Friday, November 6th, 2009

Best Makeup for Medium Skin

This part of the Guide seeks to help our medium-skinned beauties find new favorite shades to love. Whether you’re fair-skinned yourself and can offer what you’ve found to work the best or you’re an experienced makeup artist or you have a medium-skinned friend who you know loves such and such product… we want your help and expertise, so please share it with us and everyone else!

To leave a suggestion, simply leave a comment and be sure to let us know what your skin tone is like (you can give your foundation shade if that makes it easier!), whether it’s warm or cool, and then rattle off your suggestions! Suggestions can be from any brand you want!

You can check out mine

For photos and swatching reference, please check out:

Best Eyeshadows for Medium Skin (Cool)

  • MAC: Carbon, Digit, Espresso, Satin Taupe, Seedy Pearl, Shroom, Smut, Tilt, Typographic
  • NARS: April Fool’s, Blade Runner, Brazil, Caravaggio, Cleo, Habanera, Jezebel, Portobello
  • Urban Decay: Asphyxia, Goddess, Lounge, Cherry, Roach, Sellout, Twice Baked, YDK

Best Lipsticks/Glosses for Medium Skin (Cool)

  • MAC Lipglosses: Nymphette, Prrr, Russian Red, Viva Glam V
  • MAC Lipsticks: Angel, Dubonnet, Hue, Lustering, Up the Amp
  • NARS Lipglosses: Belize, Boogie Nights, Tempest, Turkish Delight
  • NARS Lipsticks: Catfight, Flair, Russian Doll, Niagara
  • Urban Decay Lipsticks: Lovechild, Naked, Requiem, Rush, Trainwreck

Best Blushes for Medium Skin (Cool)

  • MAC: Cubic, Desert Rose, Dollymix, Peaches
  • NARS: Angelika, Copacabana (Multiple), Deep Throat, Sin

Best Eyeshadows for Medium Skin (Warm)

  • MAC: Amber Lights, Bronze, Coppering, Expensive Pink, Gorgeous Gold, Juxt, Patina, Ricepaper, Romp, Shimmermoss, Soft Brown
  • NARS: Alhambra, Bohemian Gold, Cheyenne, Hula Hula, Kalahari, Sea, Sex, & Sun, Stage Beauty, Wicked
  • Urban Decay: Baked, Chopper, Crash, Eldorado, Flipside, Maui Wowie, Vert

Best Lipsticks/Glosses for Medium Skin (Warm)

  • MAC Lipglosses: Enchantress, Lychee Luxe, Nymphette
  • MAC Lipsticks: Bombshell, Craving, Crosswires, Plumful, Sweetie, Velvet Teddy, Viva Glam I
  • NARS Lipglosses: Babe, Frisky Summer, Greek Holiday, Misbehave, Orgasm
  • NARS Lipsticks: Christina, Flamenco, Manhunt, Niagara
  • Urban Decay Lipsticks: 5150, Naked, Pistol, Wanted

Best Blushes for Medium Skin (Warm)

  • MAC: Ambering Rose, Margin, Plum Foolery, Springsheen, Sunbasque
  • NARS: Deep Throat, Luster, Orgasm, South Beach (Multiple), Torrid

My Recommendation Guide is a compilation of Temptalia’s and readers’ recommendations for the best of the best for different skintones. If you’ve ever wondered, “What are the best eyeshadows for my fair skin?” — this guide is intended to give you a good answer, or at least, a good place to start! Help us help others by contributing your own favorites.  You can access the entire series, as it stands to date, here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

62 thoughts on “Best Eyeshadows, Lipglosses/Lipsticks, Blushes for Medium Skin

  1. yay!!! ive got both sunbasque and springsheen :)

  2. Heather

    Thanks for doing this Christine! You’re so awesome!!

  3. Adriana

    my skintone is NC35 (MAC) also Beige Diaphane in Lancome xD
    And I’m 19 years old, so i really don’t have to hide something in special, maybe some days i look tired, you know… the university

    -Skin: I’ve tried some foundations like Photo Perfexion (Givenchy) in 7, and Teint Idole Ultra in Beige Diaphane (Lancome). They works very good on my skin, are smooth and aren’t thick (as i feel my mineralize)

    -Lips: i usually wear my Twig lipstick (MAC), Rosalita Color Surge Butter Shine (Clinique), Glass Quartz Aqualumiere Gloss (Chanel) they look natural on me, but if i want something brighter Coral Frenzy Interdit Gloss (Givenchy)

    -Cheeks: i love my Laid Back Blushe creme

    -Eyes: Teddy, Bordeauxline, Buried Treasure, Smolder eyeliners; Handwritten, Humid, Soba, Trax, Gentle Lentil (shade stick) eye shadow from MAC, and my new fave Prismissime Eyes in Tempting Chocolate from Givenchy 😀

    • Yay!! Thanks for all of your recs, Adriana!

