How To Make Yourself Look Pale With Makeup?

How To Make Yourself Look Pale With Makeup

How to make yourself look pale with makeup, that’s the question for today!

I came by this because a friend of mine asked me how she could make herself look sick with makeup. I first laughed a little at the question, but then I started thinking about how to do this.

She told me that she wanted to know this because when Monday comes, she sometimes wants to look sick so that she can go home early. Now, although I do not agree with her and think that if she isn’t happy with her job, she should look for another one, I also think that I do not have to judge her behavior.

Luckily making yourself look pale with makeup is not only for people who want to look sick, it’s also for people who like cosplaying and want to make themselves look pale for a certain cosplay character! Now, this I find fun!

So, that’s why below you’ll find tips and tricks to make yourself look pale. Whether or not you do it does avoid work or start cosplaying, I hope these tips work for you!

So, without further ado…

Choose makeup for your skin tone

While it might be tempting to start with an extremely light foundation, the first thing you’ll want to do is get a foundation that is complementary to your skin tone. For example, if you have a warmer, golden skin tone, find a foundation with those same undertones. The same thing goes for cooler skin tones. That way, the base layer of makeup will look more natural as opposed to cakey and bulky.

An easy way to figure out your skin tone is through the color of the veins in your arms. Turn your wrist, so you’re looking down at your palm; if the veins underneath the skin appear purple or blue-ish, you have a cool skin tone. On the other hand, if those veins are green, you can probably assume you have a warmer skin tone.  

If it’s difficult to tell what color they are at all, don’t worry, this just means you have a neutral skin tone.

A lot of the time, foundations will say whether they’re best for warm or cool-toned skin, but if you have neutral-toned skin, then any foundation will work. Once you figure out your skin tone, it’s so much easier to determine how to best use makeup to make your face paler.

How can I make my face look pale with makeup? 

Be wary of using foundations three or four shades lighter than the color of your natural skin. Even though this might seem like the easiest way to get a light complexion fast, a too-light foundation can look unnatural. Getting a shade or two lighter than your skin color is your best bet– you’re making yourself look pale without risking that awkward, bizarre complexion you may end up with by being overzealous.

Something to note when applying any shade of foundation that isn’t your skin color is the importance of blending. After you’ve blended the foundation over your face (whether that be with your fingers or a beauty sponge), take care to bring the foundation onto your ears and down your neck.

Blending is essential to ensure that the transition from regular skin to paler skin is as smooth and seamless as possible. Unfortunately, many people who try to lighten or darken their skin with makeup are left looking like they’re wearing a mask because they failed to blend it properly.

Using contour to enhance the lightness of the face

Although it may seem counterintuitive, using a darker shade of contour under your cheekbones, under your jawbone, and around your temples is an excellent answer to the question of how to make yourself look pale with makeup. The areas aforementioned are natural shadows of the face. This means that even without any makeup on, they are darker than your forehead or chin.

By darkening those areas on an already paler face, you are bound to notice the drastic color change. While bronzing powder is the most common way to contour your face, try using a contouring stick. The difference is simple: bronzing powder is intended to warm up the face and make it tanner, while a contouring stick has the sole purpose of defining facial features and bringing out other parts of your face.

Using luminizing drops or powder to lighten cheeks and nose

Luminizers (drops or powder) are great to spread across the tops of your cheeks, the bridge and tip of your nose, and your cupid’s bow right above the top lip. What this does is gives you the slightest bit of shine whenever the sun hits those parts of your face, instantly lightening up your face.

Another upside to using this product is being able to build on the initial application. Say you apply one layer of luminizer to those areas on your face, but it doesn’t feel like it’s doing much. There is absolutely nothing wrong with adding another layer of luminizer to get a brighter effect.

How do I make my face look pale?

Once you’ve used a lighter foundation and contour, you’re ready for powder. There are a ton of different kinds on the market, but if you want to know how to make your face paler with makeup, a compact with face powder one or two shades lighter than your foundation is a must-have.

Lightening your face with powder is a super-easy way to go up a notch if just foundation wasn’t enough. Take the pouf that the compact came with or a brush and dust the lighter powder all over your face. It’s up to you whether or not you want to go over the contour; the decision is based on if you want the contour to be darker and more obvious or a little more under the radar.

Like the foundation, you want to make sure to blend the powder to your ears and down your neck. If you don’t, the result will be uneven coverage and an unnatural finish.

What colors of makeup make your skin look paler?

It’s important to understand contrast and how shades work with one another when trying to lighten your skin. If you want your face to be lighter, using a darker shade of lipstick or lipgloss can accentuate that brightness.

The color of the lips themselves is totally up to you. A darker red is a classic, but a dark mauve or neutral-toned lip color could easily replace it. Something else to consider is a vampy red lip. This bold move will draw total attention to the lips, leaving the face to fade into the background. Sure, this sounds like a negative, but if your goal is to lighten the skin, a bright, red lip could easily have that effect.

Finally, wearing darker clothes can bring out the lightness in the skin. If you’ve ever seen old pictures of fashion icon and actress Audrey Hepburn in her black turtleneck, you’ll notice how light her skin is in contrast. Similar to the lip color, a dark shirt will work to offset the light skin color, making for an overall brighter look.


I hope by now that you have found out how you could make yourself look pale. The first thing you need to do is to choose the makeup that matches your skin tone. Now, this sounds counter-intuitive, but it is actually a great place to start. After that, you should look into the right foundation, luminizers, contouring your face, and the right powder.

Now, as I said earlier, these tips are both for people who want to call in sick on Monday and cosplayers. While I don’t think it is the right strategy to call in sick (you would be better off finding a job you like), there are some things you can do to make yourself look pale.

Now, cosplaying is something I can get behind! Sometimes when I browse the internet I see what people can do with makeup and really look like someone from a movie or something like that. It’s really cool!

So, if you are going to cosplay with these tips, please send me a picture! I would love to see what you made with the tips you found here!

Further reading material

First of all, I hope that you liked reading this article about how to make yourself look pale with makeup. If you did, I have a nice surprise for you! Below I have put some other articles that you might find interesting to read! Simply click on one of the links that speak to you most and start reading!

How long does it take to get makeup done professionally?
How long does it take for girls to do their makeup?
What to do when your makeup look cakey?

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