Makeup Shades That Look Good On Everyone

Carolyn Hsu

Are you warm toned or cool toned? Do you have yellow-based skin or pink-based skin? Should you be grabbing a blue-red or an orange-red? Finding the right makeup shades can be tricky, but luckily there are some colors that are universally flattering, regardless of complexion or undertone. We asked LA-based makeup artist Melissa Walsh, whose clients range from red-carpet favorites like Hilary Swank to industry celebs like Carine Roitfeld, to dish on which products she always carries in her kit and why they work for everyone.

“Taupe works on everyone from the palest skin tone with blonde hair to the darkest skin and hair color,” says Walsh. The color, which is a mixture of brown and grey, is neutral enough to complement all eye and skin colors. Walsh recommends shading the lids with a taupe shadow (or a shimmery taupe for evening) and then defining the eye with a dark brown liner.

Try: Lancôme Petit Tresor in Fil D’Argent ($25,, Dior Celebration Collection Eye Palette ($65,, Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($27,

Eye makeup that looks good on everyone


“The color that is most versatile is coral,” says Walsh. “Coral contains neither red nor yellow undertones so it contrasts with most skin tones to create a brightening effect.” She recommends using a light touch with pale skins and a heavier hand to create more of a flush for darker skinned gals.

Try: NARS Orgasm Blush ($28,, Cargo Blush in Catalina ($29,, Benefit Coralista ($28,

Blush shades that look good on everyone

“Look for a transparent lip color that contains a hint of rose or berry to enhance your natural lip shade, effectively creating a better version of your own lips,” says Walsh. Finding a sheer color is key, because it allows the product to adjust to each individual. Walsh is also a fan of a light glossy finish, which is universally flattering regardless of skin tone.

Try: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($15,, Jouer Lip Gloss in Bare Rose ($20,, Fresh Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment ($22.50,

Lip color that looks good on everyone

What are your go-to, guaranteed to flatter shades?