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Yeah. There’s a few times that come to mind! One thing I used to get told A LOT was that I shouldn’t even bother with shadow or liner. I love all kinds of eye makeup, so f*** that! Also, with foundation, I often get people trying to match me way too light or way too pink/peach rather than golden, which I am. I never thought pink-toned foundation looked right on me, but everyone at the MAC counters insisted I was pink. Finally, one day I asked for a sample in a couple NC shades along with the NW samples, and the chick didn’t want to give the NC ones to me insisting I wasn’t NC and that I would look stupid with it. It ended up matching, and ever since then I steer clear of the pink-toned stuff, and STILL some want to argue with me even after telling me how good my skin looks while I’m wearing a freakin golden foundation. Oh, and with NARS Taos blush the SA snatched it from me and told me “that’s not your color,” and “that’s not made for you.” I applied that right in front of the girl and gave her attitude since it looked hella awesome! 2nd favorite blush to date. I also was being steered away from a bright apricot blush another time, but that person was a little more friendly about it, and she tried it on anyway then was amazed at how good I look in orange blush.

I always do what I want. Because I can. HAHA. I’m awful.

Not awful – you’re awesome! I’ve fought with MAC about foundations, too! Can’t believe that girl took the NARS from you, though. Smh.

I can’t believe that anyone would tell you not to wear green eye shadow! It always looks amazing on you!

I’ve been told not to wear blues, since they make my eyes look faded, but I still do it sometimes. I’ve also been told that dark lipsticks would be too much of a contrast with my pale skin, but I wear them all the time and get a lot of compliments when I do. So much for recommendations…

Kate, I agree, I love the pop of color and the contrast a bright or dark lip gives pale skin! I’m not extremely pale, but I’m light to light-medium, and people try to tell me it will make me look like a clown. If that’s the case, so be it! I will walk around looking like a clown…a sexy clown, that is!

Ditto on dark colors for light skin. I like the contrasting look, and when I first started wearing makeup the only things I would do were rather gothy. Some people said it made me look even more sickly than usual (like other pale skinned ladies, I’ve got that anemia/flu chic skintone sometimes), but I really like how it makes my features stand out!

I’ve always been told I shouldn’t wear orange reds, bronzes, and other very warm colors because I’m very fair and cool-toned – but those are exactly the colors I’m attracted to! I still wear them anyway. However, I am advised not to wear black eyeliner and that has been good advice – it often looks too harsh on my skintone. Great question!

I’ve been told the same thing. I really don’t like myself in bright orange or yellow but I’ll wear reds regardless.

I was “matched” to MAC Pro Longwear foundation in NC45 once,which is hilarious because I’m an NC/NW 20-25. Guess the artist saw I wasn’t caucasian nor east Asian then just decided that. o_O;

Another thing that I can’t really wear is dark eyeshadows, especially dark blues. I have brown-black eyes with pretty bad dark circles; and dark eyeshadows generally do make me look tired. This one is an easy fix, though, I just pop some natural-looking brown or gray contacts and I would instantly look lifted. πŸ™‚

I’ve been losing respect for the MUAS up here. I went in to get matched at our MAC counter and got told I was medium + in skinfinish natrual when I wear NC 15…

A lot of times the really bold and bright purple or pink lipsticks people are like ‘oh god who would wear that” but I can pull them off. Like I will wear the Venomous Villains Maleficent dark purple lipstick and gloss and most people see those in the tubes and go WOAH, NO lol.

I also get told to wear warmer blushes since I have warmer skin (olive under tones) but most of them make my skin look REALLY flushed and red and not flattering =(

I’ve been told to not wear too dark of eye makeup, which i agree with to a sense. I never wear black eyeshadow. But more often than not, I’m wearing a bronze or brown smokey eye. I’ve also been told to wear grey eyeshadow, which makes my eyes look really red. And I’ve been told to always wear pink blush. I tend to look like I’ve been slapped if I wear pink blush (even light stuff like Mac well dressed!) so I tend to go for the warmer colours which I’ve been told to stay away from with my extremely pale cool-toned skin. I love bronze, peach, copper, chocolate, gold, olive, etc for the eyes, and peach like nars sex appeal or deep throat for the cheeks.

