I’m particularly happy to be writing this post in the middle of the spring and summer season: pale skins are the stars of the winter, but they tend to be forgotten as soon as the sun comes out, even if they are very unlikely to tan. I won’t take advantage of the sun to complain about mine, but rather to embrace it because I don’t believe a pale or fair skin to be incompatible with a healthy looking one, even during spring and summer. And so after many years with a pale skin and a little bit less with some makeup on, I have decided to share what I’ve learned along the way.


As with any other skin tones, a pale skin makes certain things easier and others more complicated. Foundation is the very first obstacle to overcome: the choice of formulations for very fair skins is quite restricted. However when the shade selection -for once- seems wide enough to match them, the first reaction is to go for the lightest shade: I did it for many years and once properly applied and blended, something always felt wrong. It took me a while to realize the existence or rather the importance of the undertone. Pink, yellow or neutral, a pale skin can have many different faces and the perfect match for it comes more from the undertones than the lightness itself, especially since a couple of lightening drops can take care of that issue. Finally, a sheer foundation is always a better match as the skin appears underneath it.


Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops

L’Oréal True Match Foundation, a wide range with different undertones

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation, the ultimate sheer foundation


Another obstacle is the dull, sometimes lacklustre skin. Whilst a thorough skincare routine has the power to tackle dullness quite efficiently, staying away from matte foundations is the best way to prevent the flat and chalky look which a white skin already naturally resembles. A satin, glowy or even dewy finish always brings back some light and dimension to the face and if it isn’t enough, highlighters or illuminating primers brighten the skin in a much more precise way. Everything with a lot of white or pearl tones in it will flatter the skin without completely changing its colour.


Mac Strobe Cream

Mac Cream Colour Base in Pearl

Mac Prep+Prime Highlighter Radiant Rose


I personally love the warm tones of a bronzer against a pale skin, it just has to be done gradually and delicately: if orange or golden tones are involved, it just has to be applied towards the inside of the cheeks, almost as a blush, a sculpting powder can then take care of the contours of the face. And then just like that, the muddy look is avoided. To give the impression that the bronzer is part of the skin, I like to expand it to the hairline, jawline, eye crease, and finally, the top of the nose. It means that the colour of the eyes and the hair get involved and the overall face becomes more harmonious and natural.


Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Light 

Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Sun-Kissed

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in N°20


It doesn’t have to be a bold lip or an opaque consistency, but adding colours to the lips is an essential when it comes to enlightening the skin. Just as a bronzer, a lipstick is a lovely way of adding colour to the face and defining it at the same time. A pale skin has a tendency to look flat, so any pop of colour and subtle definition are more than welcome and the lips play such an important role in providing the healthy skin we are all chasing!


Huda Beauty Lip Contours, for a strong definition

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnets & Viseart Lip Palette in Neutral 02, for a custom-made definition

Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolors & Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in 10 Rose Soleil, for a soft, sheer one


  • I am not that pale, but pale and with a more yellow undertone, so I struggled for many years. The TBS Drops certainly make my life a lot easier.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • I’m more medium in tone but two of my cousins are really pale and it looks so beautiful against their icy blue eyes! I know they struggled to find foundations at times but at least there are greater ranges of shades available now xx

    • Yes, there is more and more brands and beauty ranges which take pale skins into consideration, something which definitely wasn’t the case when I first started to wear makeup!

  • clare⭐

    I’ve been eyeing up the body shop adjusting drops for so long! Having pale skin is such a struggle sometimes!

    • Yes, it is! I highly recommend them, without them I couldn’t try half of the foundations which are currently in my makeup collection, and they work with lots of different formulations, as long as they are liquid ones!

  • Love the KA Sculpting powders and really want to try the Huda Beauty lip contours, great post! I think finding concealer for pale skin is such a hard task, as most of the time the lightest concealers in the drugstore work on me! Must be such a pain, thank you for sharing xx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

    • You’re right, concealer is hard as well! I’m glad you love the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder as well, I can’t stop using it at the moment! You’re welcome 🙂

  • I still need to get my hands on KA Sculpting powder! I am the opposite of you as in I tan really easily, never burn or even go red. When Spring and Summer rolls by, I need one or two shades darker foundations which is quite the pain because my foundations can only be worn only certain time of the year.

    • Even though I believe you’ll have to choose a darker shade, I highly recommend it! Body Shop also have darkening drops, obviously I don’t know how they perform myself, but I’ve read some great things about them on blogs 🙂

  • The Body Shop drops are so handy! Have you tried Benefit Hoola Lite? I bet it would be great for your skin tone.

    Morgan | Hyacinth Girl

  • I don’t have the pale skin obstacles to overcome like you do but I love the sound of all of these products. I think foundation shade adjusting drops are a life-saver x| Dior Giveaway

    • They are indeed! The good thing about pale skin products is that they usually do wonders on light to medium skin tones as well, so don’t hesitate to try the ones you like! Thank you for reading 🙂

  • Bernadette

    I love that brands are coming out with shade adjusting drops. I need to pick some up because i get far too easily tanned during summer and now that winter is here in Australia my tan has begun to fade and week my week i notice i gradually get paler and it’s really become difficult to make sure my foundation is matching me. Great post!

    • Thank you 🙂 Yes, you could pick up the darkening and lightening drops, that way you will always find your perfect match 🙂

  • What great recommendations… have so many here that I’ve never tried!

    Fatima x

  • Caitlin

    Urban Decay bronzers are fantastic! 🙂

    Beauty & Colour | Vegan Lifestyle Blog

    • Aren’t they? I’m glad you enjoy them as well, I almost forgot about this one after last summer, but I’m glad I have rediscovered it these past few months! Thank you for commenting 🙂

  • I find that nowadays it’s easier for girls with pale skin like me to find the right shade, there is more choice out there! I agree on the importance of warming up with a bit of bronzer and blush 😀

    Caterina |

    • It is true, it isn’t as hard as it used to be! Glad you agree, thank you for commenting 🙂

  • Absolutely love the sculpting powder! I can get away with medium but it’s so natural looking on pale skin I love it!

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

  • I love the GA lip magnets, probably the best liquid lipsticks I’ve tried, great post xxx

    Zoe ♥ MammafulZo

    • Thank you, yes I agree, they are the best ones for me too, probably because they don’t feel like one!