Find the best natural colors for your complexion

Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBy Jennifer Goldstein

The world's most gorgeous colors-the deep ocean blues, earthy forest greens, fiery sunset hues-also happen to be the most flattering. Yet many of us avoid these makeup shades, finding them daunting. We get it: Any type of color on the face can be scary.

But there are palettes out there that can do wonders for your looks, according to New York City makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. "Once you find the right makeup shades, you'll be amazed at how they wake up your entire face and make your skin glow," she says.

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To figure out which hues are most gorgeous on you, we developed three nature-inspired color categories that almost all women fall into: Sun, Ocean, and Earth.

Read the descriptive statements for each group on the following pages to see which you belong to, then check out the corresponding tips to discover a beautiful new look. Yes, it's that easy.

Are you a sun?
You'll look great in these warm, sunny shades if …

  • You tend to tan easily and your skin tone is peachy, beige, yellow- or golden-olive, or rich, warm brown.

  • Your hair is golden blonde, red, or light to dark brown with warm undertones-and tends to take on a red or gold cast if you spend a lot of time in the sun.

  • You have dark blue, golden hazel, green, or rich brown eyes. If you look closely at your irises, you may notice golden, amber, or yellow flecks.

  • You look better wearing a cream-colored shirt than you do wearing a pure white shirt.

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Your perfect makeup look

A wash of sunset-inspired shades on your eyes complements your skin's warm undertones, according to Warren. Start by applying a copper shadow all over your lids, then blend a golden beige shade above it to the brows. Apply a dark peach blush along your cheekbones to bring out your skin's golden hue, then slick on a sheer, brown lip gloss. (It's more flattering to your skin than cool pinks or berries.)

Are you an ocean?
You'll look great in these cool, sea-inspired shades if …
  • Your skin tone is one of the following: fair and pinkish, rosy beige, olive with a greenish cast, or brown to dark brown. If you're fair, you tend to burn easily.

  • Your hair is ashy blonde, silver, white, light to dark brown, or black. Light shades may have ashy or sandy highlights; dark shades may have hints of cool tones.

  • Your eyes are gray, blue, aqua, gray-green, reddish brown, or very dark brown (almost black). If you look closely at your irises, you may notice gray or black flecks.

  • White clothes look better on you than cream clothes.

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Your perfect makeup look

Cool lavender eyeliner and a soft blue shadow make your eyes pop. Trace your lower lash lines with lavender liner, then dust a soft blue shadow over your lids. (For a night out, top your liner with a matching shadow.) Blend a pink blush over the apples of your cheeks, and finish with a pink gloss that has a hint of lilac. "It complements your skin's cool undertones," says Warren.

Are you an earth?
You'll look great in these muted, neutral shades if …
  • Your skin tone is creamy ivory, beige, light or medium olive, tan, or light brown.

  • Your hair is salt-and-pepper gray, light to dark blonde, auburn, or light to dark brown. It may have few highlights or a mixture of both warm (golden, red) and cool (ashy, champagne) highlights.

  • Your eyes are blue, gray, hazel, green, or brown-and tend to change color depending on the lighting or your clothes.

  • Both white and cream clothes look good on you, but very bright colors (orange, yellow) tend to wash you out.

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Your perfect makeup look

"With your coloring, which has both warm and cool undertones, a sage green smoky eye looks amazing," notes Warren. Apply the color to your lids, then use it to line your lower lash lines. Next, darken the creases of your eyes with a brownish-mauve shadow. Blend an apricot cream blush along your cheekbones. (The shade is a mix of cool pink and a warm peach-beautiful on you.) Finish with a subtle, rosy-beige lip gloss.