Pale skin and dark hair provides the perfect canvas for strong colours, or soft, neutral shades for ethereal beauty. Regardless of whether your style is elegant or edgy, the stunning contrast between a fair complexion and dark hair is both dramatic and beautiful. A few techniques will highlight those striking looks in day-to-day life.
Keeping dark hair beautiful
Dark hair looks glossier than lighter shades as the density of colour reflects the light and makes it look thicker. A semi-permanent colour will give dark hair an additional sheen. Those with delicate skin tones should avoid cold hues, such as aubergine or blue-black, but a reddish or chestnut tone will warm up features and refresh the look. While people with fair skin should always avoid anything darker than chocolate brown, going from mid- to dark brown will add shine and depth and make blue or green eyes pop.
As it's so dramatic, dark hair can also make geometric cuts and bobs look even more stunning, so if it suits a person's face shape, an adventurous re-style will look stunning. When styling dark hair, shine serum rather than hairspray is best as according to Marie Robinson, a colourist at the Sally Hershberger Salon in New York City, hairspray is shiny hair's worst enemy as it makes it dull.
A combination of dark hair and fair skin can carry off the most dramatic make-up. When applied carefully, the smoky-eyed look is stunning on brunettes, but shouldn't be combined with dark lips as it will look too overdone. Focus on eyes or lips for a dramatic look; so either smoky eyes with nude lips or a rich lipstick with just a slick of mascara. The sky's the limit when it comes to lip colour, so experiment with everything except orangey reds as they can make teeth look yellow and will wash out fair complexions.
Fair skin that is surrounded by dark hair needs to be balanced by another face framer---the eyebrow. This gives the face---and particularly eyes---definition. Don't distort the natural shape; just pluck stray hairs from underneath the outer arch so that it gently tapers into a thinner line. For even more defined eyebrows, gently shade in the shape of the brow using a natural brown pencil. Using a highlighter on your brow bone means more professional looking make-up too.
While many of fair-skinned people embrace their paleness, endless pictures of bronzed, glowing celebrities and the slimming properties of a tan mean that a little colour is sometimes needed in order to feel good. The dangers of sunbathing are no secret, and those with fair skin need to be extra careful when outdoors. Wearing a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more will protect skin from burning and give a subtle, healthy glow that looks and feels amazing.
For faking it, everyday or gradual tanners are subtle and easy to apply. These work just like body lotions, but have a hint of colour so can be applied daily. Paler skin will show flaws more, so exfoliate beforehand and pay particular attention during application. A mitt may help the product go on more smoothly and ensure the hands will stay streak-free too. Most drugstores now sell correctors, and it's a good idea to have one on hand for any emergencies.
Men with Fair Hair & Dark Skin
The intensity of dark hair and pale skin on a man is the perfect backdrop for power dressing. According to Bobbie Thomas, the Today Show's style editor, black and navy look great on men with this colouring, but need lifting with touches of rich primary colours such as reds and purples. Every shade of blue suits men with this colouring, but yellows and golds should be avoided as they drain fair complexions.
When it comes to hair, a close crop will really bring out the cool tones of pale-coloured eyes and contrast wonderfully with fair skin, so short, classic cuts styled with wax look groomed without being old-fashioned.