Yes, you can wear yellow makeup. Let Stylist show you how

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Stylist Beauty Team
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From tropical brights to loud neons, Gen Z yellow is taking shape in all forms on our faces and fingertips. This is how to wear the happiest of hues this season.

In case you haven’t noticed, yellow is big this summer. Although most people tend to shy away from this colour, there are a multitude of shades to choose from that can work for your specific skin tone. Stylist shows you exactly how to pull off the tricky shade . We’re bringing all sorts of sunshine this week!


Be inspired by the Novis s/s 2018 models and add a burst of yellow across your lids. But choose your shadow wisely; as tired as we are of hearing that certain shades suit specific skintones, there’s a lot of truth to the rule. However, that doesn’t mean experimentation is out. “Pale to medium skintones should opt for a pure, matte, bright yellow, while deeper skintones can pull off a metallic finish,” advises Illamasqua’s director of artistry, Pablo Rodriguez. “Yellow doesn’t work well as a wash, so go for bold colour-blocking with blended-out edges. Stick to one shade and load your lashes with lots of black mascara.”

For fair skin: Go from pale canary to rich ochre, and don’t be intimated by bolder shades. The yellow in Huda Beauty’s Electric Obsessions palette, £25, is the exact shade of Colman’s Mustard; everyone’s guaranteed to love it.

For medium skin: Olive or tan skintones tend to err on the yellow side, so push your undertone with an electric shade such as Sleek’s Bamm!, £8.98, or Nars Single Eyeshadow in Goldfinger, £18. Apply with fingers for strong pigment pay-off.

For deep skin: Play around with everything. Try a buttery Battenberg pastel such as Essence’s Dare To Shine, £1.50, in the inner corners, or swipe OPV’s Sandalwood, £29, across the entire lid for a modern pop of sunshine. 

Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Hype

Sleek I-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Ultra Mattes V1 in Bamm!

OPV Oshun Palette in Sandalwood

Essence My Must Haves Eyeshadow in Dare To Shine


Huda Beauty Electric Obsessions Palette


“The key to yellow eyeliner is to keep it cool and don’t overdo it,” says Rodriguez. Try a pop of yellow in a classic cat eye or experiment with graphic lines, keeping everything else on the face bare – almost as if you used just that one yellow pen. Those with yellow-undertoned skin shouldn’t shy away from it, either. “Warm colours counteract dullness the best, so brush on your favourite bronzer to avoid the yellow washing you out,” he continues. 

Crayola Face Crayon in Dandelion


Christian Louboutin Beauty Oeil Velours Velvet Eye Definer in Hot Chick

Revolution Pro Supreme Pigment Gel Eyeliner in Gold

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Ink Liner in Lustrous Yellow


NYX Faux Whites Eye Brightener in Vanilla


Too Faced Sketch Marker in Canary Yellow


We’ll admit that we were sceptical about yellow lipstick suiting anyone. The shades ticking our boxes aren’t straight up, fully pigmented yellow formulas, though. Instead, they’re yellow-tinted to help counteract sallow skin on and around lips. Dior’s Fix It Colour 2-in-1 Prime & Colour Correct Face Eyes Lips in Yellow, £25, neutralises blue-ish lips (and under-eyes) and brings out the true colour of your chosen lipstick. Have fun with Lipstick Queen’s transformative yellow lip topper, £22, that delivers your perfect pink based on your skin’s pH. Now that’s clever. 

Dior Fix It Colour 2-in-1 Prime & Colour Correct Face Eyes Lips in Yellow

Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick in 777


Lipstick Queen in Mornin’ Sunshine

Nail polish

Yellow toes can be your first venture into the bright side. Start with a soft pastel like Butter London’s Nail Polish in Cheers, £8.95, then work your way to neon (it doesn’t have to look like a highlighter). The high-voltage shades that the likes of Gwen Stefani wore in the Nineties are back in Orly’s Glowstick, £11.99, which flatters every skintone (sales of the shade increased by 258% after it was spotted on Kim Kardashian in April). “You definitely need to use a base coat to avoid yellow staining,” warns nail technician Loui-Marie Ebanks. “Ensure that nails are even with tidy cuticles – the goal is clean and modern, and a statement shade is always going to catch attention.”

OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish in Sun, Sea, And Sand In My Pants


Kure Bazaar Nail Lacquer in Saffron

Orly Nail Polish in Glowstick


Butter London Nail Polish in Lemon Drop

Mavala Nail Polish in Lemon Drop