Flattering Makeup Shade: Deep Purple Eye Shadow
Rich purple is the perfect blend of blue and red, which means it “complements everyone and is a great color for day or night,” says makeup artist Maria Verel. Stay away from shades that are too heavy on the red undertones—they’re not as adaptable for everyone, “and if you apply it wrong, it could be misinterpreted as a bruise,” Verel says. We like Nars Single Eyeshadow in Daphne and Maybelline New York Expert Wear Eye Shadow Single in Amethyst.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Peach Blush
Unlike pink cheek colors, which can easily veer into Barbie or frosty territory, “a peach blush with a little shimmer marries perfectly with every skin tone,” Verel says. Women with fair skin should wear it right on the apples of their cheeks, while those with dark skin should move the placement up to the cheekbones “so it’s more of a highlighter,” she says. Try Smashbox Blush Rush in Paradise or Benefit Georgia.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Navy Eyeliner
This is the secret to making eyes look awake, no matter what your skin tone. “The deep blue will emphasize the whites of your eyes so they’re instantly brighter,” says Verel, who recommends a pencil or a cream liner as opposed to a liquid: “The latter doesn’t always read as a true navy,” she says. We like Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in 3L and L’Oréal HIP Studio Secrets Professional Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Midnight Blue.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Gold Eye Shadow
“This is the ultimate metallic shade for everyone,” Verel says. Always pick a formula that has a pearlescent finish (“matte gold could appear chalky on dark skin,” she says), and for a goofproof look, keep it to a light wash on the lids or a subtle highlight under the brows. We like Lancôme Color Design Eye Shadow in Filigree and Revlon Luxurious Color Perle Eye Shadow in Sparkling Gold.
Flattering Makeup Shade: True Red Lipstick
The glamorous old-Hollywood look is attainable for all, and can actually be easy as long as you go with a true red shade (think primary Crayola red). We like Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Crème Matte in 165m and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love That Red. It’s when you venture into brick red and berry red that the color becomes less universal.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Bronzer
We can all benefit from the warmth of a little bronzer—especially now that winter has arrived. Bronzers with the tiniest touch of shimmer, such as Clinique True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunswept and Yves Saint Laurent Sun Poudre de Soleil Sun Powder SPF 10 in Golden Sun, are versatile enough to work on everyone. But just as with peach blush, women with different skin tones should wear it in different ways. “On black women, bronzer is more like a highlighter,” Verel says, adding that they should apply it on the tops of the cheekbones. On fair and medium skin, women should lightly dust it everywhere the sun naturally hits: temples, cheeks, and chin. The bonus? It can double as an eye shadow that’s equally flattering.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Sheer Rosy Lip Gloss
“You can’t go wrong with a rosy pink lip gloss,” Verel says. The reason: “It will look like most people’s natural lip color, but it’s flattering even if it’s not.” She recommends a semisheer gloss formula, such as Bobbi Brown Shimmer Lip Gloss in Rose Sugar or Estée Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Tempting Tearose, for just a hint of pretty color.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Brown Eyeshadow Quad
Variety may be the spice of life, but every woman can work from the same traditional brown shadow quad. “The kind that has a range of shades from taupe to espresso can be adapted for every skin tone to define and complement the eyes,” Verel says. Women with fair skin can create soft or smoky looks, while those with dark skin can use the light shades as a highlighter under the brows and the deeper browns on the lids as an everyday shadow. Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow in Dunes and L’Oréal Studio Secrets Professional Eye Shadow Quad in Canyon Stone have the perfect mix of shades.Scroll upScroll down.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Turquoise Eyeliner
It may be surprising to see the bright color on this list, “but it’s a playful shade that will make a statement on every color of skin—and the darker the complexion, the more vibrant the color will appear,” says Verel. Draw a thin line right at the upper and lower lashes for an unexpected dash of color. We like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Flipside and Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof in Flashy Blue.
Flattering Makeup Shade: Shimmery Deep Bronze Eye Shadow
When you want something a little more festive than your basic neutrals, a glimmering deep bronze shadow “is an evening look that works on everyone,” Verel says. Because it’s an amped-up version of brown, all skin tones can pull it off on the lids or in the crease. Try Dior Powder Mono Eyeshadow in Bronzy Night and Cover Girl Eye Enhancers in Brown Smolder.