How do you coordinate your outfit or accessories with your makeup?

I usually think about what makeup I want to do or what I’ll be applying, and then I try to make the outfit work with it. I tend to complement with similar undertones or shades of color. If I can’t figure it out, I go gray/black!

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

Considering that I’ve been known to buy outfits or at least tops to go with my makeup instead of the other way around, I suppose that takes care of most the conundrum!
But sometimes that doesn’t *always* work. Case in point, a late day change of clothing, perhaps. Or the clothes that match the makeup are in the laundry? Then I’ll do black, lt. neutral or green at least in my top. First 2 are no-brainers for me. A green top takes my dominant eyecolor as the “matcher”!

Katherine T. Avatar

I do the opposite! I usually figure out what I’m going to wear, then coordinate the makeup with it. I try to wear different colors everyday, so I rotate through my stash. Personally, I like to have my makeup match or echo a color in my outfit. So if I’m wearing a blue T shirt, I’ll wear blue shadow so it looks coordinated. Otherwise, the blue shadow can look too jarring if I’m wearing a pink top with no blue in my outfit. But to each, her own.

Tracey E. Avatar

I coordinate my makeup to my outfit. I keep my eye makeup pretty straightforward, I’ve never had the talent or patience to do an involved eye look. I really like the effect that a lipstick color and blush//highlighter can have on an overall look.

Rachel R. Avatar

I usually pick out my outfit and accessories first, and then I make sure my makeup doesn’t clash with any of it. For example, I wouldn’t normally wear hot pink lipstick with a bright red dress, or orange blush with a cool pink top (although it might depend on the shades; you never know). If I wear something other than black, I often pull inspiration from that color for my makeup. Other times I coordinate the style. If a dress says “pinup” to me, I’ll be wearing a light neutral eye, winged black liner, and a bright red lip; if a plaid shirt says “grunge” to me, I’ll probably have fun with a smudgy dark eye look and brown lipstick.

If it’s a special occasion, I’ll do a full dress rehearsal and make sure everything works together.

kjh Avatar

This caused me gales of laughter…’course i just read Kate’s post on CT, so i was primed. I grew up in the 50s, so my template is matchy-matchy, unless it’s the diametric opposite. Your mum had shoes, gloves, bag, and hat to match, so…. It’s driven by something i have on, be it a sweatshirt or jewelry. The m/u follows the clothes, unlike with you 21st century ladies + gents. And i have to search 100 or so reds to match a red i have on, and if i can’t find one easily, i revert to beige, like in the late 60s, early 70s, before i acquired a bazillion shades of red, or when i thought i was too young to wear red. Just got a new men’s ll bean sweatshirt + immediately thought, OMG, which red matches this? If the clothes are black + the accessories are malachite, at least the liner must be a green, and it had better be THAT malachite green, and green mascara. If it’s orange, same concept. Yes, i do hoard old orange mascara and was thrilled that S came out with the Fox shade. Plenty of new orange l/s… Same with navy. Course, there are those days when wearing yellow makes me pull out a ton of purple, but that would NEVER be the other way round. And, unlike most of your readers, neither the clothes or the makeup are ever coral. Other people will say it looks good on me, but THEY DON’T KNOW. Makeup channels my very suppressed OCD. Maybe that’s why i never got into neutrals until YOU MADE ME GET MONARCH. And i love it and gift it. So now, as a person teetering on the brink of hip fractures, dementia, or both, it’s most often light neutrals, with a hit of color (that i have on…) Now, all black outfit with loads of multi colored evil eyes on, could make the m/u look like the color wheel. It’s never about flattering my complexion or coloring, except in the avoidance of coral. I really don’t like looking like a victim in Swamp Murders. I realize this makes me sound like an utter nut bag, but i am far to old to care. The look that matches my dachshund (black and tan) and retro German dog show sweatshirt with a dachsie on it, and Fractur, is just so me! Monarch!

Fran Avatar

you gave me a good laugh, here, I’m only a few years behind you, and I remember the difficulty of matching reds exactly! I did manage to unlearn feeling compelled to get everything matchy-matchy perfect every day and now I have fun combining colors in whatever way feels right to me. Of course I still do go out of my way to make sure I have navy and gray belts to go with my navy and gray shoes… talk about some things being hard to find 😉

Gillian Avatar

I wear black most of the time so I usually have free rein to do whatever I want. However, like plenty of other people, I work Mon-Fri so I can’t go overboard during the week. The weekend is when I bust out my colourful eyeshadows and bright lipsticks!

