Breaking The Rules: 3 Color Combinations That SHOULDN’T Work

It’s time to get weird, man.

Recently I found myself wearing the same look every day: flushed cheeks, neutral smoky eye, and rosy lip balm. It was pretty, but I felt like I was in a rut.

Then, a few weeks ago, I had a lightbulb moment at MAC's fall product presentation. I saw a really fantastic video of all the most unique beauty trends from the fall/winter 2014 runways; it was a moment of total rediscovery, like being a tween again and falling in love with cosmetics for the first time.

Between the MAC presentation and the gorgeous beauty inspiration images that my friend Arabelle posts on her Pinterest, I felt a new need to play around. I wanted to get weird, man.

I created three different looks with color combinations that were more artful than pretty. Because pretty is great, but sometimes strange is a thousand times more stunning.

1. Steel Grey & Tangerine

Usually if you want to play it cool but still infuse some color into your look, your best option is to go with a neutral to offset whatever bright and bold shade you’re using. That's why I chose to pair shimmery grey eye makeup with a glossy orange lip. The end result was textured, slick, and sparkly. It felt super ’70s, like something you might see on a jump-roping babe at Studio 54.

I started by priming my eyelids with SENNA’S Totally Transforming Eye Shadow Primer. Then I covered my eyelid with a base of matte charcoal grey cream shadow (NARS Eye Paint in Transvaal). I made sure the lid was fully saturated with the shadow and then faded it out into the crease by tapping it in with my fingertips. This alone was pretty--like a softer take on a sooty, smoky eye.

Next I added NARS Eye Paint in Interstellar, the most shimmering silver I've ever encountered, for dimension. I tapped it on the center of my lid to really brighten and open up my eyes. On my lips I used Armour Beauty Lip Gloss in Lucy, a bright orange inspired by Lucille Ball. The pigment is beautiful and the formula uses avocado and grape seed oil. It smells like a creamsicle!

To finish, I applied coral blush from Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette in Streak, as well as some mascara on my upper and lower lashes.

2. Powder Blue & Primary Yellow

This color combination was inspired by the makeup look at Meadham Kirchhoff's F/W 2014 show. It reminds me of a sunny morning, all bright and dreamy and ethereal.

I started by mixing OCC Creme Colour Concentrate in Melody (primary blue) and Vice (pure white) to create a custom shade of baby blue on the back of my hand. I then applied it with my fingers to the outer edges of my upper lid and up into my crease.

I used light strokes of MAC's Chromographic Pencil in Primary Yellow to get into the inner corner of my upper lid and create a shock of color that still had soft edges that faded out toward the blue. Mascara applied generously to the upper and lower lashes (Benefit's They're Real) gave a doll-like effect to the whole look.

3. Emerald Green & Hot Pink

I can never really get off of the Guy Bourdin inspiration tip, as is evident in this look. Jewel-tone eyes and shocking pink blush that reaches for your temples? It’s hot, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

I started by using a big fluffy brush to apply hot pink blush (with a heavy hand) on the tops of my cheekbones and up to my temples.

Then I primed my eyelids with the SENNA primer and used a long-bristled blending eye shadow brush to apply Fringe, a deep teal from Urban Decay's Electric Pressed Pigment Palette, into the outer corner and outer crease of my eyelid. I used the same brush to apply Freak, a pearly, grassy green from the same palette, onto the center of my lid. I swirled the brush in a circular motion to make sure the two shadows blended into each another seamlessly.

So, what do you think? Which one of these looks would you try, and where would you wear it? What other arty color combinations should I test out?