I often get asked "Colleen, am I supposed to match my makeup to my outfit?" or "does my lipstick need to match my top?" etc. etc. etc.
Well buckle up, cowgirls! I'm about to take you on a rare journey into the complicated web that is my brain and how I "style" my face to compliment what I'm wearing. If you thought you didn't need to think about the neck up, well boy howdy do I have news for you! Your face can sometimes be your BEST accessory, after all, it's usually the first thing people notice...even if you do have on this season's hottest sundress! Have you ever heard the phrase "she was not wearing that dress, that dress was wearing HER!" Well, there's usually a couple things going on here: the obvious would be lack of confidence, but the not so obvious is lack of vibe or cohesiveness. Take a look at any of the above outfits (which I'm pretty damn proud to tell you I selected each piece at $50 or less...yep...you're welcome!) and imagine it with a bare or "makeup-less" face. It's what differentiates someone from looking totally pedestrian in a killer dress to looking like they stepped out of this month's Marie Claire.
When I'm shopping for an outfit or dress for a special occasion, I typically start with the clothes. On rare occasion will I decide in my head "I want to wear a deep oxblood lipstick and I'll go from there" (not that that hasn't happened...because it has). But 9 times out of 10 I find the perfect outfit and let that steer me in the direction I want to go. The cool thing about fashion and makeup is that for the most part, it's wearable art, which in my mind means it's all subjective, baby! You might get a totally different vibe when you look at #7 above than I did and that's groovy, too! What I hope by telling you what I chose is that you can see how the wheels start spinning in my noggin and maybe inspire you to get a little more creative when you're out shopping for your next date/dinner/event/party/family-get-together. Don't be afraid to get a little bit funky with your bad self!
1 | When I look at this peachy little number, I imagine a girl with killer cheekbones, a sun-kissed tan, and juicy lips. The first thing I would think about would be finding the perfect bronzer that I could really sculpt my face with. I think a fun youthful mouth would be perfect here but I wouldn't want it to compete with the color of the dress so I chose YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy in "Dewy Papaya" because it offers a pop of color but it's not opaque like lipstick. It's kind of like lipgloss in a stick form. More sophisticated than gloss and the tube is practically a work of art! Great way to experiment with punchy colors without having to commit to the lipstick form.
2 | This dress screams 60s to me! I picture Brigitte Bardot with teased, tousled sex-hair, LASHES galore and a matte nude lip. It's what would take this seemingly simple white sheath dress and take it up a notch to seem like it was styled to perfection. Everything chosen for a reason.
3 | I had two immediate reactions to this dress. The first was a preppy, all-American vibe, and the second was a clean, polished, structural feel. I felt like I could do more with the latter so here's what I chose. I first envisioned a strong lip, but I wanted something more unexpected than red. Nothing is yummier to me than deep navy and bold pink. No gloss, no shimmer, just hot pink. A lip crayon is perfect here because you can line your lips and be super precise (which is so important when working with bright or bold shades) but then you can use the same product to fill in your kisser. No hauling around 14 different products (which would be ideal here because I also envision a very sleek clutch to go with). I would also focus on my brows (as if I ever wouldn't) but here I love the thought of a thick, defined brow paired with the bold lip. Clean skin with a satin finish and a simple eye. Chic chic chic!
4 | This hotsy totsy little striped number is so fun and artistic! Again I thought of kind of a 60s vibe but this time more of an Edie Sedgwick feel! I'd paint on a cantaloupe colored opaque lip, a thick line of black eyeliner, and of course lashes up the wazoo. I might even toy with the idea of dotting on a faux mole just to be sassy! Hair would be teased at the crown then sleek bangs and sides tucked behind both ears.
5 | I absolutely adore the idea of tossing in a bit of edge to a seemingly sweet and girly dress. It would be so easy to make this dress some boring frock you'd see on a sorority girl but given a little more thought, it can easily be taken up a few notches. I think people so easily jump to a red lip when trying to liven up an outfit, but we so often forget about deep plums, burgundies, and brick reds (all of which would work with this dress). The last time I wore this shade of yellowish lime, I wore the prettiest grape juice colored lipstick and it just.....worked. I would keep my lids neutral but still sexy, almost dewy and I'd draw a super thin line of navy or black liquid eyeliner on my top lid.
6 | Okay so technically I cheated with this outfit...sue me. This is a skirt and a dress (not a top) but I loved the look of the denim with tiny anchors with the floral skirt. Mommy likes to mix her prints and you should, too! Again, the expected thing here would be to go totally feminine, soft colors, blah blah blah but I thought "how fun would it be to give this a 90s grunge-esque face?!" FUN! A matte, muted brick lipstick with a totally matte, pressed-powder complexion! Oh I just love it! I'd style my hair kind of messy with one side tucked behind my ear and I might even include a teeny tiny almost undetectable braid on the tucked side for something different.
7 | This print is so pretty and instantly makes me think of Summer. I just imagine the girl who is wearing it to look like she's glowing and lit from the inside. Like a fairy nymph on her way to a raging garden party (is that an oxy moron? Just go with it). This is where a gorgeous luminizer would be key. I'd contour ever-so-slightly, then I'd dust luminizer on my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, above my cupid's bow and under my brows. Lipgloss is so "duh" for this look so I'd use one of the new-to-the-scene lip tint oils. They're exactly what they sound like. It's a lip tint that feels like the most luxurious but not greasy, high quality oil on your lips. I'd apply a champagne or rose-gold colored shadow to my lids and a hefty dose of black mascara and I'd either skip liner all together, or I'd apply a moss green pencil liner and smudge the ever living hell out of it with my finger.
Now if this doesn't inspire you to go shopping for Spring clothes, I don't know what will! Go have fun and think outside the box!