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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Hair & beauty
complexioncom‧plex‧ion /kəmˈplekʃən/ noun  1 [countable]DCB the natural colour or appearance of the skin on your face Drinking water is good for the complexion.pale/fair/ruddy etc complexion (=a pale, fair, red etc face)fair-complexioned/smooth-complexioned etc She was fair-complexioned with blonde hair.2 [singular]CHARACTER OF something the general character or nature of something Crime has risen under governments of every political complexion.3 put a different/new/fresh complexion on somethingCOLLOCATIONSadjectivespale (=lacking colour and often not healthy)Her complexion was pale and spotty.fair (=light in colour)People with fair complexions should use plenty of sunscreen.darkBright colours may suit you if your complexion is dark.clear (=without any spots)Eating fresh fruit and vegetables will help keep your complexion clear.a fresh/healthy complexion (=healthy and clean)a young man with a fresh complexiona flawless/perfect complexion (=perfect and with no marks or spots)Foundation is meant to give the illusion of a flawless complexion.a tanned complexion (=brown because of the sun)He looked distinguished with his greying hair and tanned complexion.a ruddy complexion (=reddish in colour – used mostly about men)He had black hair and a ruddy complexion.a florid complexion literary (=red in an unpleasant or unhealthy way)He had the florid complexion of a man who drinks too much.an olive complexion (=the skin colour that is typical of Greek, Italian, Turkish etc people)These colours complement an olive complexion.a glowing/rosy/pink complexion (=healthy and pink – used about women or children)a sallow complexion (=slightly yellow)A sallow complexion can be a sign of illness.a swarthy complexion literary (=dark)She had never met anyone with his swarthy complexion.a bad complexion (=with spots or marks on it)a blotchy complexion (=with unpleasant red patches of colour in the skin)
Examples from the Corpus
complexionThe Trinity House records of the time describe him as 5 feet 8 inches tall, with black hair and dark complexion.She has collar-length curly blonde hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion.His eyes were an astounding blue and his complexion was ruddy from a life spent mostly at sea.Alice is lighter in complexion than her mother.To describe myself as Black in a situation where most people shared my complexion was absurd.The difference goes far deeper than the political complexion of the government.If their complexion was their most celebrated feature, then perhaps a long necklace of perfect pearls.Too much sun is bad for your complexion.pale/fair/ruddy etc complexionShe has collar-length curly blonde hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion.He was a small man with a shock of white hair, and a ruddy complexion from his liking for port.Ada was a particularly striking young lady, with a pale complexion contrasted by very dark hair.He identified Davis as one of the people and described the other as a stocky woman with a ruddy complexion.Some of the mummies had long, dark hair and incredibly well preserved faces, even an almost fair complexion.Ritu had been chosen on account of her suitable family background and her fair complexion.No emotion showed on Dempster's impassive face, only a slight pallor in his normally ruddy complexion.A non-smoker and a teetotaller, Taylor was stockily built and of fair complexion.
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