A Comprehensive Look at Colors That Look Good on Brown Skin

woman with curly hair - Skin Tone Color Analysis
woman with curly hair - Skin Tone Color Analysis
woman with curly hair - Skin Tone Color Analysis

Dante Kim

April 25th, 2024

When it comes to finding the right colors that work well with your skin tone, it can be challenging to know where to start. That's why we're here to help you find the perfect Skin tone colors that will complement your brown skin beautifully. By selecting the right hues, you can elevate your look and make a statement with your outfit. Whether you're looking to stand out or subtly enhance your features, choosing the right colors can make all the difference. So let us guide you through some stunning options that will make brown skin tones pop.

The blog article explores how to choose colors that look good on brown skin. Start by discovering the colors that could make your skin tone stand out in the crowd. Whether you're getting ready for a special event or just want to look your best every day, these insights will help you nail the perfect outfit. So, let's delve in and find the colors that will enhance your brown skin tone.

Table of Contents

Best Colors That Look Good On Brown Skin in General

different colors - Skin Tone Color Analysis

Dark Skin Tone: Brown

you have dark, brown skin, or a darker complexion (at least as dark as Will Smith in the photo above, or if you’re of African descent, South Asian descent, Indian descent, etc.):

Brown skin tones are stunningly enhanced by a range of rich, vibrant colors that complement the natural warmth and glow. Hues with warm, golden undertones and deeper saturations are universally flattering, allowing the beauty of brown skin to shine through.

When selecting colors, look for shades that have an inherent warmth and intensity rather than colors that appear muted or dull.

Some color families that look gorgeous on brown skin include:

Warm Earthy Tones

  • Mustard yellows

  • Rusty oranges

  • Olive greens

  • Terracotta reds

  • Camel and tan brown

These organic shades seamlessly blend with the warm undertones of brown skin.

Jewel Tones

  • Ruby reds

  • Emerald greens

  • Sapphire blues

  • Amethyst purples

The luxurious depth and richness of jewel tones creates stunning contrast.

Rich Brights

  • Fuchsia pinks

  • Tangerine oranges

  • Canary yellows

  • Cobalt blues

Vibrant pops of color make brown skin glow with liveliness.


  • Shimmering golds

  • Bronzes

  • Coppers

These luminous shades are like liquid sunshine against brown skin.

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How to Identify Your Skin’s Undertone and Why It Matters

woman in denim jacket - Skin Tone Color Analysis

Skin undertones play a crucial role in determining which color shades will complement your complexion the most. There are four main categories of undertones: warm, cool, neutral, and olive. Warm undertones are characterized by peach, yellow, and golden hues, whereas cool undertones exhibit reddish or pink undertones. On the other hand, neutral undertones comprise a mix of both warm and cool tones, while olive tones lie between warm and neutral with creamy, beige, and light pink undertones.

The mistake many people make is assuming that fair skin always has a cool undertone and dark skin always has a warm undertone. This misconception can lead to incorrect color choices. For instance, someone with dark skin may have a blue-cast undertone, making it important to select the right foundation shade.

Tips for Identifying Your Undertone

1. Check your veins

A simple test involves examining the veins on your wrist. Blue or purple veins indicate a cool undertone, while green veins signal a warmer undertone. If you notice a mixture of blue, purple, and green veins, your skin likely has a neutral or olive undertone.

2. Look at your jewelry collection

Warm undertones typically complement gold jewelry, while cool undertones pair well with silver. If you find yourself alternating between gold and silver without a clear preference, you may have a neutral or olive undertone.

3. Examine your closet

The colors you gravitate toward in your wardrobe can also offer clues about your undertone. Warm undertones are drawn to shades of orange, yellow, green, off-white, and warm red. In contrast, cool undertones favor colors like purple, fuchsia, pink, white, and blue. Neutral and olive undertones have the flexibility to wear a wide range of shades.

4. Utilize Color analysis apps

There are handy color analysis apps available that assess your undertones based on uploaded photos. These apps can provide tailored color recommendations to enhance your unique skin tone.

