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Wearing the best colors for your skin tone can highlight your features and make you appear full of radiance. Wearing the wrong colors for your skin tone can make you look washed out. It’s a fine balance! We’re here to answer what colors look good on pale skin.

Colors That Look Good On Pale Skin

Are you looking for a quick answer to what skin colors will suit your pale skin?

Here is a quick checklist, with a breakdown each on why these colors are so flattering for pale skin:

  • Neutrals, Neutrals, Neutrals!: If you have pale skin, wearing neutrals is a very safe bet. Make sure not to go for a shade too similar to your skin colors. Aim to stick with browns and greys. These neutrals provide a balanced amount of contrast to match your skin tone.
  • Emerald Green: Any shade that has a deep tone will be extremely flattering, especially a bright but deep green. This color will provide enough contrast against your pale skin but not overly so it appears harsh. This color will suit your features, especially if you have red hair or green eyes.
  • Bright Blue: Just like emerald green, this deep but striking shade will be a great contrast with your skin. Different shades of blue, such as pastel, may wash you out. Aim to wear deeper shades, especially near your face and hair.
  • Bold Colors: Bold colors can really be eye popping and make you look full of life and color. Colors like ruby red, deep purple, dull orange and mustard yellow will sit nicely against pale skin. Avoid neon shades as they can provide too much contrast and make the skin look grey.
  • Silver Jewelry: Some people suit silver jewelry better and some more suit gold. Don’t worry we will cover this later! A safe bet when it comes to jewelry is to stick to cooler shades like silver, or even colored jewels!
  • Colored Jewelry: Colored jewelry is a safe bet for pale skin and can add color to any outfit, brightening up the face making the face appear more warm. Any colored jewelry will be suitable and it will be short bursts of color.

pale skin and pastels

Best Colors for Pale Skin

A helpful tip when hunting for the best colors for pale skin, and your own specific features, is to find a “model” with your criteria and study what they’re wearing. The easiest trick is to find a celebrity with the same undertone, hair color and features as yourself. Look at outfit images to find the colors that suit them best. You’d be able to tell which colors look great when the outfits pop out to you. Aim to find a celebrity who is often dressed by stylists as you will know that the colors used are a safe bet to copy!

If you like a color, like pastel pink or blue, don’t be discouraged from wearing them!! If there is a lighter color that you love and would like to wear, try pairing it with a contrasting, darker shade. Try also using this color in short bursts such as scarves for women, belts, hand bags or shoes.

To hear more about which colors are best for pale skin, watch this video by Daphne Gsell. Daphne talks through each color, highlighting some tips and tricks to finding the best colors for your complexion.


What Colors Look Good On Pale Skin

The best way to really tell what color shades are best for you is to work off your skin undertone.

You will have most likely heard of skin undertones when shopping for foundations and other skin products, but if you haven’t, we’re here to help.

Your skin undertone is the muted, subtle color that is beneath your skin’s surface. The most common skin undertones are warm, cool and neutral. Your skin undertone will always stay the same, even if you naturally tan.

The most common skin undertones have colors that make them cool or warm. A cool undertone is made up of pink and red hints. If you naturally have rosy cheeks, you most likely have a cool undertone. A warm undertone is made up of yellow hints, often showing as either peachy or golden. A neutral undertone is a mix of cool and warm, red and yellow. A neutral understand can show as an olive shade.

Finding your skin tone can be easy, but there are a few tricks that can help you work out your undertone better. Sometimes your skin’s appearance can trick you when trying to work out your undertone. For example you may have very pale skin, but you can still have a warm undertone. You may also have red areas across your skin but your undertone can still remain golden or peachy. 

When first looking to detect your undertone, start by looking at your skin in natural light. Start by looking at areas such as your jawline, temples and neck as these areas are less likely to show signs of being affected by blushing, temperature changes or anything that might change your skin’s natural color. 

A great way to detect your skin’s undertone is looking at your veins. In natural light, when looking at your wrists, you should be able to distinctly see what color they are. Their color may indicate what undertone you are. If your veins look green, this indicates that you have a warm undertone. Your veins may look blue or purple, and this indicates that you have a cool undertone. If your veins look green and blue and it’s hard to pinpoint a particular shade, this indicates you have a neutral undertone which is a mix of both warm and cool undertones.