I’ve been told that milky pink lips and creamsicle oranges are icky on me. I agree on the oranges but I just love milky pink too much to stay away!

When I was in high school, my mother made it abundantly clear to me that I could only wear neutrals with my blue eyes, pigmented lips, dark hair, and ghostly pale skin (to clarify what I mean by this, I have only tried one brand of foundation that seems pale enough for me, Revlon’s PhotoReady – anything else is too dark and shows up yellow or pink, and I’ve flat-out given up on finding a concealer). She insisted, multiple times, that any colour at all would be “horribly garish, and you’ll look like a prostitute”. Since she flat-out encouraged my tanned, blonde younger sister to experiment with colours of all sorts, it honestly scared me away from make-up all together for years and I went through high school with only mascara and clear lip balm as a result. It wasn’t until I was I started university two years ago that I began to branch out and experiment with colours – walked into a MAC store one afternoon because I’d heard wonderful things about lipglass, and it was a slower afternoon so the saleslady tried to talk me into a deeper wine-colored lip. I was hesitant, made the “mistake” of mentioning that “I don’t really, um, do colour” and she spent the next hour and a half proving me wrong. I ended up adoring the lip and shadows she suggested, and spent the next few months experimenting with as much colour as I could. Approached one part of my face at a time (started with lips, moved to blush, and finally to eyes) until I was at the point where I could put together multiple looks on a whim. In a sense my mother was right – there ARE shades I can’t pull off. I never did figure out how to deal with green, and most purples tend to make me look bruised and tired, bringing out the circles around my eyes. So I do spend a lot of time working around my skin colour as highlighters and bronzers can only do so much and if I’m not careful, colours can look a bit clownish! I found, though, that pops of colour are definitely the way to go for me. Vibrant liners are a favourite, paired with more neutral shadows. At the moment I’m in love with Urban Decay’s Toasted eyeshadow with a teal liner, ELF’s coral blush and a slightly darker lip (loving Tarte’s lip stain in Moody). Still not that bold, to be fair, but it’s miles better than before!

Aw, it’s a shame to hear you were discouraged for so long with colors! I’ve got similar coloring to you, though my eyes are green-gray, and I’ve always done well with jewel tones. I’m not a huge fan of smokey eyes or using colors that are very dark or blackened. But vibrant jewel tones in the right shades make my eyes pop, sit well with my dark hair and brows, and are fun!

Yeah, I find that I need to be very careful with smokey eyes in general, wearing them lightly if at all; anything too dark brings out the circles around my eyes. It is very easy to accidentally make myself look like I’ve got a black eye, either! I think that’s a hazard of pale skin in general. Jewel tones are very fun – a bit of my colorphobia still lingers and I prefer to restrict them to liners, but they tend to pull the look together so nicely.

I’ve been told to wear less foundation. And like I care! I will cake it on if I want to! I’ve also been told to lighten up on the eyeliner. I usually do a really thick black wing for daytime. Once again, I do what I want. Hahaha. But because I’m more of a medium yellow for skintone, I can’t do the super light milky lavender or pastel pink lips like lighter people can, and for this I agree. I just look really stupid when I try them on. I really like the look of it on lighter people though. =/ To make up for it, I wear ultra sparkly and bright eyeshadow on a daily basis, which I also get a lot of flack for. Haha.

I can’t wear purples or coppers that turn too orangey. I love coppers though! It just makes me look hungover or something lmao =/

My experience with orange and copper is similar, as I look ill with these as well. (I was warned by an expert for the effect, and in my case, she’s right) What colour are your eyes?

I was told as a 40+ woman I should NEVER wear metallic eyeshadows. Whatever. I’ll do what brings me joy. Look away if you are offended.

I was told the same thing (as a 40 yr old woman) and I think the metallic shadow makes my eyes sparkle. Granted – I only wear it on my lid, but still…

I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten any advice to that end, so I’m either doing it well enough, or I’m so bad at makeup, no one knows where to begin with the advice! XD

Yellow and golden nail polish. I have red hair and NW20-25 skin. There’s been several times when I’ve worn a golden color and been told my nails look like they have a fungal infection. What sucks is that I have several golds/yellows for pricer brands. Like the Chanel Gold LamΓ©… Oh well, I have a friend with Indian heritage, Asian Indian not Native American, and golds are STUNNING on her. Might just pass them over to her.