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Flattering Colors for Different Brown Skin Tones

choosing combination of colors - Skin Tone Color Analysis

Best Colors for Light Brown Skin Tones

Light brown skin tones are complemented by a range of vibrant and pastel colors. Royal blue, light blue, and sunny yellows can bring out a lively vibrance in this skin tone. Neutral tones like tans, beiges, and grays provide a subtle, elegant contrast, while metallics like silver and gold add a touch of glamour. Celebrities like Eva Longoria and Jennifer Lopez, who often wear these colors, can serve as perfect examples for this category

Best Colors for Medium Brown Skin Tones

Medium brown skin beautifully supports deeper, richer colors. Jewel tones such as emerald green, deep purples, and royal blues not only complement the skin’s undertone but also create striking contrasts that are visually impactful. 

Earthy hues like olive greens, warm golds, and chocolate browns also resonate well with medium brown skin. These colors offer a cozy vibe suitable for both casual and formal wear. Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez are celebrities known for showcasing these colors effectively

Best Colors for Deep Brown Skin Tones

Deep brown skin tones are exceptionally enhanced by high-contrast colors. Bright and bold colors like fiery reds, vibrant oranges, and rich yellows make the skin glow while deep jewel tones like plum, forest green, and midnight blue bring out the elegance and depth of the skin. 

These colors are perfect for making a statement during special occasions or in everyday fashion. Celebrities like Lupita Nyong'o and Viola Davis often flaunt these colors, demonstrating their effectiveness in enhancing deep brown skin

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The Power of Color Combinations for Brown Skin Tones

power of combination of colors - Skin Tone Color Analysis

Every person’s skin has its own variances. While two people may have a fair complexion, the tone of their coloring may be cool, warm, or neutral. As a result, certain colors of clothing better highlight their skin than others. Here are ten shades perfect for people with various tones of dark skin depending on the season.

In the winter and fall, it is best to choose more subdued colors. Saturated jewel tones can work wonders for the season and are some of the best clothing colors for dark skin.

1. Cobalt

Cobalt is a dark rich blue. It has more life than navy and can be worn more festively. Named for the element with the same deep blue color, cobalt is a versatile fashion color for many skin tones, but especially darker ones. Jewel tones emphasize the rich tone of deep skin. Cobalt is a favorite shade for Michelle Obama, who has worn it many times, including on the cover of Vogue.

Clothing Items

Cobalt is especially striking in long dresses and caftans. It can also be well used in women’s pants suits.


Cobalt purses have long been in fashion for high-end designers such as Michael Kors. Snag the look with totes and clutches.


Jewelry featuring cobalt-colored gems and stones are absolutely eye-catching, offering a bright pop when laying over darker skin tones.`


A bright blue shoe with an otherwise staid outfit makes an amazing statement in the workplace.

2. Red

Red offers so much variety. This shade evokes passion and power, but it can be a bit bold for some people. Whether you want to go with bright scarlet – like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez often does – or a deep ruby, red hues are colors that look good on brown skin.

Clothing Items

Don’t go too big with red unless you are ready to make a statement. Red can be a great color to incorporate as a print on a blouse or a blazer thrown over more neutral items.

If you do indeed intend to make a statement, pick a red with undertones that match your complexion’s undertones (warm or cool) and go all out. There’s not much like a structured, red dress to let people know you have arrived.


Headbands, hats, scarves, gloves, tights, purses, and more are all perfect places to sneak some red into your wardrobe. They’re a small way to get used to this statement color.


Ruby stones or red lacquered jewelry are classic pieces that pair well with neutral outfits. 


If a blue shoe with a staid outfit is good, a red shoe is better. Look for ballet flats and heels in eye-catching reds.

3. Emerald

Channel the popular gemstone with emerald green clothing. Some greens blend into the background, but emerald was made to stand out. This saturated hue looks beautiful on cool-toned dark skin. The hue is very calming to the eye, but rich and luxurious in tone. 

Clothing Items

Watch for velvet items made in emerald green. This classic combo not only looks great but can get you into seasonal moods from early fall through Saint Patty’s day.


Confessions of a Shopaholic’s” emerald green scarf? Punch up a work outfit with this lux accessory.


