From The Straits Times    |


Playing with colours can be a rather risky situation. That’s probably why we Singaporeans have a tendency to nod towards neutral wardrobe choices. Our so-called ‘safe choices’ are on the sartorial verge of turning boring; but if there’s anything we know about fashion, it’s this: We should have fun with it.

So, with that in mind, we’ve created the comprehensive guide to match your skin tone to the perfect radiance-enhancing colour. And trust us, experimenting with colours aren’t as horrifying as it seems – especially once you’re clear of what suits you best. Once you’ve digested the below, long gone will be the days of ‘all black everything’ and inapt choices of icy tones that wash out our complexion.




Photo: 123rf


The first step is to determine the nature of your undertone. Skewer the notion that all Asians are warm-toned…your undertones could still very well be characterised under ‘cool-toned’. We’re sure you’ve heard this multiple times: “study the colour of your veins under the light. If they appear blue, you belong in the cool-toned family. And if green, you’re warm.”  Whilst this is the most universally straightforward method of identifying your undertones, many still remained confused as to what their undertone really is despite multiple ‘vein check’ sessions.

We recommend trusting your instinct when it comes to your everyday makeup.; does sun-kissed orange or peachy eyeshadows look better on you, or the ever-trusty charcoal smokey eye? Do you find that gold jewelry works better on you, or silver? If the former, you’re rocking the warm undertone and vice versa.  

Now that we’ve got that all sorted out, let’s move on to the second and much more exciting step! Here’s the most flattering shades that’ll bring out the best in your skin colour. If you find that your undertones are neutral, then lucky you; you’ve got the best of both worlds when it comes to playing the colour wheel (no jealousy here).


Fair – Yoyo Cao


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If you’re fair like Yoyo Cao, stick to earthy and saturated fall tones. Maple browns and rich, mossy greens are a winsome choice to contrast against a canvas of fair skin. Gravitate towards the caramels and olives if you’re warm-toned as compared to aubergines and moss greens if you’re cool. These colours draw out the colour in your skin, granting the illusion of a healthy glow in case you’re feeling a little pasty. Avoid creams and nudes that’ll blend too closely into your skin-tone – you wouldn’t want to look like a walking spandex suit!


Medium – Jade Seah


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For the medium-toned ladies, go for blushes and creamy ivories. Your favourite creamy peaches and soft roses look best against your sun-kissed skin. While off-white vanillas and creamy nudes may wash out your fairer counterpart, they’ll look stunning against your slight wash of tan. Try not to reach for bright, true reds or yellows that’ll overwhelm your skin-tone, leaving what can only be described as a blinding neon-highlighter effect on your workplace colleagues.


Tan – Aarika Lee


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Look toward berry shades such as maroons and wines for a sultry look that’ll elevate the look of your outfit tenfold.  Metallic golds and ambers will be right in your element if you’re one of the warm-toned ladies (don’t ask us why, you’re the one blessed with the warm honey glowiness) while lavenders and burgundies will look exceptionally exquisite on the ones rocking a cooler undertone.

Dark – Tabitha Nauser 


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If a regal closet happens to be your #styleinspo, then you’re in luck as you’ll be able to easily achieve it through jewel-toned shades. For those who stand in the warm category, your best bet at achieving an ethereal-looking glow would be earthy gem colours like peridots and aquamarines whereas the bolder choices of rubies, emeralds and sapphires will look absolutely divine on cool-toned ladies.

We recommend you steer clear of over-indulging in the aforementioned gem colours for a more wearable look (lest you’re one of the braver ones). Pairing your outlandish pieces with a neutral-toned staple may be an optimum alternative for work.


Deep – Trishna Goklani


Photo: Instagram / Trishna Goklani

Revel in sunset hues and you’ll have heads turning whenever you walk by. Trust us on this; you’ll bring on your A-game every. single. time. you dominate in zesty light yellows, corals, and oranges. If you have warm undertones, it’s pretty clear-cut: Wear anything in this colour range and you’ll simply look breathtaking. It’s slightly trickier for the cooler-toned counterpart; you’ll have to carefully cull the colour wheel for blue-toned reds such as tints of cerise or bright rose.