Since I'm a visual person I hardly ever remember the album title but I just remember what the album art looks like.
One of the best things in makeup (and life, I guess, although what do I really know about life?) is contrast. I don’t really like matching — I think everything looks better when placed next to a natural opposite. Maybe that’s why my hair always looks so heinous, in deliberate contrast to my flawless (HAH) makeup.
Anyway, a top way of doing makeup contrasts is by contrasting your eyes and your lips. Seminal, right? Because I tend to like subverting prettiness and turning it a bit skewed and weird, conventionally pretty lip colors require a bit of juxtaposition to me. Enter: weird, non-conventionally-pretty eyeshadow colors. When combined with a cute girly lip, I think the effect is so unusual and cool. It makes the seemingly non-pretty eyeshadow colors easily more wearable, but adds substance and strangeness to the potential boringness of the pretty lipstick. A match made in heaven or at least in my brain, which is basically the same thing.
My unconventionally attractive eyeshadows in question are from Make Up For Ever. These eyeshadows are seriously fantastic — I tentatively say my favorite single shadows around. Super pigmented, smooth without being dusty, easy to blend, massive pans and they come in every color and finish you could desire. For contrasting a girly, pretty lip, though, you have to go matte, which is the duller, more subdued finish of choice.
The colors I chose were those not exactly eye catching or excitement-inducing – Mustard, Apricot and Khaki, to be exact. A warm yellow, a pale, earthy orange, and a murky, swampy green brown. Hardly the first ones you’d pick out at the extensive and beautiful stand. But they’re so good, trust.
To contrast with the Mustard shade, I chose a bright purple lipstick, in the form of theMaybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lip Color in Brazen Berry. I thought the cool tone would look especially vibrant when contrasted with a warm, yellow eye.
I did a slightly graphic eyeshadow placement, to play along with the primary-ness of the color. I think the end result was a super cute, child’s art project style juxtaposition.
Opposite my Apricot eyeshadow, I paired the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Olé Flamingo, a warm, bright pink. These colors didn’t clash as vividly as my other pairings, but the effect is still a bit jarring.
I focused the Apricot shade in my crease and blended it down to get more of a contoured eye look (a peach worn just at the lash line could look a touch infected). The pairing with the coral based lip seemed super tropical and vibrant.
Lastly, my favorite pairing of all was the Khaki shadow with a bubblegum pink lip. Khaki is so utilitarian and sort of … conventionally masculine — reminiscent of swamps and tanks. When put next to the most cartoonishly feminine color, the contrast is gorgeous. I used UK brand, Collection’s Lasting Colour Lipstick surprisingly with the shade name Bubblegum.
To make my eyes particularly grungy, and downplay the Barbie aspect of the lipstick, I applied haphazardly, and blended down into a haze under my lower lashes. The Khaki shade is so wonderful — it almost looks like a neutral, but its green tone is subtly apparent.
- Which “contrast” look is your favorite?
- Do you ever combine opposites to make things more wearable?
- What are your fave unlikely pairings – in makeup or in life?