How do you figure out what colors go together?

How do you figure out what colors go together? Share your process 🙂

A lot of is just practice, practice, practice! Warmer shades tend to go better with other warm shades (and same with cool and cool), but they can be mixed. I like to go with two warmer areas (say eyes and cheeks) and then a cooler lip – but it can just depend on how everything comes together. One way to test drive a combination without committing is by swatching the shades on your hand or arm.

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Sometimes, when I’m looking for a bit of inspiration, I look to my accessories, and pull colors out of those. I figure if the combination looks good there, then why not in my makeup? Also, try looking to nature for ideas. Pre-fabricated palettes are usually coordinated, so one can also find images of current collections, and pull shades from their own collections. Of course, there’s also looking to blogs o magazines!

I’m still learning and experimenting but to help me out I have a color wheel right next to my everyday makeup tray. As a general rule, I use warmer colors for makeup because I have a warm undertone. I can pull off cool colors on my eye as eyeliner but I have yet to find a cool color that looks good on my lips.

I’d say get yourself a good color wheel! Granted, I have a BFA and took classes in Color Theory, but a quick and fun way to pick colors would be to go to ColorSchemeDesigner dot com, it’s an interactive color wheel! You choose one color and then choose how many other colors you want to include, and it shows you the best colors to combo with! You can also never go wrong with complementary colors, which are the colors that are across from each other on the color wheel! (like blue/orange or green/red, and you don’t have to go bold with both! The opposite of purple is yellow, but yellow desaturated could be brownish, or you could go with gold! Purple/gold is great!)

I don’t wear very complicated looks, but if I’m questioning it I usually just hold up all the products next to each other and see if they look nice next to each other or not.

Usually shades in the same color family go well together, and like Christine said, if they’re the same tone. I don’t like wearing too much color on my face so I usually wear a warm lip color with a blush in more or less the same color (if I wear blush at all), and a neutral/warm, usually beige eyeshadow. Interestingly enough I favor silvery taupes rather than warm, golden browns because they stand out less on my skin and compete less with the rest of my makeup.

Though to be honest I don’t usually pair different colors together, I don’t really like how that looks, so I just either keep it in the same color family or wear colors with neutrals that go with everything.

I usually get inspired to do looks by different things. I’ll keep color wheel stuff in mind. I paint miniatures so I take a lot of inspiration from what I’ve learned about that.

When I’m bored, I have people give me random colours and try to figure out how to work them together in a look. It can be a pretty interesting exercise!

Practice and experimentation for sure, but…. occasionally I get stuck in a rut using the same 20 or 30 looks in rotation. When that happens, I find it inspirational to take a look at palettes. I usually go to colourlovers dot com/palettes for that purpose. Basically, it’s just a site where you can make your own palettes and view other people’s as well (and you can sort them by most loved, most viewed, etc, which I find time saving).

I’m using my color wheel as well, I just got 3 pairs of colored circle lenses and it’s really forcing me out of my ‘purples for green eyes’ comfort zone. Lots of fun!

Most of the time I try to make my eyeliner and my eyeshadow contrast by using either cool tones for one and warm tones for the other. As strange as the word “pop” is for describing the eyes, that’s definitely what happens. I have blue eyes and fair-medium skin, and I especially like using a soft gold/olive green combo of shades on my eye and then a smooth coppery or burgundy shade as a liner. I always still use plain black on my upper waterline.

Years ago, I took graphic design and art classes and discovered that color is my specialty. That being said, they have yet to manufacture all the favorite colors in my mind. I do love changes in fashion trends as each tends to bring back or introduce new color palettes (lately we’re on reruns but I’m sure new color combinations will emerge again). I adjust my neutrals to complement the color scheme and pop with one (maybe two) shades from what I’m wearing or what’s in fashion. That usually tends to match the shadows or liners in fashion. I try not to be too matchy, matchy but sometimes the look calls for total uniformity.

My lips don’t handle bright, light or dark lipsticks well, so I keep a handful of light translucent or transparent lipglosses nearby. They range from light ginger to mauve to light bronze and allow me to adjust any lipstick to suit my skin color.

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