How To Match Your Makeup And Nails To Your Clothes Without Looking Crazy

Not only do I color coordinate, sometimes I match the patterns in my clothes, too!

Would you guys judge me if I told you that I love--LOVE--matching my makeup and nails to my outfit? I feel like you would because after years of being bombarded by shouty magazines, I always have that question in the back of my head when getting dressed: "Is this a don't?"

So dumb, I know. I usually tell that voice to STFU and then wear my white jeans and socks with heels anyway, much to the chagrin of my boyfriend and the glee of the Glamour interns who were sent out with cameras to snap embarrassing photos of passersby. Go ahead and take my picture, intern; I'll pose.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that deliberately and prominently matching your makeup to your clothes is one of those things that a lot of people hate. I admit that it can look tacky and dated if done wrong; but if done right, it can help to make you look more pulled-together, or make an outfit more fun.

Here's three different ways to do it:


Lipstick is the easiest way to create a cohesive look. If I'm wearing a red dress, I'm wearing red lipstick.

In this case, it's Wet 'n' Wild Megalast Lip Color in Purty Persimmon, but I also successfully paired this same dress with Wet 'n' Wild Megalast Lip Color in Stoplight Red on my birthday.

The former is more of an orangey red, while the latter is a true, blue-based red, but both work well with the dress without clashing. You just have to try a few shades to see what works best--and remember to keep the lighting in mind since that will change how the lipstick looks. I shot the first picture inside, but the picture on my birthday was outside at dusk.

I also like using lipstick to draw out an accent color, such as the red in my scarf or the pink in my bathing suit.

Nude lips just don't work on me, and I'm not going to wear pink lips with a red dress. I don't know, guys, this is just my reasoning!

I also wear orangey lipstick with my one orange dress (I recommend Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous) and my favorite dark purple lipstick with all my burgundy clothes in the fall (it's the Wet 'n' Wild Megalast Lipstick in Cherry Bomb that's included in the product picture above--can you tell I love those?).


When matching my nails to my outfit, I'm much less matchy color-wise. If I'm wearing red, I can't stand to have my nails be red, too. Either they're two different reds and it bothers me, or if it's the same color it looks try-hard in a way that lipstick doesn't. Maybe because it takes me much longer to do my nails than to swipe some lipstick on. Again, this is all just my own personal preference.

Instead of copying the main color in my outfit, I'm more likely to paint my nails to reflect the small orange flowers in my dress or the turquoise accents in my scarf. It brings out those little details.

Alternatively, it can be a lot of fun to copy not the colors in your outfit but the patterns. I love stripes, and I'd wear them every day if I could. Once in college, I wore stripes every day for a week and didn't even notice until someone pointed it out.

Naturally, I need stripes on my nails too.

For this, I used Wet 'n' Wild French White Creme for the base coat (you'll need at least two coats). Once that was completely dry, I carefully used a Sharpie to draw the stripes on. I originally tried using black nail polish for the stripes, but the brush was way too messy for neat lines and ended up looking like this. Yikes.

You could also use a nail art pen; I keep meaning to buy one of those every time I see them in Target. They look like so much fun.

I have a soft spot in my heart for polka dots too, and I think polka dotted nails look adorable.

For these nails, I used Sally Hansen Onyx for the base coat (one to two coats is fine) and then very carefully used the Wet 'n' Wild White to place little dots. To keep it looking somewhat uniform, I tried to do about two to three similarly sized dots in a row, and three rows per nail.


This is an area that I have only just begun to explore, and I usually tread lightly. If I'm wearing a sexy black dress, it makes sense to do a smoky eye, right? I also have a gold sequin dress that always compels me to go a little overboard with my e.l.f. Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick in Little Miss Thing.

But what about going all out and wearing a bright eyeshadow color that matches your outfit? Is it a horrible idea? I dunno, I tried it, you tell me:

For this I used a light green and a dark green from the e.l.f. eyeshadow palette. (For reference in the product picture above, the dark green is on the bottom row of the palette, third from the right, and the light green is the one above that).

I blended the lighter green on my lids, up to my crease, and then blended the darker green in and slightly above my crease. It was kind of a dramatic effect; I don't think I'll ever get used to wearing vibrant eyeshadow.

I just really want to bring out the green in my eyes, so I like this for a nighttime look when I'm wearing green and want something extra to really make my eyes stand out. I was totally going to add green mascara, but then I realized that was one of the few colors I didn't buy when I went on my colored mascara spree. Bummer.

Which part of your beauty look do you coordinate with your outfit the most: your lips, nails, or eye makeup? Hopefully nobody does all three at once; I think that might be a bit much even for me. I also get weirdly angry if my pedicure matches my open-toe heels. Is that just me?