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We’ve finally gotten to the point at which we totally ignore lame fashion rules (no white after Labor Day! Match your bag to your shoes! Don’t mix patterns!) but for some reason, the same bravado doesn’t always apply to makeup choices. We all have fears about wearing something that isn’t considered “right,” but really, that’s a sad reason to stay in a cosmetics rut. Some of our favorite makeup artists share how they make anything work on anyone.
MYTH: Redheads Shouldn’t Wear Red Lipstick
Get over your fears and hang-ups, because the red lips club is open to everyone. According to our resident makeup pro Emily Kate Warren, the seemingly impossible feat of finding the perfect crimson for gingers is actually quite simple. “Redheads can look amazing with red lips, especially orangey-toned, tomato shades,” she says. Fiona Stiles, mark. celebrity makeup artist, adds that avoiding anything with blue undertones is a good basic rule, and to go slow until you get used to the idea. “If it still makes you nervous, start with a sheer stain or gloss instead of jumping right into an opaque, matte finish,” she says.
MYTH: Sparkly Eye Shadow Is Only for Teenagers
On the contrary, flat matte shadows can actually accentuate the eyelid crepey effect that sometimes plagues more mature women. Urban Decay founder and creative director Wende Zomnir says that because shimmer shadows attract and reflect light, they can actually make your eye area look more awake (plus, the reflective properties help draw focus away from fine lines). She suggests sticking to neutral-based tones with a shimmery—not glittery—finish.
MYTH: Bright Colors Don’t Work on Thin Lips
The deal here is to recognize the difference between bright (good) and dark (bad), says Stiles. Deep tones like burgundy and blackberry will serve as a way to announce, “Look at my thin lips!” because the dark color recedes and makes lips look even smaller. But vibrant shades, especially ones made with shine and a slight shimmer, will also add to the optical illusion of plumper lips. Warren suggests using a chubby lip pencil to apply color; she likes to rub the pencil on its side along the lips, which she says will hug the outline and create a fuller effect.
MYTH: Pale Skin Doesn’t Look Good With Smoky Eyes
You don’t have to be a Kardashian to rock a smoked-out eye, but you do need to adjust your perception of what you’ll need to create the result you want. The truth is that black and gray don’t have the monopoly here; shades like bronze, taupe and rose gold are the perfect way to accomplish this look on lighter skin. Stiles says that these hues create as much of a contrast between the skin and makeup tones as dark colors do on deeper skintones, which is the driving force behind the definitive smoky eye. Stiles likes to to line the inner lids, then “build and blend for a wash of borderless color.”
MYTH: Deep Skintones Look Bad in Pastels
Sometimes a girl just wants to ignore the world of so-called grownup makeup and indulge her inner 5-year-old with candy colors. Nothing wrong with that, but doing so on darker skintones can be tricky. According to Stiles, the key to a perfect pastel finish is all about maintaining a color contrast. Let’s say you’re dying to try a splash of pink, lavender, baby blue or mint green on your eyes; Stiles recommends prepping the lids first with foundation or primer, which will give the shadow something to stick to and will prevent it from looking muddy and washed out.
MYTH: You Can't Pair Smoky Eyes With a Bold Lip
You can teeter close to drag queen territory here if you’re not careful—unless that’s your thing, in which case, let RuPaul be your spirit guide! Zomnir says the key to pulling off a face full of makeup is contrasting the finishes (think shimmer on eyes with satin or matte on lips), while keeping the rest of your face minimally defined, with groomed brows and softly contoured cheeks. Sticking to the same color family, but with varying textures, makes the look interesting while maintaining a sense of cohesion. “If you use a cool undertone on your eye, make sure your lips have a cool undertone as well,” she says. “Look for colors that will complement and balance each other.”
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