No one has ever told me that I couldn’t wear a certain color, but because I like to think that I’m quite “conservative” when it comes to experimenting with color in my makeup routine (I’d normally choose colors that go well with my skintone) I’d personally tell myself that I can’t wear these colors, but whenever I receive colors like mint green or royal blue eyeshadows, I’d test them out in my room and more often I would be surprised to see that it wasn’t THAT bad at all. πŸ™‚

I can’t think of anyone telling me I shouldn’t wear this color, or that color. I tend to just go by the basic rules…color schemes, complimentary colors, and never wear bold eye makeup with a bold lip.

On a similar note, my long-time friend has a motto for her make-up routine: “less is classy, more is trashy”. While she’s never, ever, ever eeevverrr said anything like that directed toward me, it still makes me paranoid to wear bright color eyeshadow or lipstick around her (but I do anyway)! Although, she is the kind of friend that will say – nicely – exactly what is on her mind, so I know I’m paranoid for nothing! She would have said something by now!

lets see. I wore a red lip for the first time for my birthday. I felt awesome in it , but I asked a friend what did she think of it. She told me I was too dark for the color . O_o. People like telling me not to wear bright shadows but ….. I love them and they look great on me.

i’ve been told not to wear black mascara. because i’m a redhead i should go for browns. black would be to harsh and unnatural for me. I happen to love my black mascara and honestly the one time i tried brown it lookt horrible.

I don’t think I’ve ever been told not to wear anything.

My approach to makeup is working with what’s flattering and elegant, so maybe its because I’m conservative. *shrug*

To date it never happened, but even if it had, I wouldn’t bother and keep using what I like =D. In my humble opinion makeup is a game and this means I’m free to use not only what suits me best, but also what I personally like. When people say things like “You don’t need makeup, you look pretty also without” they are assuming that I use it to hide myself or my features behind it. No, I’m not. I just like messing with colours and following my daily inspiration =)

Ugh, yeah. I’ve been told I can’t wear green eyeshadow because I have green eyes, but green is one of my favourite colours on me. I’ve been told I can only wear pink blushes because I’m cool toned, but in fact they often make me look ruddy and corals or peaches look better. I’ve heard that I shouldn’t wear dark lipstick because of how pale I am, but I think it looks pretty good. Also, as a redhead there are all sorts of things I supposedly can’t wear, from red lipstick to any non-neutral eyeshadow. I say balls to it.

Yeah, as a warm-toned WOC, I’ve heard, “Don’t wear green,” and “Stay away from bright cool pinks.” Well, you’ve pulled off these colors beautifully, proving rulemakers wrong! Moreover, makeup lovers don’t always aspire to look “natural.” For me, it’s an expression of creativity and artistry. Therefore, I don’t *care* if someone can tell I’m wearing makeup. Thanks for having fun with makeup, Christine, and of course, for dedicating so much time and effort to share your passion with us readers.

I’ve never gotten any makeup advice, but I’ve always told myself that ANYTHING purple looks bad on me. A while ago I got Rimmel Airy Fairy (pink-plum with gold sheen) and it looked pretty decent on me, so I’m starting to wonder whether that’s true or not…

I’m very dark complexed so I was told to stay away from red lipstick. However, what I didn’t know was that every woman can wear red, it just has to be the red for THEM. Reading several beauty blogs for women of color changed my mind about wearing red or other colored lipsticks! I currently love MAC Dubbonet, NYX Snow White, and NARS Flair.

Oh yeah, red works for everyone but tone and intensity need to be factored into the equation. For you, it sounds like deeper burgundy reds are the way to go. Bright, fire engine red is tricky and sometimes best on the fashion runways.

Now that I’m a redhead πŸ™‚ some people said that I could not wear pink blush! I disagree in some points…..when it’s a warm pink and not too bright I think redheads can pull it off….depends on your skin color. I know that having an olive undertone to my skin, when I wear olive or yellow eyeshadow I tend to look really sick so I don’t use these colors.

