How do you come up with color combinations?

How do you come up with color combinations? (For your makeup, duh!) How do you know what to pair with what?


I always look at what I’ve recently reviewed/tried/purchased! I try to do looks using new products to show how they look in practice. In terms of what to pair with what, I’ve found my “favorites” through experimentation.

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– mixing colors on the back of my hand
– thinking about the color wheel (complementary vs. contrasting colors)
– pairing colors by finish (matte, shimmery, etc.)
– pairing colors by tone (warm or cool)
– applying the 30-60-10 rule as in interior design (60% of the primary color, 30% of the secondary color, and 10% of the accent color)
– being inspired by photos of celebrities on the red carpet on various websites

Wow i really suck at color combinations so I go to MACMAKEUP.NET it’s such a wonderful site for those who have no idea how to combine Mac eyeshadows like myself lol Great Ideas and combinations as well πŸ˜€

From Temptalia, silly! πŸ˜‰

I usually stick with complementing shades (either all warm or all cool) such as green and gold, brown, silver and teal, pink and purple, that sort of thing.
Or I use neutrals such as beige, taupes, soft pinks, gold and medium browns with a bright eyeliner!

I think I come up with color combos experimenting when I am really bored! Such as right now! it’s 1AM here, and I have a paper due tomorrow…and to take a little break I made a blue smokey eye with NARS Rated R duo and MAC Paint Pot in Delft and e/s Birds & Berries! Soooo random but so fun! LOL.

My mom is an artist, so at an early age I was familiar with complimentary colours. I try to sick with the ones that are flattering and mix and match from there. I remember my first mac eyeshadow was a now-discontinued matte orange that my mom insisted I bought as it went with the blue in my eyes! But for whatever reason, I cannot for the life of me choose blush or a lip colour to “complete the look”…I know it shoulnt be difficult but I feel totally overwhelmed. I generally just use some bronzer and lip balm.

do you ever sift through the looks on here? (i confess, it’s another way that i get ideas for color combinations πŸ™‚ i have blue eyes and orange does make them stand out A LOT! i have found some eye combos a little difficult to complete a look with though (and orange is up there).

coral – the obvious choice in my brain, it looks good with orange but it also looks very “summertime beach party.”

bronze and gold – more great choices. depending on shade of eyeshadow though, i find bronze and gold to look too “matchy matchy.”

warm, deep brownish reds – probably my favorite choice IF you’re going for an “every day” look. orange is a bright eyeshadow, and if you’re wearing it to make you eyes stand out, then you want to keep them as the focal point of your face. understate the lips by wearing something that looks like your own lips, but a little deeper and warmer.

last on the list (and probably my personal favorite) is violet. a lipstick like violetta is AWESOME with orange/yellow eyeshadow. it’s really dramatic and fun – two things that i personally love πŸ™‚ if you wanna REALLY go for it, pair it with blue lips (SO PRETTY)! i’m actually doing a video for my YouTube channel on blue lips TODAY! πŸ™‚ they are my FAVORITE thing about makeup! love love love!

I started this year trying every day something new… I buy so many things that I’m always testing! I found some great pairs (such as peaches and blues or plum and beige and so on) with experimentations, but I try different color combinations as often as I can too.

Great question! I’ll be looking forward to reading the responses to this one πŸ™‚

I probably fall back on my design and fine art background more than anything else. I look at magazine ads (not just makeup), books, signs, clothes, etc. anything with a color combination (wrapping paper, floor tile, the list goes on and on), I keep a mental note of combos that I like. Books on interior design are great tools as well (looking at the colors in photos).

I guess after so many years doing graphic design, I’m just USED to thinking that way – Even a trip to Home Depot can be inspiring – You just have to tune your brain to a different frequency and look at things from a different perspective πŸ™‚

For me, it depends.
Sometimes I go through magazines and look at the ads (especially for drinks and cars). I find they have inspiring color combinations.
On other days I look at products I haven’t used often and try to create a look with it.
And make-uptuts on youtube and other blogs are inspiring too.
Even beautiful shoes can be inspiring. And movies and books and animals ‘n flowers ‘n videoclips…

Okay, let’s just say the world inspires me. πŸ˜€

I just enjoy experimenting. If I can’t figure out what colors to pair with a new shade, I go to They have a huge eyeshadow combination database for people to post their combos. You just search by the shade.

I find the best inspiration is nature. Mother nature is the best artist the colors of a sunset the combination of colors on a bird or my absolute favorite the blending of colors on a flower. That is where I find my color combination.

Just look at everything and experiment. But when I’m bored, I close my eyes and pick out 4-5 colors and try to work with them (mostly with pigment as most of my e/s are in palette, or maybe I’ll print out all of my cosmetics’ names and pick from categories LOL)

I test swatches on the back of my hand to coordinate colors. Sometimes I might just pick one color that I really want to wear for the day and work other colors into the blend to compliment it.

It depends on what I’m wearing. I like to use makeup colors that flatter my outfit. I just take out the lipgloss and eyeshadows I think I want to use and see what looks good together. I’m pretty good at picturing everything together in my head before I actually put it on.

I usually start with one or two colors that I really want to incorporate and try to work around that. I also get a lot of inspiration from photos I see on tv and online, and I try to recreate them or start off with a certain look as a base and go from there. I try to do a mix of tones and finishes for balance. I also really like, they have a REALLY extensive database of combinations using MAC products. I usually check out that website when I bring home new colors, so I can see some options… Or when I’m questioning whether or not to buy a new color, I can see what I already have that will work well with that new shade.

I just go by what I am wearing, trying to match my eyeshadow to my clothes color scheme. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t over do it with the matchy-matchy stuff! Other than that the only color combos that I will try will be ones that I’ve seen other people try out. I’ll let others do the trial and error before I! lol

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