How to Rock Pastel Makeup Without Looking Tacky

How to Rock Pastel Makeup Without Looking Tacky
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Photo: ImaxTree

Like frosted makeup, anything of the pastel variation must be applied with care. While we love our delicate pinks, greens, and purples, applying too much or too little of them could make you look ashy or clownish.

And now that spring has finally arrived and your appetite for brighter shades is probably growing, it’s time for a quick refresher on two different but equally stunning ways to rock pastel without looking too tacky.

MORE: 3 Easy Tips for Pretty Frosted Makeup That Doesn’t Look Dated

For the Bold

When you want to make a statement, concentrate on accentuating one area of the face, such as the eyes. According to Stoj, makeup artist for Streeters, the most impactful place to wear pastel colors is on your eyelids. “Start with a light coat of foundation on the eyelids to even out your skin tone,” she says. “Then apply your pastel color over your lids with a small dense brush. You can layer the color.”

When you want to give your eye more definition, Yuki Hayashi, another Streeters makeup artist, says to pair whatever color you’re wearing with a brown mascara. “Also, be sure not to apply the eyeshadow to too large of an area on your eyelid or close to your brow bone. Instead, apply a conservative amount to better define your eye shape,” she says.

MORE: Expert Tips for Revamping Your Routine This Spring

For the Subtle

If you’re not a fan of bright shadows or lips, STELLAR Cosmetics founder Monika Deol says using a slight pastel shade in complexion priming and finishing is one of her best-kept secrets for brightening your face.

“Our Brilliant Primer has a slight soft pink tint in it. Cosmic Face Powder in Haze has a slight lavender tint to it. The color doesn’t show when applied, but the effect does. It just adds a warmth and brightness to the skin,” she says. Holographic lip gloss with a pastel tone, such as the Starlust Holographic Lipgloss is also a subtle way to make your complexion pop without going overboard with color.

And if you’d rather play up your eyes in a small way, Hayashi says to apply pastel shadow or liner along the top or bottom lash line for a playful accent.

Now that you’ve got the pastel playbook, take your pick of some the best products ahead.

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STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam
Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam

Peaches and oranges are the most flattering pastel colors on brown skin, making this creamy blush a must-try.

$18 at Glossier

Photo: Glossier
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | NARS Danger Control Eyeshadow Palette
NARS Danger Control Eyeshadow Palette

This limited-edition kit contains six holographic and glitter shadows for creating captivating looks.

Available on Amazon

Photo: NARS
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in M-30
Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in M-30

The creamy glide of this transfer-proof liner ensures that you won't smudge from dusk to dawn.

$21 at Make Up For Ever

Photo: Make Up For Ever
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Soft Peach
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Soft Peach

Use this creamy formula to highlight, define, or add a smoky effect to your lids.

Available on Amazon

Photo: Bobbi Brown
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Purple Taffy
Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Purple Taffy

This pastel purple dries to a matte finish without flaking on your kissers.

$24 at Smashbox

Photo: Smashbox
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

All of the weightless shades in Rihanna’s lippie collection are complementary to all skin tones.

Available on Amazon

Photo: Fenty Beauty
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Ciate London Mermaid Glow
Ciate London Mermaid Glow

Swipe this rainbow highlighter across your cheekbones or brow bones for a more luminous glow.

Available on Amazon

Photo: Ciate London
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Milani Stellar Lights Highlighter Palette in Highlighter Beams
Milani Stellar Lights Highlighter Palette in Highlighter Beams

Wear just one of these shades or combine them all to give your makeup look a holographic edge.

$13 at Milani

Photo: Milani
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Milk Makeup Holographic Face Gloss
Milk Makeup Holographic Face Gloss

Why have dewy skin when you can have holographic dewy skin? Achieve just that and a pastel glow with this multiuse product.

Available on Amazon

Photo: Milk Makeup
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | STELLAR Cosmic Face Powder
STELLAR Cosmic Face Powder

Cop "Glow 1" or "Glow 2" for a pastel finish atop your makeup.

$30 at Sephora

Photo: STELLAR
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | STELLAR Brilliant Primer
STELLAR Brilliant Primer

If you don't want to go over the top with pastels, add just a hint of it under your makeup with this hydrating primer.

$35 at Sephora

Photo: STELLAR
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Make Up For Ever 12 Flash Color Case
Make Up For Ever 12 Flash Color Case

Stoj loves this kit because each color is a cream that you can mix with the white one to give it a pastel finish.

$99 at Make Up For Ever

Photo: Make Up For Ever
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | STELLAR Starlust Holographic Lipgloss
STELLAR Starlust Holographic Lipgloss

A lip gloss with a pastel finish is also a small and subtle way to try out the trend.

$22 at Sephora

Photo: STELLAR
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Kat Von D x Divine Eyeshadow Palette
Kat Von D x Divine Eyeshadow Palette

This limited-edition palette, made in honor of the legendary drag queen Divine, includes a few vibrant pastel shades to play with.

$38 at Kat Von D Beauty

Photo: Kat Von D
STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil

This eyeliner also doubles as an eyeshadow if you decide that you want to amp up your color choice.

$3.50–$4.50 at NYX

Photo: NYX

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  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | NARS Danger Control Eyeshadow Palette
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in M-30
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Soft Peach
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Purple Taffy
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Ciate London Mermaid Glow
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Milani Stellar Lights Highlighter Palette in Highlighter Beams
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Milk Makeup Holographic Face Gloss
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | STELLAR Cosmic Face Powder
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | STELLAR Brilliant Primer
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Make Up For Ever 12 Flash Color Case
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | STELLAR Starlust Holographic Lipgloss
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | Kat Von D x Divine Eyeshadow Palette
  • STYLECASTER | Pastel Makeup Products | NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil
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