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Your shade isn't right if... You feel the need to pile on makeup (especially bronzer) to keep your skin from looking pale.

Rule of thumb: Pick a base color that’s no more than two shades lighter or darker than your eyebrows.

Why it works: The brow color you’re born with complements your skin tone perfectly. Stray too far from it and your complexion will appear washed out. (Dyeing your brows won’t make a difference—the benchmark is always their natural color.) You can also use your true base shade as a barometer. But if you can’t remember it exactly (or don’t have pictures of yourself at age 12 handy), you’re better off going by your brows.

Also keep in mind: Weaving blond highlights into your base color enhances any complexion. Like self-tanner, golden tones illuminate your skin. Keep the streaks thin to ensure everything blends in well. SOURCE: LOGICS COLORIST JENNIFER J.

The best blond for dark skin These days, lots of dark-skinned chicks are making a major mane statement by going blond — think Beyoncé, Tyra Banks, and Mary J. Blige. "The contrast between dark skin and light hair can be really striking, but it's tricky to do yourself," says stylist Kim Kimble. "A pro will know the right shade for your skin tone."

The basics: Women with deep brown skin should go with a rich honey hue. If your complexion is a medium tone, try a sandy color. And if you have lighter skin, you can pull off a pale golden blond. To keep strands healthy, do a deep-conditioning treatment at home twice a week, especially if you also relax your hair, says celebrity colorist Rita Hazan.

 

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