How to Wear Bold Lips and Dramatic Eyes Together

Rachel Krause

We’ve always been told to keep our eye makeup simple when we’re wearing a bold lip and vice versa, but rules are made to be broken, and there’s something brave and dramatic about pulling off a bright lip and a dramatic eye together. The good news is that it’s doable, with a catch thrown in here and there. Feeling courageous? Go ahead and give it a try, but be sure not to forget these guidelines.

Know your colors.
No matter how you wear it, orange eyeshadow is never going to work with red lipstick. A dramatic grey smoky eye, on the other hand, can pair perfectly well with any type of lip. Think of it this way: If you wouldn’t incorporate the two colors into one outfit, they probably shouldn’t be worn together on your face.

Kristen Stewart

Photo: Getty Images

Don’t go overboard.
Whether it’s black or on the rainbow spectrum, statement eye makeup is best kept close to the lash line when worn with an equally bold lip color. A black cat eye looks great with any lip look because it’s simple, but a purple-toned smoky eye? Not so much. When incorporating color, you’re better off keeping shapes simple—a thin flick of colorful liner rather than an elaborate blended shadow look.

Jennifer Lawrence

Photo: Getty Images

Precision is key.
Sometimes you can get away with applying lipstick straight out of the tube, but when you’re wearing an all-over dramatic look, a lip brush is key. Use a tiny brush to blend concealer around the lip line so the line is clean and sharp and to reduce smudging. Same goes for cleaning up around the eye—a stray glitter particle or tiny smudge could take the look from “done” to sloppy looking.

Lupita Nyong'o

Photo: Getty Images

Keep the rest simple.
Blush, bronzer, highlighter, and in some cases, even lashes should be kept minimal. A light-coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer and concealer where necessary is all you need to carry the look—with a strong eye and lip, the rest of the face should look fresh and “natural.”

Read more: Find the Best Bold Color for Your Lips