I’ve had so many random things said to me in my life that I am past that! My mother told me I shouldn’t wear green eyeshadows. She has uber cool skin tone herself and blue was apparently her eyeshadow color of choice, while I am very warm-toned. I tried some blue but it was disastrous, so one day I finally decided to disregard her piece of advice and BANG! Green is MY color! I think the thing is there really is no rule or generalization when it comes to makeup. Even when it comes to green/blue/whatever color there are SO many nuances. If you want to try something you should never be discouraged. Swatch, try, see for yourself and make your own decisions!

This is such an interesting topic, Christine! I was literally thinking about this the other day actually, remembering when I was a child and the “Avon Lady” (as we called her) would visit my mom at our house and my sisters and I would thumb through the catalogs while my mom chatted with the Avon Lady. One time she did a complimentary “color tone match” on us and told me that I was cool-toned and should stick with berry shades on the lips, silvers and cool tones on the eyes and wear clothing colors such as royal blue and magenta. (I have stark images of the typical 1987 woman in my head -complete with bold shoulder pads now!) I remember looking longingly at the pretty girls in the catalog with fair skin, light hair and blue eyes wearing apricots and warm browns and pinky corals and wishing I could wear those pretty colors. (Ironically, I AM a fair-skinned, light hair, blue-eyed girl!) I didn’t get into makeup until I was in my 30s and so all this time I had the thought of “cool toned” stuck in my head guiding me to berry blushes & lips and avoiding warm colors, but when I started experimenting I realized just what I could pull off, and honestly it was liberating!
I say, screw advice (for the most part), experiment, and see what YOU love on you! Hey, we all make mistakes and I’m sure I’ve sported some WTH looks over the years, but I can honestly say, now that I’ve left the advice I got so long ago behind me, I am more comfortable in my own makeup-laden skin. πŸ™‚ <3 Angie

I was told once that red lipstick made me look like a [offensive term for “transgender person”]. Not to my face, but on the internet, but still. It bothered me enough to deter me from wearing it, but I didn’t cry into my pillow or anything. However, as my self-esteem grew, one day I decided to give it a try again, and I’m proud to say I totally rock the red lip and have even received a few compliments on it.
I also get people telling me to “not wear so much eyeshadow,” but I really could not possibly care less if they think I should be wearing neutrals all the time. Bright colors are my thing, and, again, I wear them well.
Basically, I pretty much don’t care what anyone has to say about what I put on my face. Unless they’re honestly trying to help and I /ask/ for their advice.

I’ve been told I’m too cool-toned to pull off warm metallics, but I do have brown eyes with the barest touch of green in the iris, so it too tempting not to occasionally throw on a copper or gold. I just make sure to offset it with some bronzer and some cooler toned shadows. According to a lot of tutorials, I’m also not supposed to wear black eyeliner because I have deep set eyes (apparently it makes them look smaller)…but it’s never stopped before. πŸ˜› The same has also been suggested because of my pale skin, but I think my brown hair and dark lashes keep it from being an issue.

The one thing I tried that was unfortunately could not be pulled off on my skin tone is orange-toned lipsticks. Some warmer reds that lean more neutral are okay, but I definitely should stick with the blue-based reds.

I, for one, believe that you look great in any green shadow (like Jealousy Wakes), Christine! I actually have the opposite problem. I’m devoted to warm colors for my yellow-y tanned skin (think Alicia Keys) but I always have friends and co-workers who try to coerce me to try their violet, cobalt and fuchsia shades. Ick! They always say, “But you’re tan/brown you can wear anything!” Sorry, not true. I *think* after almost 40 years on this planet devouring fashion/beauty mags I have a good idea of what works for this face.

Pffft who told you not to wear green eyeshadow? It looks gorgeous on you! I love greens on warm skin.

I’ve also been told I couldn’t wear cool, pale pinks because of my medium skintone. But I’ve found they looks really cute and mod on me with a cat eye and lots of mascara!

omg what? false imo, green eyeshadow is one of those that depending on the shade looks good on everyone. esp gold-olive color greens. i think most colors it’s not the color itself but the shade, to say something like “never wear blue” seems silly to me because there’s so many different shades of blue!!

No one has ever told me not to wear a certain colour. I wear whatever I want. Something silly happened to me, I walked in to a MAC store and they said I should use gold and brown eyeshadows “to bring out my blue eyes”. Funny, because my hair is bright red, my clothes are in bright colours, I don’t think my eye colour is thw most noticable on me… : )

Christine– you look amazing in green eyeshadow!! Your eyes are the perfect colour for it! that person was crazy. lol

any blues, on my eyes. Funny enough, I always get compliments when I wear blue. But not on my eyes.

