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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.

— Christine
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I’ve definitely learned that all things need to be applied and used in practice, not just swatched, because a swatch only tells part of the story. Sometimes the swatch is better, sometimes the swatch is so-so, but the product is infinitely better worn as intended. Having said that, I would say that half-way through wearing a product, I have a good idea where it’s going to land. If something is really bad, I don’t usually go back, but if it was so-so or maybe was paired with the wrong products, bases, etc. or my skin wasn’t in the right shape, then I will try it again.

— Christine