How to Pick Perfect Clothing Colors for Pale Skin and Boost Your Style

girl in sunlight - Clothing Colors For Pale Skin
girl in sunlight - Clothing Colors For Pale Skin
girl in sunlight - Clothing Colors For Pale Skin

Dante Kim

April 27th, 2024

When you have pale skin, choosing the right colors to wear can enhance your natural beauty and make you look your best. It's important to find the right skin tone colors that complement your complexion and bring out your features. Explore the world of Clothing Colors For Pale Skin to discover the colors that suit you best and make you feel confident and stylish every day.

Table of Contents

What is Skin Tone and Undertone & Why Does it Matter?

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Determining your skin’s undertone can be done in the comfort of your own home. You can make this determination using any one of the tests we outline below. Check out your veins. If you can see your veins, you may be able to use their color to identify your undertone. Assess your jewelry, throw on something neutral, think about your eye and hair color, examine for ashen or gray tones, and explore color analysis apps. These are all easy methods to determine your skin’s undertone. 

Warm, Cool, and Neutral Undertones

There are three traditional undertones: warm, cool, and neutral. Warm undertones range from peach to yellow and golden. Some people with warm undertones also have sallow skin. Cool undertones include pink and bluish hues. If you have a neutral undertone, this means that your undertones are roughly the same color as your actual skin tone.

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10 Best Clothing Colors for Pale Skin

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1. Emerald Green

Emerald green is such a gorgeous shade on most skin tones and it’s particularly beautiful and intense against a pale skin tone. If you have cool undertones, jewel tones like emerald green are one of the best ways to instantly brighten your face and make your features pop. 

Emerald green is also a great choice if you have blue or green eyes. You can wear an emerald green top or sweater to brighten up your face, or even go for a monochromatic emerald green head-to-toe look.

2. Cobalt Blue

Cobalt blue is another jewel tone that looks so amazing against fair skin. It will bring color to your face and create a nice contrast against light skin. In fact, cobalt blue is a great color for both cool and warm undertones and looks just as gorgeous on medium and dark skin tones as well. 

It pairs great with denim so it’s easy to style and you’ll be surprised how many compliments you get when wearing this shade! Blue is everyone’s color. It’s inviting yet powerful.

3. Navy Blue

Sticking with the blue family, navy blue is another great color to wear if you have pale or light skin. Some very fair-skinned women tend to shy away from wearing black because they fear it’s too harsh and ages them. 

In that case, navy is such a perfect alternative. It’s classic, timeless, and easy to style with other neutrals like white, ivory, beige, gray, and even black (yep, you can wear navy and black together!). Another great thing about navy is that you can pair it with your gold AND silver jewelry.

4. Aqua

Rounding out the blues, aqua is another bright jewel tone that’s a head-turner and looks fabulous on light skin. It’s also rather seasonless in that you can pair it with white jeans or shorts in spring/summer but also wear it with deeper blues, navy, or even metallics in the fall/winter. It’s bright and beautiful and a no-brainer if you have blue eyes.

5. Red

There are so many different shades of red including reds with blue, pink, and orange undertones so it can be tricky finding one that works for your particular skin tone. But if you have very pale skin, red can look quite striking! It can provide a beautiful contrast and add a pop of color to your complexion brightening up your cheeks and lips. People with warm undertones tend to look great in warm reds like brick, merlot, or tomato and then those with cool undertones tend to look best in ruby, cherry, or crimson shades of red. 

If in doubt, hold the color red up to your face and determine if it lights you up and adds color to your face or makes it appear dull or casts a yellow or green hue (red’s color wheel opposite!). If an all-red top seems too dramatic, you can always try a red print to test the waters. Red signals confidence and power.

6. Deep Purple

You may have heard that people with pale skin should avoid bold colors, but that simply is not true. Deep purple is an example of a bold color that looks particularly beautiful on those with cool undertones. 

We also love deep purple’s sisters like burgundy, eggplant, and plum. Associated with wealth and royalty, purple makes a statement! Erin doesn’t wear a ton of deep purple and tends to gravitate toward Bordeaux and burgundy but we’ll share some picks in both shades below.

7. Pink

To understand which shade of pink complements your skin tone, you’ll once again want to consult your undertone. In general, those with cool undertones will radiate in fuchsia, berry, and rose shades while those with warm undertones might look best in peachy pinks and coral or orangey pinks. 

Pink is such a feminine and youthful color and so on-trend (Hi Barbie!). Just about any skin tone will shine in some version of pink but super pale pinks can sometimes wash out the very palest skin tones. If bright pink feels out of your comfort zone you can always try a pink patterned piece or even a pink blush or lip color to brighten up your face.

