10 Rules of Mixing And Matching Makeup

Aly Walansky
Model with bold makeup


When it comes to mixing and matching makeup, it’s all about balancing your features as well as the colors you choose to enhance those features. We love making one feature pop and simplifying the rest of our look; a bold eye with a soft pink lip. We asked the experts about some other rules you should be following when mixing and matching. Take this into consideration the next time you are creating your new look!

Pick a feature
There is a “no competition” clause for your face when it comes to makeup. Your makeup shouldn’t be too distracting on your face. A smokey or vibrant eyeshadow paired with a subtle lip or a bright intense lip color matched with a more neutral eye looks best, says Karol Young Moses of I.C. Artistry by Karol Young Moses.

Use bronze with blush, not as blush
Place your bronzer in the hollows of the cheeks, on your jaw line and hair line, and then add a “pop” of blush color to the apples of your cheeks. Remember, no one blushes bronze, says Moses.

MORE: Eye Makeup Tricks to Balance a Bold Lip

Shadows should have agreeing undertones
When you’re combining colors make sure to use either all warm or all cool shades together. They’ll blend well and not fight with each other, says Moses. Finish with eyeliner.

Don’t powder over contours and highlights
Apply your complexion color and/or powder first then highlight and contour. Match your foundation and powder to your actual skin tone not the color you would like to be. And always start with a clean, fresh face, says Moses.

Lips and cheeks should be in complementary color families
Pink, plum, brown, red or coral lips should have the same kind of color on the cheeks.

Only use glitter as an accent
A glitter eye shadow, eye liner or shimmery face powder is a nice touch, but not all at the same time or everywhere on the face. “You don’t want to be mistaken for a disco ball!” says Moses.

MORE: Makeup Tips For Redheads

Your brows should be natural, not theatrical
Your eyebrows should never resemble a Nike swoosh. Make them fuller using a pencil, powder, or gel but stay away from black as it can look too severe. Opt for dark brown instead. Don’t over-tweeze or draw your arch too high or you’ll have a surprised look all day, Moses says.

Don’t forget your lashes
Add a few coats of lash primer and mascara. Start at the root of the lashes and coat all the way to the ends to prevent clumping. Everyone should use mascara in black unless your lashes are completely blonde, then use brown, Moses suggests.

Choose one feature and make that your accent

With the holidays around the corner, red lips are always a staple, says Los Angeles makeup artist, Annie Tevelin of SkinOwl. Pair the bright hue with a shimmery ivory eyeshadow and three coats of mascara. Your lips will look chic and your pout will be pronounced in all the right ways. Find shades that compliment your eye color and skin tone and build your wow-factor from there.