How to Match Your Makeup to Your Clothing

On the designer and couture runways, makeup plays just as an important role in presenting new fashions as the clothes and accessories themselves. Designers take great care to style their makeup in such a way that it creates an overall look and really sells the garment. Simple, natural dewy makeup is more subtle and really makes the outfit take center stage, while dramatic makeup with a lot of colors often matches the clothing and aims to create a character out of the model rather than a base for the clothes to hang on.

Matching makeup to your outfit can translate into the real world as well. Some women can get a little carried away with finding the exact right shade of blue eye shadow to match their favorite blue mini dress, and the look can be a little too matched and cheesy. Knowing how to get your makeup matching clothing without looking too over the top or one color is important, and here are a few steps to keep in mind.

1. Pick a focal point on the face. If your favorite facial feature is your eyes, now is the time to really highlight them and make them the focus when matching makeup to your outfit. If you are wearing a trendier “rocker” outfit, with red jeans and a black T-shirt and leather jacket, for example, your look is begging for a dramatic and edgy smoky eye. Do a bit of research on fashion trends that inspire your outfit, such as what traditional punks were wearing, and take cues from their makeup. Use black and gray eye shadows for a smoky effect, and remember to keep your lips a nude or subtle rosy shade so as not to paint your face too heavily.

2. Make one color in the outfit pop. If you’re wearing a floral dress, for example, pick out one of the flower’s colors that you want to focus on in your face. Consider a matte pink lipstick or bright red lip gloss, for example, to bring out the pinks or reds in your dress. Matching clothing to the makeup in this way will subtly pull your whole look together, especially when you choose a pair of shoes that matches your lipstick. Keep the makeup on the rest of your face light and fresh with perhaps just a sweep of mascara on the eyes and a little bit of blush on the cheeks.

3. Take advantage of makeup’s texture. If your outfit has a lot of metallic accents, such as a shiny gold clutch, sparkly silver jewelry or a sequined black blazer, allow your makeup to follow the same patterns in texture and shine. Use metallic, sparkly eye shadows rather than flat matte colors. Use glossy lip stains and plenty of dewy highlight on the cheeks. If your outfit is more simple, such as a ’60s-inspired swing dress, look for matte nude lipsticks and bold liquid eyeliners to complement the look.

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