Oh and Orange shadow. But that one I don’t care, I do a wicked fun Orange eye.

because im super pale (MUFE 115), people automatically assume i should wear silver, grey, blue, pale pink, etc. when in reality i look best in orange, coral, red, and olive. pale does not mean cool tones only!

Nobody has ever told me I couldn’t pull something off.. Maybe it’s because they’d get throat-punched, but still. lmfao.. there are a few things I won’t wear because I don’t like how they look on me, for example, the really milky lip colors.. they just look like ick on me. Also I’ve been told that women over 30 should stick to mattes and neutrals on the eyes.. I find that offensive as I will be 29 soon and I cannot imagine getting rid of all my bright sparkly pretties! You can have em when you pry them out of my cold dead hands!!! lol

I’m 38, and I still wear frosty, shimmery, & glittery eyeshadow *all* the time. I also wear red liner & shadow.The key is too keep the eye area moisturized & primed, and the shadows will look just fine. I’ve only been told not to use pencil on my eyebrows (too harsh), but because I dye my hair black, I have no choice; there are no brow kits on the market in black, and I don’t think brows should be a different color than hair-that looks unnatural.

I’ve been told to wear “colored” blush because I’m so light (NARS Deauville, NC15), with dark hair & nearly black eyes, and that I look washed out. However, because I wear such dramatic eye makeup, and I have strong bone structure, I don’t want the blush to “compete” with my eyes. What I find really amusing, though, is when a SA tries to steer me toward pastel eyeshadows (I don’t buy much during Spring); my eyes are way too dark.

this is probably the most exciting subject!
yes, I have been told should or shouldn’t few times..
I am kind f chinese with medium to medium tan skin in the summer.
everytime if the person at makeup counter is from similar area.. they always give me the eyes when I pick up nude colour lipsticks and show me a brighter orange/pink/magenta etc instead and keep on telling me how much brighter my face look in those colours blahblahblah… which actually I and all my freinds and colleagues think it s very old fashion looking on me.
I might possibly look “brighter” as those makeup artists/ sales say BUT look like an old fashion lad and 10 years older. what s the point.. so no thanks!
and they will tell me not to use bronzer and match with obviously too pale foundation too..
but anyway I do whatever i like and avoid those who will possibly give weird opinions..

Light cool pinks ’cause I have a medium warm skintone (NC 30-35) and also liquid eyeliner! But I don’t care I use what I want haha

I have been doing the cat winged eye since I started wearing makeup about 10 years ago and everyone told me it was too much eyeliner. Now everyone does it. Same goes for contour, highlighting and red lipstick.

However, I was told that I should not draw my brows in so dark a couple years ago and I have lighten them. I was also told that the studio fix concealer and studio fix foundation was too heavy on me. I agree. I have switched to something much more sheer and natural looking. My sister tells me not to wear green eyeshadow because it makes me look sick.

Things people have told me I avoid:

1) Anything with glitter, even though it’s mostly restricted to the tips of my nails. They say I’m too OLD for it. No way, women will never be too old for sparkly stuff… And I’m only 30, plus I always use it in moderation. It’s not like I bathe myself in it.

2) Pastel eyeshadows. This I can understand… I am east asian, NC20 with very golden undertones. Pastels wash me out and makes my eyes look swollen and puffy, especially if the finish is matte.

3) Pale lipsticks. I have naturally pigmented lips that are very pink with a mauve tone, and I’ve had a love affair with silver, nude, and soft pink lip colours for the longest time. People always says it makes me look ill, but eventually I found that pale lip colours work best with more dramatic eye makeup, which I usually do now. My favourite look is a dark smokey eye.

4) Bright or dramatic eyeshadows. Sorry, but I love eye make up, and I love colour. I’m going to be as bold and dramatic as I please. I experiment a lot, and sometimes I will create looks for fun that I will admit doesn’t suit me very well, but I just won’t do it again. I find that greens, yellows and oranges look pretty weird with my skintone, but doesn’t stop me from playing with it occasionally!

