NC for those with Pale skin and pink cheeks??


Well-known member
Ok, so I'm just back from an appointment with a Sales assistant who insisted I was an NC in MAC.

I've always been told I'm an NW, I have very pale skin along with high colouration, pink cheeks etc..

She told me that the yellow in NC counteracts the redness, whilst NW is for those with yellow skin and dark circles under their eyes etc..

Have I been wrong all these years thinking that NW was for those with cool tones - i.e red cheeks, or does the yellow in NC indeed counteract this??

NW = Not Warm, right?

NC = Not Cool, right?

So what's the deal reagarding NC and NW shades when it comes to redness, which is better for concealing it?

I've always been told to go for NW shades.. gaaah, have I been using the wrong tones all along?!


Well-known member
Ok, to give a bit mroe info; as I said I'm very pale with high colouration, as in redness in my cheeks, I can get very flushed.

when I look at the underside of my wrist my veins are definitely blue coloured as opposed to green.

I have dark brown/black hair, and blue/green/grey eyes.

I've always been told I was cool toned and to go for NW.

What other factors decide whether or not you're an NC or NW?


Well-known member
mac's shade guide might give you a little more insight into this.

the colour of your hair/eyes doesn't have anything to do with your skintone. i would guess that you're more likely an nw skintone simply based on the fact that your veins are decidely blue and you have visible pink in your skin.


Well-known member
i agree with kimmy to a point. hair/eye color has nothing to do with whether you're warm or cool toned. i do disagree with the color of your veins deciding it. this too has nothing to do with your undertones. veins aren't a consistent color thruout your body, so using this as a guide is useless.

NC/NW does not mean neutralize cool/neutralize warm. it means neutral cool/neutral warm. in color coding mac's foundations, yellow means cool (even tho yellow is actually a warm color) and pink means warm. if you look at your face and see mostly yellow undertones (not including pink/flushed cheeks), then you're cool, or NC. if you see mostly pink undertones (again, not including the cheeks), then you'd be NW. and some people, like me, can wear either NC or NW. so you kinda have to get matched up with many shades to find your right one. and do so anytime you spend more time indoors/outdoors. everyone needs at least two shades of foundation: one for winter/spring, and one for summer/fall, and maybe even more in between.

as for concealer, again, with mac its a bit confusing. if you are concealing issues on the face except for undereyes, then you want to go with the same color as your foundation, NC foundatin/NC concealer, NW foundation/NW concealer. however, if you want to conceal dark undereye circles, you usually want to go with NW. this is usually the case, but not always. and you don't want to go with something lighter than your face. when photographed or in direct light, this gets even lighter, making an odd ghost-like appearance around the eyes. if you can't get it to hide the circles and match your skin, go with the next shade darker. this can be lightened if needed, and when photographed or in direct light, it ends up blending more into the surrounding skin. does this make sense? it kinda hard to explain.

"high coloration" wouldn't be the correct term to describe flushed cheeks. "high coloration" means a lot of color in general, so you could be talking about a lot of green/blue/purple/orange/etc. what you'd want to say to best describe flushed cheeks is just that, flushed cheeks. if you have alot of redness that you need to conceal, use a bit of green tinted concealer mixed in with your normal foundation or concealer, and this will help with that.

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