When we think of fashion, the premier images that present themselves in our minds typically involve runways and haute couture. Although those two heavy hitters set the precedent for what eventually makes its way into our closets, let’s wade out into uncharted territory and tackle a lesser dwelled-upon piece of the fashion pie — makeup. If the fabrics that adorn our bodies can make a statement, why are the colors and creams that splash across our faces so often overlooked?
I challenge you to start viewing your makeup as what it really is — yet another arrow in the quiver of your personal sense of style.
Consider the tone
Most women understand the basics of the art of makeup, which usually go something like this: Wear fake lashes and heavier colors when you’re going out at night, use more conservative palettes during the day, and, when in doubt, remember that less is more. You’ve surely heard some version of this, right? Well, I wouldn’t say I disagree with these frequently touted rules of thumb, but I adamantly do not subscribe to them as the final say in all situations.
As I often believe with all facets of fashion, unpredictability and uniqueness can be your most valuable weapons — even when it comes to makeup. Choose the tone you want to set based on your outfit and your mood, and then have at it accomplishing that tone!
Set up the tone
Here are a few specific ways your makeup can dictate the overall feel of your clothing ensemble (although this is just a sampling of possibilities):
If Charlize Theron had gone with the standard makeup rules, she would have played up her face with more rich colors to contrast against the already-pale hues of her dress. But Theron did something unexpected — and it paid off. The barely-there, flesh-toned makeup palette on her face gives her a serene and ethereal look. This subdued combination was even more eye-catching than bolder colors would have been.
If you want to capture this peaceful aura, avoid bronzer or blush and choose nude-colored eye shadow and lip tints. Be prepared to be captivating.
Miss USA 2011, Alyssa Campanella, was wearing a black dress to an event and chose to buck the trend of going smoky with her face palette. Instead of going with that common choice, she transformed a typically somber outfit into a playful little number by changing one thing — her makeup.
If you want to try this look, trade in dark eye shadows for a light dusting of peach, and exchange a dull lipstick for an eye-popping tangerine and accompanying gloss. Time to play!
Zoe Saldana is usually very understated with her makeup choices, but when she wore a print dress to an event, she made the smart decision to pump up the sultry flair of her outfit. She pulled her hair back to accentuate her smoldering gold, brown and black-dusted eyes, and this simple switch made her entire look appear mysterious and striking.
To try this, be sure you only choose one area to inject with drama, or else you can end up looking overdone. Enhance the eyes or give your lips some bold-colored love, but don’t do both. Go for colors that are theatrical and rich, and you’ll be drama incarnate in no time.
The key with makeup is to not overdo it, but not be afraid of a little experimentation either. It’s not permanent, after all! Eye shadows in all colors of the rainbow can make for a more mesmerizing focal point than even the best statement necklace, and luscious lips or radiant skin can give your fashion choices just the right amount of pizzazz they need. Doll yourself up with class and care, and you’ll be set to proudly display your beautiful face as an extension of your self-expression. Have fun, makeup-ettes!