5) Pinks or red eyeshadows because it looks like you got punched in the eye. I love pinks and reds. Those are the colours I love to play with the most. When used strategically, I think it can look great! I am loving bright fushia eyeshadows and bold red eyeliners. Just maybe not together πŸ˜›

6) Lavender or cool tone blushes. They say I should only stick to peaches and corals because I’m very golden, but I bought Sakura from MAC’s quite cute collection and I think it brightens up my face. Besides, I am so yellow already… sometimes I like to cool it down.

Most of the time I don’t really listen to what other people say, and just do whatever I want when it comes to clothing and make up. Usually, it’s the people who either don’t use make up at all or are super conservative about it that tell me what not to do.

I was always told to not wear blue. I have dark brown eyes with golden threads, and i love to wear a darker navy blue smoky eye, or bright teal liner just on the top lashes with a touch of mascara, peach blush and a natural lip. I think as long as you can do it right, do whatever you want!!

I’m quite pale (NW15) with dark hair and blue eyes. Noone specifically has told me I can’t wear something, but Usually very bright colors wash me out. I wish I could wear neon nail polishes as well, but it just looks a bit silly and stands out way too much.

My mother used to tell me not to wear anything else but black winged liner and mascara but I find the first too harsh for everyday and I prefer looking polished with nude makeup. She doesn’t like me wearing smokey eyes (I’m NC44)but I love it because it flatters my eye shapes and suits the mood! Also, I’ve been told by a Sephora MUA not to go for NARS Taj Mahal because it swas too bright, but I bought it many months later and tried it and LOVED it! It’s sexy skin in a blush! Also, I’ve been told not to wear bright red lipstick because it’s too garish, but it really suits me and brightens up my complexion. I’ve been told I can’t wear dark lip colors because my lips are medium-sized but I rock them like no other!

Time after time when a makeup person wants to pick my foundation shade, they always call it wrong. I get put in a pink base. I am so obviously golden with blond hair and well blended freckles, I can see some putting me in too dark of foundation due to they read my freckles and want to blend them out. That never works. A freckled person you go with the color the skin is between and under the freckles and blend. So I not only get pink foundation, but it’s always too dark and they never listen to me. Also, most will ‘read’ my skin type as needing heavy cream moisturizers. I am actually normal thank to my Clarisonic and using great normalizing products that I pick and choose to use.

I know its vain, but I don’t wear anything that would turn off (most) men, like bright blue eyeliner, sticky lip gloss, certain shades of blush, etc. Basically, I keep all my eyeshadows neutral and am very conservative in my choices.

I have been told that I can’t wear peaches, corals, coppers, etc. because I have med. brown hair and blue eyes; supposedly a cool. My problem? I am not drawn at ALL to the pinks, roses, mauves etc. So, I stay boring neutral.

I think green shadow looks amazing on you Christine πŸ˜› I’ve been told not to wear it either, but I think it looks good, haters gonna hate. I’ve also been told that warm tones wouldn’t work well on me because I’m very cool and pink-toned/pale, but I actually really like the way warmer lip/cheek/eye products contrast with my skin, I feel like they give me a glow.

I’m a natural blonde with blue eyes and I was told a couple of times that I couldn’t wear bright lipstick, and that I should go for nudes or soft pinks instead. I didn’t quite understand this recommendation as my lips are naturally very pigmented (dark pink). So I tried hot pinks and corals, looked in the mirror and just thought: Awesome!

Christine, I really wonder what idiots told you not to wear green eyeshadow. I love green on your eyes!

Because I’m older, I’ve read, I’m not suposed to wear glittery eyeshadow any more. But I like all kinds of eyeshadow, and I figure if I blend well, I can wear whatever colors or textures I want.


I was at the Prescriptives counter years ago, and they matched me to Yellow Orange foundation. The foundation looked amazing and did match initially, but then it oxidized and went bright orange. Their recommendations for blush and eyeshadow just made me look pale and sick. I have neutral skin, and blushes and lip colors that lean cooler do look nicer on me. I have found some warmer/neutral colors that look nice too, but I don’t look great in super warm colors. I look awful in Orange eyeshadow. Ewww.

My sister-in-law told me I should never wear pink or plum on my eyes because they make me look sick. I agree with her. Those colors just don’t look as nice as blue purples.

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