Even the lightest of Asian skin can suffer from excess yellow undertones, because it tends to contain more melanin, which gives skin its color. The more melanin present, the darker your skin tone becomes, bringing with it the susceptibility to inflammation. If you're yearning to trade your yellow tones for peaches and cream, fear not: Help is only a makeup change away. "The key to saying good-bye to sallow skin," says New York makeup artist Everlyn Ho of the La Peau Day Spa, "is to keep the correction subtle and natural-looking."
The foundation: Your first rule when neutralizing yellow tones is to keep your foundation as natural-looking as possible. One of the biggest mistakes Ho sees with Asian women is choosing a foundation that's too pink for their skin tones. "Instead of fighting with what nature gave you," she recommends "first even out the skin with a like-colored foundation. I use a yellow-toned foundation to even out the skin first," she says. "It looks more natural that way."
To erase all traces of those yellow undertones, we recommend a foundation such as Makeup Forever in Soft Sand. Its warm tint will naturally neutralize excessive yellow tones in your skin while avoiding the dreaded "mask" look.
Blend, baby, blend: Begin applying the foundation on your forehead and work down your face, blending well into the neck. Don't forget the eyelids. Even if you are wearing eye shadow, a little foundation will help it stay put throughout the day.
Concealer: Now's the time to hide any under-eye circles or flaws with a few dabs of concealer. To banish dark circles effectively, try Benefit's Erase Paste, which conceals while also brightening that dark under-eye area. For blemishes, Tarte's The Eraser not only lets you say bye-bye to blemishes instantly but helps sooth your stressed-out skin.
All set: Lock that fabulous face in place with a light dusting of powder. Ho recommends a peach-colored powder, which she uses when applying makeup to contestants in the Miss Chinese New York pageant. "Peach powder neutralizes yellow, but still makes your skin look natural."
Asian skin typically has more sebaceous glands than Caucasian skin, causing it to be oilier. To avoid clogging your pores, choose water-based foundations and concealers. Cleansers with a gentle astringent, such as Bioré Ice Cleanser, fights oil and blemishes and leaves your skin feeling cool, calm, and not neglected.
Cindy McKie is a former professional hairstylist who now works as a freelance writer. She specializes in writing on the topics of hair care and beauty for both magazine and online publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles magazine, as well as several beauty Websites.