8. Yellow

Yellow is tough. It can make you look green or even sick if you wear the wrong shade. When it comes to very pale skin, bright lemon yellows will likely be your best bet. Finding your shade of yellow will depend on your hair color and undertones. Still not sure? You’ll likely look best in a shade of yellow that contrasts with rather than matches your skin tone. Contrast is key!

9. Chocolate Brown

Brown is another neutral color like navy that can replace black in your wardrobe if black feels too harsh for you. It’s such a rich color that looks amazing on pale skin….especially deep dark chocolate browns because, once again, it creates…a stark contrast. Are you noticing a pattern? In many cases, the colors that look best on pale skin are those with the sharpest contrast.

10. Pastel Shades

Pastel colors like lavender, baby blue, and mint green can look amazing on pale skin tones. Especially those with cool undertones. Breaking out your pastels in the spring/summer seems natural, but we love them in the winter months too when they are a bit less expected. 

When wearing pale hues, you might want to balance out your makeup with some stronger shades as not to look too washed out. Then, you’ll still create that contrast we mentioned in most of the other looks.

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What Are the Worst Colors to Avoid if You Have Pale Skin

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For pale skin tones, certain colors can wash out your complexion or create too much contrast, resulting in an unflattering look. Avoid clothing and accessories in your skin tone, light pastels, black, neon shades, and white. These colors can either blend with your skin tone, wash you out entirely, or create too much contrast, making you look tired or sick.

1. Clothing and Accessories in Your Skin Tone

Wearing clothing and accessories in the same color range as your skin tone can make you appear sick or washed out. You want to create contrast between your skin and your outfit to highlight your features and make you look lively and healthy.

2. Light Pastels 

Light pastel colors, while dreamy and pretty, can lack the contrast needed to complement your pale skin tone. If you love pastels, consider incorporating them into your accessories rather than wearing them close to your face to avoid a washed-out look.

3. Black 

While black is often considered a universal color, it can create too harsh of a contrast for pale skin tones. This can take away the natural blush in your skin and make you appear overly pale or tired.

4. Neon Shades 

Bold neon colors can create too much contrast for your pale skin. These colors can overpower your natural undertones, making your skin look greyish or unflattering.

5. White 

Although white may seem like it could make your skin appear darker, it can actually wash you out. White lacks the necessary contrast for pale skin tones, potentially making you look sick or tired. Opt for colors that provide more contrast to flatter your complexion.

12 Tips to Nail Makeup for Pale Skin Tone

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The beauty of makeup is that it's a totally customizable experience. It all depends on the look you’re going for, how much makeup you're comfortable wearing, your hair color, and most importantly, your skin tone. 

What works well for people with deeper skin tones may not complement people with pale skin quite the same way. If you're in search of a bit of guidance on how to build up your pale skin makeup kit, we're sharing eight expert beauty tips for those with fair complexions. Get those makeup brushes ready!

1. Never Skimp on SPF

First things first: no matter what shade range your skin tone falls under, sunscreen is never a step you should skip in your skincare routine. Plus, people with paler skin tend to be more sun-sensitive and, rather than getting tan, they burn and quickly become red. Be sure to reapply, reapply, reapply!

2. Look for Makeup Products With Built-In SPF

If you're all about using as few products as possible, you can also look for multitasking face makeup that's made with SPF. For an ideal summer solution with a hydrating, natural finish, try the Purlisse Beauty Illuminating BB Cream with SPF 30. 

Full-coverage foundations and concealers are easy to find, too, if you want to conceal any blemishes or dark circles. They'll help skin look super smooth while also providing some protection. Whether you opt for a natural-looking dewy or matte finish is more about your personal preference than your skin tone.

3. Reach for Cool-Toned Bronzer

"Stay away from orangey-reddish toned bronzers," says Ellen Bodkins, a NYC-based celebrity makeup artist. "Dark-toned bronzers aren't really flattering on pale skin. Instead, she recommends picking up very light beige tones like The Beauty Crop’s Bronzer in Sardinia Sand.

4. Make Sure to Really Blend in the Bronzer

Because streaks can be particularly visible on pale skin tones, it's important to spend a little extra time making sure your bronzer is well blended. "To avoid streaking, make sure your skin and the brush you are using for application are totally dry. Using a larger flat-headed brush also helps for seamless blending," Bodkins says. We love using Complex Culture's Press & Set Bronzing Brush.

For a top-tier makeup tip, Bodkins adds, "Don't forget to dust that bronzer on your jawline and also on the sides of your neck. This will make sure that your skin tone is even, especially in those flash pics."

5. Build Your Own Perfect Blush Shade With a Palette

Selecting the right blush shade for pale skin can be tricky. You want to make sure not to choose a color that’s too dark and you also want to pick a shade that pairs well with your skin's undertone (cool, warm, or neutral). If you want to try a few different blush options to find your perfect match, reach for this non-cakey Lovecraft Beauty Blush Palette, which comes with three complementary shades that layer like a dream and allow you to create your own customizable shade.

