Make up for fair skin, brown hair

I have fair (not porcelain) skin and medium-dark brown hair and hazel-mostly brown eyes. The makeup I am currently using:


foundation: Bare minerals fair and fairly light for summer

cover up: bare minerals bisque 1B

bronzer: bare minerals warmth (which I hardly use any of)

blush: bare minerals hint blush


mascara: Stila Major Major lash mascara

eye liner: Ulta automatic eyeliner in moss

eye shadow: Bobbi Brown bronze shimmer brick

lips: Tarte LipSurgence in Peaceful


I don't know if it's my application of the makeup, or if it's what I use, but I always feel extremely dull and washed out looking, even with blush on. I have come to the conclusion that it is not meant for me to be tan, so I am not judging myself based off of that. It's not just my skin, it's my eyes as well. I just feel as if nothing really pops. I like to look natural but sometimes I feel as if I look too "blah". I hope this is all making sense since you have no picture of me, but whatever advice you can give will help, whether it be new products or new techniques for application. Thanks so much!

Answers: 6

Hi, elizabethlw.  The makeup you're currently using is good quality makeup and I don't think you need to change any of it except maybe the eyeshadow.  Plus you may want to start using the BE Warmth as a bronzer to give you a little added color across your forehead and across your T-zone (meaning across your cheeks and the bridge of your nose, upper lip and finally your chin).  These are the most prominent areas of our face that the sun naturally tans us first.  Apply the Warmth with a "fan brush" so that your application is very, very light.  You don't want it to look as though you've added bronzer at all--you want to make sure that it is barely there and blended well.  A good fan brush is one such as this:

Now about eyes and eyeshadow...

To make your hazel/brown eyes really pop, wear an eyeshadow that’s the opposite of your eye shade on the color spectrum.  Brown eyes are more flattered lined with a brown liner, not black—it’s softer yet still dramatic.  Brown eyes can wear almost any combination of colors.  However, some of the best shades for your eyes are:

  • cream / eggshell
  • dark brown
  • plum
  • warm gold
  • deep blue
  • forest green
  • deep grey

I think if you liven up your eyeshadow a bit (along with using the Warmth) that it'll make all the difference you're looking for without having to make any major changes to your routine. 

If you want a palette of neutral, everyday colors that would flatter your hazel/brown eyes then I would suggest the Smashbox Softbox Palette.  The palette contains not only 9 shadows, but also 2 creamy liners, an eyelid primer and a good quality double-ended brush.  The enclosed "Get the Look" booklet will help you achieve a variety of looks using Smashbox’s expert techniques.  All products in the palette are paraben-free.  In case you want to know more specifically what is in this palette, here's a list:  
- 9 x 0.04 oz Eye Shadow in Nectar (matte peach), Vanilla (matte warm ivory), Flirt (pink beige shimmer with silver flecks), Lucky Penny (copper shimmer), Sugar (pink shimmer), Stone (matte taupe), Sienna (warm brown with bronze shimmer), Nude (matte soft caramel), Truffle (plum taupe shimmer)
- 2 x 0.05 oz Cream Eye Liner in Bronze (deep bronze), Taupe (silvery taupe)
- 0.02 oz Photo Finish Lid Primer (universal - warm beige)
- Double-Ended Shadow/Liner Brush (very good quality, which is hard to find in most palettes)

You can find this palette here:

Another great palette full of the plums and purples that'll make your eyes pop is the Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette.  It features six easily wearable shades that combine soft pink lilacs that play off cool grays to create many beautiful and distinctive looks.  Along with two professional brushes, the palette also comes in a gorgeous Peony and Python case which you can find here:

I hope this helps you.  Smiley Happy



I agree with tenngal's suggestion: I think using a fun eyeshadow palette can really spice things up. I love the Urban Decay "Naked Palette" (Sephora Product Page) because it has a lot of fun neutrals that compliment hazel/brown eyes very well. To avoid your makeup looking dull or washed out, I've found the following products really help me:


Benefit Cosmetics "Bella Bamba" (Sephora Product Page) This is a lovely watermelon-pink blush with a subtle golden shimmer. It helps define your cheekbones and creates the illusion of sculpted features for a gorgeous 3D effect. It makes your face look instantly brighter with just a quick swipe on the cheeks. This blush really makes a difference in how my whole face looks, and I think using this instead of your BareMinerals blush would help brighten your complexion. The color is great and not too dark: I do have porcelain skin, and it's fine for me, so I'm sure it would be for you.


Benefit Cosmetics "High Beam" (Sephora Product Page) Using this luminizing complexion enhancer is a great way to make your fair skin glow. It's a pink liquid highlighter that creates a radiant complexion. For an angelic sheen, this pink shimmering lotion adds a soft, natural afterglow. After you've applied your foundation, blush and eyeshadow, just dab a little of this over your cheekbones and eyelids. This is a great way to make your eyes look brighter and more lively no matter what kind of eye makeup you use.


I hope this helps! Smiley Happy



Hi! I know you said not tan is for you but I have an idea. What you described is exactly how I am as well. I hate most bronzers because they make me look orange or a jersey shore cast member. I have the Stila Sun Pressed Bronzer and I add a little on my face and neck to give my skin a glow. I also use the major lash mascara which I think is awesome. Something you can do is add some eyeshadow that pops - something that isnt the natural brown or yellow color. I feel like that always dulls me out. I just bought the Lorac Baked eyeshadow, it comes in sets of 3's and I got the one that has black, white and blue. During the day I use just the white eyeshadow and to add pop I put the Lorac 3D lustre glitter on top and as long as you use a primer under your eyeshadow it stays all day and looks awesome! I suggest the sephora brand lip gloss because they are all awesome and you can get a fun shade to add some excitement. If you want somethig with some color the Kat Von D glosses are so good and they are on sale right now too! If you go to your local sephora you can also ask a specialist for some help - most of them are awesome and have good advice. Get out there and try something fun and new Smiley Happy good luck and hope some of that helped!

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I would recommend more bronzer, not a ton but use a big brush and use it wherever the sun would hit your face.  Try Nars Orgasm blush.  You could also use a plum liner it will bring out the green, or navy will brighten up the whites of your eyes and make your brown eyes look golden.  I think using a lash curler, at least 3 pumps right at the base of your lashes makes a big difference, I like a lot of mascara use a defnining one that won't clump.  Whiten your teeth and use visine on special occasions.   Maybe a bright sheer pink on your lips would add a youthful flush. 

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I know EXACTLY what you mean.  I always thought it was just the winter weather and the lack of sun that made me look blah and dull.  But I have recently changed my makeup and it DRASTICALLY changed that for me!  I feel that the BareMinerals in the winter was sort of weighing me down and making me look very dull and powdery.  I switched to a liquid foundation and the difference is incredible.  My face is much brighter and more fresh looking.  I got Make Up Forever "HD Invisible Cover Foundation" in the "115 Ivory" shade.  I have fair skin, brown hair, dark brown eyes.  I recommend you going into your SEPHORA store and trying out different types of foundation (liquid, creme, powder) and you'll be able to see the difference for yourself.

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I recently read somewhere that berry lip shades are especially flattering with brown hair. And I think it's true--I have fair skin, blue eyes, and medium-brown hair, and I like light and medium berry colors on me. A lip color in that family would also look good with the eyeshadow options others have suggested!

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