Emeralds and green costume jewelry catch the light in unique ways. Choose chunky-cut stones as statement rings and earrings.


Emerald shoes can really work in a monochromatic outfit where you’re also wearing an emerald dress or bottoms.

4. Violet

Purple is a romantic color, combining stability and energy. Dark purple, or aubergine, is associated with royalty for a reason. Be a queen draped in this jewel-toned, winter shade.

Clothing Items

Incorporate violet into any clothing item, from satin blouses to patterned trousers to leather motorcycle jackets. Violet may just be the best dress color for dark skin.


Violet leather gloves peeking out below your sleeves give a fashionable edge to a gray or camel winter overcoat.


Violet amethyst stones are often an affordable, semi-precious stone to up your jewelry game.


Suede boots are often issued in a violet shade. Keep an eye out for these to make your winter footwear a little more interesting.

5. Pink

Here we’re talking specifically about rich winter pinks (although pale pinks look great on darker skin tones as well). This warm tone compliments complexions with similar rosy undertones. Blush tones look great on dark skin, as they contrast perfectly with the deep skin tones.

Clothing Items

Embrace this bold jewel tone for dresses, blouses, and casual shirts alike. Consider this Pink Selene Maxi Dress as a shining example.


Sunglasses often come with darker pink frames. Getting a classic style in this bold color gives you a unique look.


Look for dark pink stones and floral, cast jewelry that incorporate this color. These may lean slightly more toward summer looks. Use your best judgement here.


A classic pink heel is every Christie O’Neil Barbie girl’s dream.

6. Gold

Think like royalty with this metallic hue. Gold accentuates the dark color of your skin. 

Clothing Items

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If you’re looking for simple pieces, go with fine gold jewelry to complete your outfit


Currently being updated. Everything lightens up in spring and summer fashion, which makes for a great contrast when with clothing colors for dark skin. 

7. White

Talk show legend Oprah Winfrey has been wowing in white for decades. White isn’t just one color that works with dark skin tones, but rather many different ones. While almost everyone can wear white, those with deeper skin tone can experiment with different variations of the color. A stark shade will make you stand out, while an off-white pairs well with neutral colors

Consider trying the following:

  • Snow White

  • Off-White

  • Ivory

  • Ecru

Individuals with deeper skin tone can experiment with different variations of the color.

Clothing Items

Linen pants, summer dresses, halter tops, shorts, cropped pants, bikinis, fitted white tees. White is another color that can be made into anything. Play with different shades of white to see what pops the most on your unique skin tone.


Who doesn’t love a pair of white sunglasses with dark, dark lenses. White frames against darker complexions are fire. 


Playing with white jewelry can be so much fun. From boardwalk puka shells to high-end pearls, work these eye-catching necklaces, bracelets, and rings to your advantage.


So popular in recent years, the squeaky-white tennis shoe is holding steady in the fashion world. Swap these out for something more formal with white strappy wedges.

8. Orange

This robust color is almost impossible to wear on anything but deep complexions. Lean into the contrast it creates for a fun, striking look. You’re sure to catch people’s attention with orange pieces.

Clothing Items

Like red, there is such a thing as too much orange. But don’t be afraid of it. Use orange strategically in prints, maxi dresses, and kimono wraps.


Hats and purses in orange are the perfect summer statement. Pop that color with abandon.


Bold, in-your-face necklaces and heavy earrings in orange can take an outfit from ok to outstanding.


Orange flip-flops are a classic summer look. Pair with denim shorts and a light top for a fun, summer vacation look.

9. Light Yellow

Show others your joy by wearing light, pastel yellow. This spring color can easily transition to summertime, making it perfect for when the weather is warmest. Light yellow was made for darker complexions. Pale yellows often wash out lighter skin tones, but on brown skin, it looks vibrant and rich.

Clothing Items

Tank tops and dresses are a great way to sport this lemony hue. Headwraps are particularly striking in yellow


Get that Freida Pinto scarf you’ve been wanting all these years.


Yellow jewelry can be hard to come by, but look for chunky plastic costume jewelry to
incorporate this color into your look.


