere you’re showing a lot of skin.

You may not want to wear a mini dress, a pair of shorts or a shirt in one of the “avoid” colors above. They will make you look washed out and drain out whatever little color you have in your skin.

But as long as it’s not right up against your face or a whole lot of skin (i.e. legs or a bare midriff) and you pair it with a color that does bring out the best in you, there’s no problem.

For example, white jeans and a rich, blue top.

Though white may not be a pale girl’s best friend, as long as it’s not right up against your face, or next to a lot of skin, you can wear whatever color you want.

Now that you know what colors to avoid (against your skin), let’s talk about what colors will look great with pale skin.

But before we get into the nitty gritty, you’ll want to determine your skin undertones to make sure you are choosing the colors that are best suited to you.


How to Check Your Skin Undertones

There are three skin undertones: cool, warm and neutral.

Cool skin undertones have hints of blue, green, and violet. Warm undertones look more red, orange, golden, or yellow. Those with neutral undertones are part of the lucky bunch with a mix of both warm and cool undertones.

To determine your skin’s undertone, look at the veins on the underside of your wrist in natural light.

  • If your veins look blue, you have cool-toned skin with pink undertones.
  • You have warm-toned skin with yellow undertones if your veins appear green.
  • If your veins appear both blue and green, you are one of the lucky people that have neutral undertones, which means that almost every color of polish for pale skin will look great on you.

If it’s hard to tell what color your veins are, or if you can’t see them at all, hold up silver and gold jewelry next to your face. Regardless of your personal preference, which one looks better next to your skin?

Those with warm-toned skin will look better with gold jewelry. Those with cool-toned skin will look better with silver jewelry.

Those with warm-toned skin will look better with gold jewelry. Those with cool-toned skin will look better with silver jewelry.

Keep reading because for those of you with pale skin, you are a bit of an exception to the rule when it comes to the jewelry. We’ll get into that a bit further down.


What Colors Look Best On Pale Skin?

Any dark, rich colors will look good on pale skin generally. But it’s not just about skin tone that determines what colors look the best on you, but the skin undertone.

Best Colors For Warm Pale Skin

The colors that will suit you best will lean towards warmer colors with a red or yellow base.

Earth-tones (as long as they are not too close to your skin tone), any browns, most greens, coral and wine are just some of the colors that will look great on you.

The lighter side of the red and orange families, like peach, apricot, dusty pink and true red also will work well. It’s all about flattering the subtle red undertone in your skin.

It’s all about flattering the subtle red undertone in your skin.

Best Colors For Cool Pale Skin

Cooler colors with blue or pink undertones will best compliment your skin.

Think berries and jewel tones, like strawberry or raspberry, boysenberry and deep plums and purples, emerald green and sapphire blue.

They create a nice contrast with your skin and will bring out a hint of color in your cheeks.

They create a nice contrast with your skin and will bring out a hint of color in your cheeks.


Does silver or gold look better on pale skin?

Whether gold or silver looks best on you usually depends on your skin’s undertones, that’s to say whether you have warm skin or cool skin.

Source: Pixabay

Gold tends to look better on those with warmer skin. Silver usually suits skin with cooler undertones better. 

That said, for those with very pale skin and warm undertones, steer clear of rose gold and very yellow gold. Though you have warmer undertones, yellow is not your best color, and rose gold will tend to bring out and accentuate the pink undertones in your skin. 

If you have really pale skin you can most likely wear silver regardless of your skin undertones.

If you have really pale skin you can most likely wear silver regardless of your skin undertones.

When we’re talking about jewelry, this also includes things like glasses. If you choose a metal frame, pick out the frame you like in both gold and silver metal.

Try them both on in front of a mirror. You will see which looks better on you. 


What Nail Colors Look Best On Pale Skin?

We’re glad you asked. In fact, we’ve written a whole separate article on just that!

So be sure to check out Nail Colors For Pale Skin Tones. Find Your Next Color!


Conclusion

You might think you’re pale, but there is no doubt a lot of people out there who are a lot paler than you. There are also a lot of people darker than you that think they are the palest person on earth.

Pale varies! And there is no one color chart that is perfect, no rule that applies to everyone with pale skin.

We have given you some guidelines about colors that should suit you best and have hopefully pointed you in the right direction, so you can find the colors that are right for you. But just remember –  this is only a guide. 

The best way for you to see if a color looks good on you is to hold it up to your face in front of a mirror. If you love it (not just the color, but the color on YOU), regardless of what you read, then go for it.

If you grab a color that everything you’ve read said THIS is your color and you don’t love it, go with your gut.

Written by Kayla Young

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