How to Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones

When choosing shades and textures of makeup, it is important to consider one's skin tone and ethnicity. Choosing the proper makeup can be especially difficult for women of Middle Eastern origin, as Middle Eastern skin tones can vary so much. Find out how to determine the correct shades for you below.


  1. Image titled Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones Step 1
    Determine your skin tone and undertone. Middle Eastern skin can range from a light cream color to a deep brown shade and can have either cool or warm undertones. In order to determine your skin's undertone, consider whether you feel you look better wearing white or cream, silver or gold. If you think you look better in white and silver, you are considered to have a cool undertone, and if you prefer cream and gold, you are considered to have a warm, yellow or tawny-based undertone.
  2. Image titled Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones Step 2
    With your skin tone and undertone in mind, choose your foundation carefully. If you must guess your shade, err on the darker side, which will warm your complexion. A foundation that is too pale can look masky and unflattering, particularly on darker skins. If you have a darker complexion, try to avoid foundations with titanium dioxide (a sunscreen that can look ashy on darker skin, especially in photos) in them. Some foundations, such as Revlon Custom Creations, allow you to customize your shade for a more accurate match, which can be useful if you are unsure about the correct shade. Powder is not necessary, but helps control shine on oilier skin and add longevity to makeup if you choose to wear it.
  3. Image titled Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones Step 3
    Invest in a good concealer to remedy dark shadows. Many Middle Eastern women suffer from dark shadows underneath the eyes and around the lips. A separate concealer should be used for these areas, with another used for blemishes. A blemish concealer should be light in texture and match your skin tone, while concealers for dark shadows should be heavier and creamier and slightly lighter than your skin tone. Apply concealer before foundation to avoid a patchy look.
  4. Image titled Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones Step 4
    Groom and define brows daily. Brows are a very important facial feature and should be shaped regularly. When applying your makeup, brush your brows, and if you choose, fill them in with a brow pencil. Some Middle Eastern women have sparse brows, and filling them in adds necessary fullness, but be careful not to "overdraw," making your brows look unnatural.
  5. Image titled Apply Make up in 7th Grade Step 8
    Eyeliner and mascara are crucial. As women age, eyes can begin to look droopy and tired. This is of particular concern for Middle Eastern women. In general, stick to black or black-brown shades for eyeliner and mascara. The darker your complexion, the more intense black you should use. Always curl your eyelashes to lift the eye and enhance the look of the lashes. If you have dark shadows, avoid using eyeliner and mascara beneath the eye, as it can add to darkness. Instead create a dark, defined line on the top lid to make eyes appear bigger, brighter, and lifted. Apply black mascara as your last step in doing your eye makeup.
  6. Image titled Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones Step 6
    Experiment with eye shadow shades. A vast majority of Middle Eastern women have an eye color in the brown range. Brown and copper eye shades will complement your eye color, while blue and purple shades will contrast it. Both will enhance and beautify your eyes. Gray, silver, gold, black, and cream shades are universally flattering, but avoid peach, coral or pink shades as they can clash with your eye color and skin tone. Paper-white shades are also not the best, unless used in very small amounts on the inner corner of the eye or just below the brow bone. Darker tones can handle brighter and darker colors, while lighter skin demands slightly subtler shade choice.
  7. Image titled Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones Step 7
    Use blush to contour and sculpt the face. Avoid pink, red or plum shades and instead choose dark, tawny peach or bronze shades. Bronzers make excellent blushes for Middle Eastern skin, especially darker-toned skin. If you want more sculpted, defined cheekbones, apply blush just beneath the cheekbones and use a highlighter (YSL Eclat Miracle is a popular brand) on the cheekbones themselves. For a fuller, less sallow face, apply blush on the apples and sides of the cheeks.
  8. Image titled Apply Makeup for Middle Eastern Skin Tones Step 8
    Choose the correct lip color. In general, lighter skin looks best in dark mauve, dusty rose, shimmery bronze, light brown and burgundy shades. Darker skin is flattered by wine, plum, raisin and chocolate brown shades. All Middle Eastern skin tones should generally avoid lip colors with too much silver in them (commonly seen in pink and red lip colors,) which looks metallic and unnatural. Bright blue-red colors are also not the best. Warmer, crimson reds should be worn instead.


  • Remember to update your makeup. Skin tones, textures and types change over the course of months, years, and decades.
  • Consider using face, eye and lip primers to increase the wear of your makeup.
  • Also consider having your makeup done professionally for a special occasion such as your wedding.


  • Remember to blend your makeup, especially foundation, to avoid awkward lines and spots.
  • Replace your makeup often to avoid bacteria growth.

Article Info

Categories: Makeup | Basic Makeup