Sandals and wedges in yellow are the quintessential “pop of color” all the fashion gurus talk about. Directly next to your dark complexion, this color works for you.

10. Lavender

We can’t just let fall and winter have all the purples. Light lavender is as equally complementary to darker skin tones as violet, and a strong choice for people with deep tones.

Clothing Items

If you have a spring or summer wedding to attend coming up, a lavender dress is unbeatable. Paired with white wedges or nude pumps, this classic look in pastel will win you compliments.

In everyday life, lavender t-shirts and sleeveless dresses are a great way to incorporate this color into your wardrobe. Light colors like lavender can be a little difficult to wear as bottoms, but daring to go bold with pastel-cropped pants can have great results.


Hairbands and hair scarves in lavender are the perfect accessory for late spring and early summer.


Floral earrings in lavender are a popular option to bring this light purple into a jewelry collection.


Flip-flops, slides, ballet shoes – all of these are a good place to add the gentle pop of lavender into your outfit. 

Colors to Avoid or Wear Cautiously with Brown Skin

woman with make up - Skin Tone Color Analysis

While there are many gorgeous color options for brown skin, a few shades may require more careful styling. Pastels, neons, very light shades, and ashy/dull colors can potentially wash out or clash with brown tones. Pastels and neons can drain warmth, while very light shades can overwhelm and make you look sickly. 

Ashy or dull colors can clash with the natural warmth of brown skin. If you want to wear these colors, do so cautiously by incorporating them in small doses or balancing them with darker, richer shades. Just remember to use these shades sparingly to avoid looking washed out or overwhelmed.

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Makeup Tips for Brown Skin Tones

woman trying out colors - Skin Tone Color Analysis

Foundation and Concealer

Finding the right foundation and concealer shades that complement your complexion is crucial. For light brown skin, peach, honey, and red-brown shades often look good for eye makeup, while deeper shades can look good for lip colors. Consider your undertone when selecting a concealer, and opt for a light concealer if you don't have an eye primer.


Choose a blush with rich pigmentation and buildable color. Apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks or where the sun naturally hits your face to create a sun-kissed look.

Eye Makeup

For brown skin, peach, honey, and red-brown shades often look good for eye makeup. Gold, amber, or bronze eyeshadows are also great choices. Look for an eyeshadow palette with multiple colors that can be blended together to create a cohesive look.

Lip Colors

Consider your undertone when selecting lip colors for brown skin. Deeper shades can look great, and you can test swatch lip products on your arm to see how they look against your skin. Dusty rose pink, pearly pinks, and peach hues work well with fair to medium skin tones, while dark coral hues work well with deeper skin tones.

Soft Grunge Makeup

For a soft grunge makeup look on brown skin, stick to neutral brown eyeshadows on the top lid and avoid using excessive dark eyeshadows under your eyes.

Try AI Personal Color Analysis For Free Today

The unique concept of WhatColors is revolutionary in helping individuals discover the best colors for their skin tone. This breakthrough technology analyzes skin, eye, and hair color to determine the perfect palette for any person. Users can unlock their season and avoid colors that clash with their features to enhance their wardrobe effortlessly. 

Discovering the Perfect Colors for Your Skin Tone

WhatColors' AI Personal Color Analysis app allows you to identify the shades that complement your brown skin tone. By inputting your unique traits, such as hair and eye color, this innovative tool generates a personalized color palette. You'll receive recommendations on what hues to wear to bring out the best in your complexion.

Enhancing Your Style with the Perfect Nail Colors

With the WhatColors Nail Color Generator, you can find nail polish shades that match your brown skin tone flawlessly. This feature provides you with a range of options to enhance your style and nail aesthetic. By following these personalized recommendations, you can ensure your nails always look their best. 

Unlocking Your Colors for a Fashion Transformation

By downloading the WhatColors app, you can unlock your ideal color palette and transform your style effortlessly. By choosing the right shades based on your skin tone, you'll be able to feel confident and put together every day. Say goodbye to fashion faux pas and hello to a wardrobe that complements your brown skin tone perfectly.

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