      • Adriana

        It’s a pleasure Christine!
        I’d love to writte more often , but sometimes i don’t have time :(

        Clinique Stay Matte Sheer in Invisible… AMAZING!!! I love it!!

        i’ve heard that Chanel powders are great… i have to try them… but… are a little pricy xD
        Have you tried them?

        • Hey Adriana,

          Aw, well, I am even happier that you were able to write it all down for us :)

          Their loose/pressed powders (like for foundation or setting makeup) or more like their blushes?

          • Adriana

            hehe sorry

            I was talking about pressed/loose powders 😀 Thanx

            • I haven’t really tried them, but I’ve played a little, and they have a very soft, silky feel – very lightweight. I don’t know if they’re necessarily worth the price, since I haven’t *really* tested them out.

  4. N.

    I’m an NC43. Does that fall under medium skin or dark skin?

  5. Jerilyn

    I’m a Meidium Beige in Bare Escentuals. I’m not sure if I would be a Medium Cool or Warm? I’d really appreciate your help. Thanks!

    • One quick and easy way to check for your undertones is to look at the underside of your arm: if your veins are bluish, you’re probably cool; if your veins are greener, you’re probably warm. If you can’t tell, you are likely neutral!

  6. kiran

    I am an NC35 and from Fall-Spring I feel I can wear a lot of funky lip colors like Vegas Volt, Girl About Town, Lady Danger & Rebel. Bold colors are always a fav of mine. However if you tan (like I do in the summer) or live in a hot climate you may have to tweek the lip tone accordingly, doesn’t always look as good.

    I also love electric eel (mac) and #92 purple from makeup forever, for eyeshadows. Even a hint of them as a liner looks great!

    I am going to deft try some of Christine’s ideas, it is much harder for me to experiment with neutrals, not sure why :(….thanks for the tips as always:)

  7. Heather

    I’m NC40 and some of my favorties that I think work well is:
    Mac Mulch, Bold & Brazen, Satin Taupe, and Vanilla eyeshadows. For lipsticks Mac Creme Cup, Angel, Viva Glam II, Creme D’Nude and Shy Girl lipsticks. For lipglosses Mac Gold Rebel, She Loves Candy, Personal Taste, Prrr, Rags to Riches. Blushes I love Mac Pink swoon, Peaches, Dollymix, Springsheen, and Tippy.

  8. Thanks for the recommendations! It’s an excellent starting point for a MAC newbie and for old-school MAC collectors to revisit some old friends. :)

    I’ll keep my recs to permanent items only. If I add LE, I’d be typing for ages. 😉 I’m NC40:

    My favorite MAC lipsticks (permanent only): Cherish, Bombshell, O, Angel, Brave Red, Sweetie, Girl About Town, Bare (slimshine), Assertive (slimshine) and Gentle Simer (slimshine).

    MAC lipglasses & Dazzleglasses: Entice, Love Nectar, Oh Baby, Prr, Lychee Luxe, Money Honey, Internationalist and Smile.

    MAC Blush: Warm Soul (MB), Dainty (MB), Sunbasque, Margin, Fleur Power.

    MAC Eye Shadows: Carbon, Espresso, Satin Taupe, Honesty, Greensmoke, Sumptuous Olive, Patina, Honey Lust, Tempting, Mulch, Saddle, Gleam, Blanc Type

  9. In terms of neutral shadows I love Arena, Swiss Chocolate, Soba, and Texture. For non-neutrals, I love Goldmine, Antiqued, Amber Lights, Expensive Pink, Bronze, Carbon, Sumptuous Olive, Woodwinked, and Honesty. I think medium tones can rock most lip colors, but I find that Viva Glan V is perfect for any occastion. I also think Love Nectar is the perfect gloss for all skin tones.

    • Love all those neutrals, too! :)

    • Sheena F

      I love Viva Glam V!!! In fact I loved it so much, gave all my bridesmaids that for their gift. So pretty!

      And thank you so much for the recs…I’m an NC42 and would love to explore more options in terms of color. Don’t get me wrong, I love the neutrals/browns but I don’t want to get stuck.

      I find that MAC e/s Henna, All that Glitters and Cranberry (with a bronzey-coppery-brown base) works really well for me esp during fall/winter season. :)

  10. Jess

    Your amazing!! thanks so much for this,i have always had trouble finding a good blush for my skin and this really helped me <3.

  11. rashmi

    wow christine
    u know m feeling proud of myself that i have few of the products
    like lipgloss in nymphette , lychee luxe , lipstick in russian red , sweetie, lustering , dubonnet , plumful , manhunt
    e/s in expensive pink , shroom , bronze

    hey but i wanna confess something to u , as u know (if u remember)
    these days i buy a lot of ur recomemmnded prod and i bought nymphette lipglass without even trying it on my lips and after trying it at home i wasn’t too happy and packed it to return
    but to my surprise there was one combo i tried which was listed on ur site only …. sweetie with nymphette and u know it was looking stunning on me … my god …aah m sorry that my trust was shaken for few moments
    but u know u r the best and this thing will never happen again
    love ur recc.