So, during the week it’s:

Light foundation and high-coverage concealer (medication induced acne ?).
Under-eye concealer (one that sets).
Translucent powder/powder foundation (depends on coverage needed).
Soft pink blush (lightly shimmery).
One neutral, shimmery eyeshadow for lid and sometimes a dark matte for the crease.
Liquid eyeliner, winged slightly.
Taupe/brown eyeliner for lower lashline.
Black volumizing mascara.
Natural pink lip liner.
Warm pink lipstick.

The weekend is the same as above but:

Heavier coverage foundation so I need little to no concealer.
Brighter blush and reasonably shimmery, pale highlighter.
Bright eyeshadow, usually used as a lower lashline liner but sometimes on my actual lid and/or crease. I love me some teal and purple eyeshadow!
Bright lipstick, often pink, fuchsia or coral, although I should maybe wear red more often!
Coordinating lip liner or natural lip liner works too, one that matches your own lip colour or is a tad darker is ideal.

Sorry for the unnecessarily long comment! Can you tell that I’m bored?

Michele @Binxcat4ever Avatar

Hmmmmm interesting. I actually do it the other way around. First I decide what I plan on wearing, then I tailor my makeup to coordinate. (The only exception to that is if I’ve bought something and I’m really wanting to try it right away. In those cases, I chose an outfit that will work well with the overall tones of the makeup. To be honest, this rarely happens since I almost always do a quick “try-on” before I store the new makeup away.)

Claire L Avatar

I do my makeup depending on what I’m wearing, if it’s casual I put light neutral makeup on, if I’m going out, I pull out all the stops. I will go either cool or warm depending on the tone of the outfit, but it doesn’t have to be matching otherwise. It’s interesting to see how different everyone is in how they choose makeup and outfits!

Nicole Avatar

Aww, I’m so bad at this! lol! If it’s a specials occasion, I pick the outfit out first and plan makeup. If not, I just do my makeup how I feel like because I enjoy that. My wardrobe is not very extensive right now. I have some nice stuff. But, not a lot because I buy too much makeup. I have been trying to catch sales lately and build it up. But, I find myself liking everything that is too expensive. So, I can only get 1-2 things at a time and just mix them up. If anyone has ideas or tips for online options, please lmk! I need to clean my closet and figure out how to consign or something because I have a lot of stuff I have just gotten a little “mature” for. Anyway, If not a special occasion, I do my makeup and throw something on and rock it!

Chelsea Avatar

I typically pick an outfit first, then pick makeup to coordinate with my outfit. And I do try to coordinate the colors, rather than match. If I’m wearing all black, then the makeup becomes more a part of the outfit … Like a bold lip can functionion as an accessory. And sometimes it is fun to just wing it, do whatever makeup I want and then throw something on! Clashing can look cool, too. 🙂

l_rodo Avatar

I also tend to coordinate my makeup to my outfit. Although, on days when I opt wear all black or grey, I’ll usually go for a pop of color in my accessories (a cobalt-colored purse, metallic leather shoes, or a statement necklace, etc.), and in those cases, I’ll usually coordinate my makeup with that color-popped accessory (cobalt liner or shadow, a metallic eye… you get the idea). I guess I tend to coordinate my makeup with my outfit/ accessories because I’m a very moody dresser — some days, I want to look fierce and on point, other days I want to have more fun putting together my outfit, and then some days I just wanna be comfy and wear a cocoon dress! lol I’m more flexible with my makeup — no matter my mood, makeup will always be done and it will look as awesome/ interesting as I can make it 🙂

Helene Avatar

I generally wear black, so I don’t have to think about coordinating. My wardrobe is full of black clothes, with red and purple and some grey. With the purple I tend to wear green eyeshadow, I never use purple with purple. With red clothes I use neutrals, grey or brown eyeshadow. With black clothes I just wear whatever makeup I feel mirrors my mood. I do like coordinating nails and lipstick, though.

Genevieve Avatar

I generally think about what shade of eye shadow I feel like wearing on a day and pick my clothes to work around that. I have clothes that are grouped around the themes of black/white (grey eyeshadows); blues (navy or blue eyeshadows); greens ( olives, dark greens, emeralds) and browns (neutrals)
Of course, I have outfits for special occasions and I work my eye shadows and lipsticks around that. I have lipsticks in lots of different shades to use as well.