Generally, for blush, you should choose a color that resembles coral or shades of peach, says Gargi Patel, celebrity makeup artist for Vasanti Cosmetics. “These shades will provide a more natural glow,” says Patel.

6. Illuminate Your Eyes With Cream Shadows

On pale skin, most eyeshadow shades will stand out against your fair complexion. If you're going for a super bold, colorful look, this can be ideal! But if you're after an everyday-neutral look, it can be challenging. That's why we love using cream eyeshadows on pale skin. They blend brilliantly and make it easy to control exactly how much color you’re applying. Top it off with a brown eyeliner pencil to complete this natural look.

7. Go Bold With Your Lipstick

"Bright, neutral, and brown-based pinks are always a sure shot when it comes to lip colors [on fair skin]," Bodkins says. "Nude, peachy, and orangey-red shades are also great picks." Conversely, she says orange-toned, dark plums, wines or mauves, and brown lipsticks tend to make the skin look washed out.

8. To Simplify the Perfect Pink Lip, Try a Lip Oil

If you're more into low-maintenance makeup, or if you just like to reserve bright lipsticks for special occasions, opt instead for a universally flattering pink lip oil by Yensa Beauty. This is ideal for everyday wear as it offers a light tint, a subtle sheen, and hydration. It can also be easily applied on-the-go without a mirror.

9. Use a Primer

“Pale skin tones tend to be prone to sensitivity, so it's best to use a primer before makeup application to help makeup last long, stay hydrated, and plump,” explains Patel. The right primer can help blur your pores, reset uneven skin tone, and can help you avoid that cakey makeup look that’s usually the result of applying foundation to dehydrated skin. There are different types of primers that are tailored to specific areas of your face such as the eyes, lips, and face.

10. How to Choose the Right Foundation

“When selecting a foundation shade that matches your skin tone, stay close to your natural color as much as possible. Going lighter or a bit darker will only give off an unnatural look and look remarkably different than your neck,” explains Patel.

“Swatch a few similar shades along the neck against each other and see which one most seamlessly disappears into the skin. Swatch against the neck to bring your body's skin color more harmoniously to your face to give a more seamless effect,” recommends Alex.

11. Determine Your Undertones

“Undertones are the color within your skin, and can be tricky to pin down. For paler folks, if you tend to burn easily, have a pink quality to your skin, or tend to be reactive, you probably have cool undertones. Paler skin tones that tend to tan a bit more easily or present more yellow or green would be considered warmer undertones,” says Alex.

12. Start Small With Color

It can be tempting to try all different colors to see what works for your skin. But trust us, there is a method to the madness. Especially when you consult your undertones.

“Paler skin tends to blush with more cool, pink tones, and the contours of the face tend to be more subtle and gray rather than deeper and orange. Because color can show up more quickly and easily on pale skin, start small and build your color to the desired amount. It's easier to add than take away,” says Alex.

What Color Jewelry Looks Better on Pale Skin?

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Silver and White Gold

Silver and white gold are excellent choices for those with pale skin, especially if you have cool undertones. These metals reflect light beautifully and can illuminate your complexion without overpowering it.


Platinum is another great choice for cool undertones. Its bright, silvery sheen works similarly to silver but offers a denser, more luxurious feel.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a fantastic option for those with neutral undertones. Its soft pink hue adds a warm glow to pale skin without the harsh contrast that traditional yellow gold might create.

Yellow Gold

If you have warm undertones, yellow gold can look stunning against your skin. It enhances the natural warmth of your complexion and offers a classic, elegant look.

Pewter and Stainless Steel

For those who prefer a more subdued look, pewter and stainless steel are excellent choices. These metals are less reflective than silver or gold and work well for all undertones due to their neutral color.

Colored Gemstones

Consider the color of gemstones in your jewelry. Pale skin can be beautifully complemented by vibrant gemstones like sapphire, emerald, or ruby, which provide a striking contrast and draw attention. For a subtler look, pastel shades like aquamarine, rose quartz, or amethyst can be lovely.


Pearls are timeless and can look particularly flattering on pale skin. White pearls are great for cooler undertones, while cream or golden pearls can warm up those with warmer undertones.


As you consider your skin tone, don’t be mistaken and think that this is where your options end. Indeed, these guidelines can help you on your way to choosing great jewelry and gemstones that suit you, there’s also a lot of room to move. 

Don’t let your warm or cool skin tone stop you from wearing a spectacular piece of jewelry – or something that holds special significance for you. Your personal preference is also important, so don’t be locked into hard and fast rules. Instead, choose what feels right for you, using this guide as a starting place to find something that you love.

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