Choosing color

Finally, we come to the most difficult subject of all to discuss, at least on paper. I would love to have the time to sit down and create a makeup look that works for everyone. That isn’t humanly possible, but I do have some rules that can help you create the makeup look you want.

• Foundation must match the skin exactly so there are no lines of demarcation. (I know this is getting repetitive, but I can’t emphasize this point enough.)

• Concealer is only a shade or two lighter than the foundation.

• Powder should match the foundation exactly or go on transparent so it does not affect the color of foundation in the least.

• Eyeshadow colors should be neutral shades ranging from pale beige to tan, brown, dark brown, and black (and the thousands of shades in between).

• Eyebrow color should match the exact shade of the existing brow hair, unless your brows are naturally blonde, in which case the brow color should be slightly darker.

• Eyeliner on the upper lid should be a darker color (all the way to black, depending on the look you want) than the line along the lower lashes, which should be a softer shade of brown or gray.

• Blush can be almost any color as long as it coordinates in some logical fashion with the lipstick color, but it must be blended on softly, without any noticeable edges whatsoever.

• Lipstick can be bold to neutral—there is a fantastic range of great colors. When you’re choosing, remember that smaller lips should wear brighter shades than larger lips.

• To create a tanned appearance, use golden brown and chestnut shades for your blush, eyeshadows, contour, and lipstick. Never apply a foundation or bronzer all over the face if that means you’ll end up with a line of demarcation at the jaw or hairline.

Color mistakes to avoid

• Don’t wear white or very pale lipstick with a white cast to it. This can look ghostly and ghastly.

• Don’t wear blue, green, or overly pastel anything, including eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara.

• Avoid navy blue eyeshadow. (Stick with black—it looks smoky, while navy just tends to look sooty.)

• Don’t wear overly shiny eyeshadows (they exaggerate any wrinkles around the eye); they may be fun occasionally, but only if you have smooth, unlined eyelids.

• Don’t wear rainbow-style eyeshadow designs (think Cyndi Lauper in the mid 1980s).

• Don’t wear blush and lipstick colors that clash; they should be in the same color family, not glaring opposites.

• Use shine sparingly rather than making every part of your makeup routine include it.

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 8:18 am