Deborah Avatar

If I am going to wear anything in the pink color range then I will wear pinkish blush and lipstick – same with other color families. Red sweaters etc. have me stumped because red lipstick looks terrible on me so I go with a dark nude and dark eyes. I wear a lot of black and gray so that is easy.

Anne Avatar

I usually plan my outfit first, based on weather, occasion, etc, and then plan my makeup and/or accessories around that. Pretty simple. Especially if I lay out my outfit the night before because I am soooo not a morning person.

Cat Avatar

If I’m in a hurry, I wear neutral makeup so I can quickly grab anything from the closet. If I just happen to be in a very colorful makeup mood, I’ll either grab a coordinating or contrasting color, or I’ll wear black or gray. If I’m purchasing clothing for a special occasion, I will most often buy something black so my makeup options are completely open.

We are attending a Christmas party this year and I’ve been stressing over what I’m going to wear for the past two weeks! Part of me wants to wear the red, satin blouse… but I’ll probably end up in the black dress and black, ruffle-hemmed, open sweater so I can get creative with my eyeshadow and accessories. =)

Fran Avatar

I usually plan my outfit first, based on where I’m going and what I’m doing that day, and what the weather’s like unless I have a new lipstick I want to try — then I’ll make sure I’m wearing something that will go with it. I look best if I have some bright color near or on my face, so, if my outfit is neutral or subdued, I’ll usually go with a bright lip color. Then I tend to stay away from, say, bright green or bright blue eyeshadow (although, since my eyes are extremely hooded and hidden behind glasses, I can actually pull off a bright eyeshadow with bright lipstick if I’m in the mood to so so). If I’m wearing a really bright top or scarf, I tend to do bright eye makeup and more subdued or neutral lips, but sometimes I’ll do a bright top and a bright lip. Sometimes I match them pretty exactly, but usually I just make sure they’re in the same color family (I’m not up to wearing orange lipstick with a fuchsia top, although I’m sure there’s someone out there who can pull it off!) I usually make sure that all my pinks/reds are either warm or cool.

Kayle Avatar

Outfit first, then makeup! Neutrals are usually the name of the game, but if I’m going out I do take care to match things. Although I will admit I’ve been buying an unusually large amount of maroon clothing to go with my Colourpop Tulle lipstick, haha.

Char Avatar

I pick my out fit first and coordinate my makeup around the outfit. I wear a basic eye look everyday using the middle of my lid for an accent color that matches my outfit. YESSS. Matchy matchy. Lol…..

doroffee Avatar

I usually decide on the clothes first, especially if I have a certain mood – because for most part, my wardrobe consists of black, white, grey, shades of maroon / oxblood,/ burgundy, tauped out light shades (greyish blues, taupes, mauves) and darker blues and greens… so if I feel nore cheerful, I would start with a brighter shirt, which is rare (oh, and even then it should match my nail polish if I have a manicure that is OK for the next day). Then I choose my make-up… the only thing I pay attention to is that they should match in tone. I don’t like to be too matchy-matchy, abd whenever I opt for color eyeshadow (not a liquid eyeliner look), I wear color mostly on my eyes.

Donna Avatar

Usually I pick my outfit first and go from there with makeup. If I’ve just gotten some new makeup that I’m dying to try, then I find clothes to go with it. I’m usually a matcher in color or tone of makeup to something in my clothes, but that’s just me. I’m a firm believer in people wearing what they like, and I don’t think anyone will burn in hell for seven eternities if they wear a cool red with a warm red. Makeup is doing art on your face, so creativity is a good thing.

Angela Rosa Hurston Avatar

Lately I’ve been creating a palette based on the season. Spring/Summer I used a shimmering peachy gold on lids and as highlights on upper cheek bone. Used a peachy frost on apple of cheeks with complements my golden complexion. Use contour in eye creases, nose etc. for definition. Results a sun-kissed dewy look that looks good with any summer outfit. I haven’t perfected fall/winter. So far experimenting with a slightly smoky eye with violets or plums accents corners of eyes. Violet for bold mood, plum for cozy feel. Purples compliment my brown eyes. Heavy black eyeliner smudged into plums. Glossy violet or matte deep berry respectively for lips. I’m too gold for a really blue plum on my lips. IMO. My winter wardrobe consist of mostly denim and neutrals, browns, charcoal, black and variations of deep reds to purples.

Zoe Avatar

I used to match my makeup to my outfit, but it was getting to monochomatic, so now I go for contrast. Bold makeup with jeans or black, and more neutral looks for louder outfits.

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