    • Aww, yay!! :)

      I’m glad you were able to make Nymphette work for you! It’s a pretty shade, and I usually like it with pinks and corals and don’t wear it alone to often (but sometimes)! Thank you!

      • rashmi

        i dont have any nars blushes but m seriously thinking of there one of the best … orgasm , can u tell me how it will appear on my nc40 skin
        i will be ordering on as they have 20% off today so pls tell me ur views
        i have mac’s margin and fleur power and they suits me really well
        and thinking of buying plum foolery

  12. Vanessa

    Best foundation Revolon custom creations in Medium it has 5 shades light finish in golden tones that you can use all year round from winter to summer and it’s pretty inexpensive too!

  13. cool post! vry different, yet helpful.


    • Hey Sara,

      You’re probably best off using a highlighter or bronzer to add a bit of sunkissed glow to certain areas of your face… or else perhaps a self-tanner for something more all-over.

  15. Patti

    Hi Christine,

    I think this is a very nice idea. Being a newbie makeup lover and with a skin tone of about NC35/40 the only eyeshadow I have is Expensive Pink! I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind as I can honestly say that sometimes I feel lost looking upon rows and rows of colors without really having any idea which one will suit.
    I also have a question, I am confused about cool versus warm toned colors. For instance, I, being a warm toned gal, what happens when I have on cool toned shadows? Does it clash or doesn’t match with my skin tone?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • I’m so happy that this post will help you out, Patti! :)

      You can wear either, to be honest. If you’re warmer toned, you probably will just tend to prefer or even feel like you look better in slightly warmer shadows.

  16. glitter princess

    great post christine thanks

  17. Luisafer

    Christine, thank you so much!!! this is really helpful!!!

    my fav personally are golden, browns, greens

    for blushes prefer terracotta

  18. Karen

    Thanks for this post Christine! This is very helpful. Maybe you can do another set featuring other brands.

  19. Karen

    Hi Christine,

    I’m Medium-warm, I’ve tried NARS orgasm before but it does not show that much on my skin, do you think deep throat would be better?

    Thanks, I appreciate the hard work you’ve done for this blog.

  20. BlueRoze2001

    Thanks for the post Christine!

    I’m a Neutral so either NC30 or NW25 works for me.

    Foundation: Makeup Forever Matte Velvet+#35, Duo Mat #207; YSL Radiant Touch #6; Bare Escentuals: Medium Beige

    Best neutral MAC e/s: Carbon, Expensive Pink, Brule, Femme Fi, Satin Taupe, Rummy, Amber Lights, Melon; Makeup Forever #84; NYX: Dark Brown, Antique Gold, Copper, Eggplant, Midnight

    Lipsticks: MAC: Viva Glam I, Soft Pause, Fresh Brew, Most Popular; Benefit: Ruby Vibes, Good to go, Ms. Behavin; Loreal: Nature’s Blush, Plum Brulee, Sunset Red, Raspberries; Nars: Blonde Venus; Korres: Natural Brown; Chanel Rouge Allure Laque: Santal, Imperial, Dragon;

    Blush: NARS Oasis, Orgasm, Deep Throat, Sin; MAC: Pleasureful, Grand Duo, Earth to Earth; NYX: Taupe, Copper, Desert Rose

    • Lovin’ your picks! It’s so amazing to see where we agree, what we add that differs… it’s such a nice way to create a dynamic and comprehensive list!

  21. Bridgette

    Omg I have some of the items listed for warm undertones (Since I have warm undertones, NC40 – 42)! I have the Luster blush from NARS and I LOVE IT! My HG blush. I also have UD’s Chopper eyeshadow. I have always wanted to get the Viva Glam I lipstick but didn’t think it would look good on me, so now I have to give it a try!

  22. Bridgette

    Oh and if you plan to do more brands including YSL I highly recommend the Golden Gloss in #7 for Medium Warm skin tones. I always get compliments when I wear that gloss!

  23. Rosie

    Is Lounge from UD anything like Club from MAC?

  24. Brenda

    In the winter and if i’m stuck inside I’m fair skinned, but if I’m tanned I’m around NC25 I guess..which is still fair I suppose but I have ALL the eyeshadows recommended for medium warms!!! They look great, aren’t too dark at all and they are colours I reach for all the time

  25. Pernille

    Hi, I’m looking for a exact dupe for the red-brown color in NARS Blade runner…. Anyone who can help?

  26. Hi! I’m planning to start my MAC eyeshadow collection. I want to start off with neutrals first. What eyeshadow shades can you recommend? I’m an NC40 in Studio Fix Powder + Foundation, btw. :)