How do you figure out what colors to wear together (in a makeup look)?

How do you figure out what colors to wear together (in a makeup look)? Share!

A lot of it is experience, I think, and knowing what kind of combinations I like seeing together (or which ones I don’t!). You can also get a lot of inspiration from collection promo shots, palettes, quads, etc. that are already showcasing a set of shades together. Another way is to swatch everything on your arm or hand first, so you can see how things blend or pair together before putting in all the effort.

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I usually test different eye/lip colors on the weekend, while I’m at home. That way, if a color combo doesn’t work out, nobody sees it except for immediate family. I also look at magazines and Temptalia’s makeup looks for inspiration

For eye makeup I like to swatch beforehand and to check which lipstick would suit the best, I like to hold it up against my outfit. It gives me an idea if the tone matches with my dress.

I guess it comes with experience by trial and error. As someone new to the business, I find that trying out different things by experimenting gives me the best results and I can then use this combination in the future.

This is always my quandary. It’s one reason I love the looks you do, Christine – you combine colours (eye colours, particularly) in such creative but always flattering ways and often in ways I’d never even contemplate until I see what you’ve done. It’s one of the many reasons I come to this site very often – to get inspiration beyond my “champagne, mid-tone taupe, darker brown” eye looks, which is about as inspired as I EVER get!

Playing with color is a big part of the fun for me, so I love to experiment. Typically I’ll think of one or two colors I want to use (depending on my mood or what clothes I’m wearing), open some palettes or shadows, or twist up some lipsticks, and start swatching on my wrist to see how things look together. I do think in color wheel terms a lot — do I want a lot of contrast in my look, or a look with colors that are closer to each other? I usually try to avoid putting too much pink on my face — after going to the trouble of neutralizing/hiding the rosacea, I don’t want to do anything to bring it back out again!

This was really hard for me at first, then I started swatching on my arm before putting on my lid and it became easier. Time and experience has made things a lot easier!

Color theory for starters, and testing on the back of my hand if I’m not sure. I usually pick pretty safe color schemes so there’s not too much risk.

I usually go with the same tones of whatever I’m wearing for the day. So if I’m wearing cooler colours, I’ll choose cool-toned makeup. If I’m doing my makeup for a special occasion, I’ll sort of experiment with colours together, add a smoky-ish eye and maybe a pop of colour on the eye or lip because I’ll more likely be wearing black anyway.

I have a pretty good color sense overall, so I start with what I plan to wear and I go from there. It is always cued off my outfit. If my clothing choice dictates peach or coral, I will then pick out a blush in that range. The lipstick will then follow that color choice: peach or coral. If I am going in the pink direction, my choices will be either a warm pink or a dusty rose. I almost never wear red lipstick but when I do I will pick a neutral blush. I keep my eye makeup neutral in the taupe range. I wear warm colors in both lipstick and blush, but I have to keep my eye makeup cool toned or I look like I have “pink eye”.

I stop thinking about it, and just let my eyes pick the shades, I like to feel makeup! 🙂 Then tweaking shape of blending, mixing colors and so on, almost any combination can look ok, even though of course not all of them will be my faves 🙂 Also in case of palettes, I try to trust the makers and see if shades I wouldn’t normally wear together could unexpectedly work or not 🙂

I tend to go with classic combinations I’ve tried before – it always works but it’s kind of same old same old. Sometimes I try the looks that often come on cards in makeup palettes and I’ve had good surprises ! For example pairing purple and lilac with brown liner was an idea I got in a Too Faced palette and it looked great.

If you blend decently, you can make almost any colors work together. So I’d recommend just experimenting a lot; eventually you get to the point where you’ll just be able to know what is likely to work and what probably won’t look as nice.

I do generally go for either a cool toned look or a warm toned look although I think you can mix warm and coo eyeshadows and it can still work. But I think it looks odd to pair a warm cheek color with a cool lip and vice versa.

Being from an artist family and being an artist myself, I know what combos work and what doesn’t. The great thing is about makeup is you can almost get away with anything, depending on your skin tone!

If I know I want to wear a certain lipstick shade I plan everything else around it. Bold lips means matte shadows that are work friendly. Or I will do a bold eye look using whatever looks good that day and just wear some gloss.

I know no matter what I would love a smokey eye look on me, as it adds depth to my asian eyes. I always look for the brightness and the darkness in a color, instead of what hue they have. As long as I figured out which side a color is on, I would randomly pick them as a base color or a smokey color for my crease.

I rarely do contrast colors because I’m always afraid when they blend together, they tend to look grey. (color theory taught me well)

I choose colors that will go with my clothes – at least in the same color family. For instance, I wouldn’t wear a peach linen dress and pink lipstick.

Right now, I’m new enough to more complex eye looks that I kind of lean on palettes to help me combine colors. I’m lucky because I have a lot of free time to experiemnt, so I’m gradually trying to trust my own color sense.

I sometimes play with make up looks at night before I wash all my make up off. Swatching also helps a lot and soon you get the experience and familiarity with the products/shades to know what works.

I do the exact same thing, Christina!! I also think about the colors in my wardrobe and what colors look good together. I also peruse the fashion magazines to see what they put together, or what’s new. Finally, I look at your pictures….your are so fab on the eye makeup, I steal from you. Thanks girl!! I sure appreciate your blog…and I’m from Central Ca….neighbors.. Lol

I’ve always had a good eye for color, so some of it is innate. My mom was a model and painter before meeting my dad, so I learned some from her. I started using makeup at 14, and I’m 45 now…so lots of experience. Sometimes photos inspire me. I try new combinations when I don’t have to be anywhere special. I rarely get a complete dud of a look, but it still occasionally happens.

Christine I’m sorry to ask this here but when I tried to post my question for review it says web page not found

Question: what the best product for shaping and filling in your brows? What steps and utensils do you use?

Thanks Christine, and I’m sorry.

I do swatch on my arm/hand/kid’s arm etc LOL.. she likes me to “paint” on her when she’s in the tub 🙂 I also use my colour wheel and look to nature for interesting colour combinations.

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