You can also tell what your skin’s undertone is by what jewelry suits you better. Silver jewelry often suits cool undertones better than warm. Gold jewelry often suits warm undertones better than cool. If you have a neutral undertone you will most likely suit both.

If you have pink or peach undertones, dark colors like navy and grey, but not black, will complement your undertone. Lighter, more colorful shades such as baby pink, rosy pink, cherry red and peach shades will also bring out the pink peach tones in your skin.

Men can also apply this knowledge when shopping for clothes. If you have pale skin with warm undertones then colors like red, soft pinks, yellows, browns and greens will be flattering against your undertone.

models with pale skin

Best Colors Depending on Your Hair Type

If you have dark hair and dark features but you have pale skin, then this may mean you’re able to wear darker shades. Even though the skin is pale, your features will provide natural contrast, meaning darling colors will not clash so harshly against your face. For cool undertones with dark features, different shades of brown – such as chocolate, ashy colors and near blacks – will work well as they also have cool undertones.

Those who have lighter features and blonde hair will want to stay clear from browns. If you have blonde hair you may be in the lucky few with pale skin that can really rock pastel shades! Lighter shades of blues, greens, reds and pinks will match the contrast of your features and undertone.

For those with red hair and pale, alabaster skin, stronger colors are suggested. Two particular colors suggested are jewel shades of green and blue. These two bright colors provide a striking contrast to your red hair while also complementing your pale skin. Feel comfortable to experiment with all different shades of blue and green, but try to avoid pastel colors!

pale skinned girl taking selfie

Worst Colors For Pale Skin

When you have a pale complexion it’s easy to look washed out by certain colors and tones. These colours can depend on the person but we have found a general rule. So, what colors make pale skin look washed out?

Here are some color outlines to avoid:

  • Avoid Your Skin Tone: Any color or tone that is similar to your skin tone won’t provide enough contrast and may make you appear sick. Adding colors that have a strong contrast to your skin will bring out your features.
  • Avoid Pastels: Pastel tones can work similar to your skin tone and not provide enough contrast to show your features. Pastel tones can naturally have a “washed out” tone, which won’t help your complexion if you have very pale skin. If you would like to try out pastels, it’s best to wear as an accessory or a small pop of color, preferably away from your face.
  • Avoid White and Black: Having a pale complexion means you have to choose colors that have enough contrast, but not too much! It’s a fine line. Black is known as a ‘color that will suit all’, but for pale skin, it’s best to avoid as black can provide a too-harsh contrast. When wearing black paired with pale skin, it can give you a gothic look. Unless this is what you’re going for, which is a beautiful look in itself, it may strip the appearance of any color or natural blush in the skin.
black rack of clothing


Does red look good on pale skin?

Red can be a great color on alabaster skin when worn in bright bold shades. It’s best to wear these color in key pieces like a blazer, coat or an accessory like a scarf. Though red is great for alabaster tones skin, perhaps stay away if you have a rosier complexion.

Does white look good on pale skin?

Even though neutral colors compliment pale complexion, white will not provide enough contrast and can wash you out. Any shade that is too close to the pale skin color will clash and make the skin appear a dull color.
If you have darker features, like black hair, eyebrows and brown eyes, white may be able to work for you. The contrast with the darker hair color may contradict the pale affect white will have on your skin.

Does yellow on pale skin look good?

Mustard and warm dark shades of yellow can really work for light pale skin. Normally our advice would be to avoid pastels, but a pastel yellow can look great on pale skin. This can alter for different undertones so it’s best to try it on yourself and maybe pair it with a darker color.

There’s Plenty Of Options for Pale Skin!

It may feel like a tricky process to work out what your undertone is and what colors work best for your pale skin and features. But once you do it’s easy to find colors that make you look healthy and radiant. Working out your color chart can be a guaranteed way of dressing well!

But, at the end of the day wear what you like the most! No matter if science tells you it may not suit you, go for it! The colors that you feel the most confident in are the the colors that will suit you the best.

What are your thoughts on colors for pale skin? Which colors suit you and which wash you out?