How to : Coordinating Makeup Colors with Shadow, Blush, Lipstick !

by mehak on November 29, 2013

in Makeup Tutorials


So you are sitting at a wedding and your friend whispers to you pointing at someone .OMG thats SOOO much makeup its making her look like a clown. (Oh Come on..admit pass comments at weddings ok) But have you ever wondered what it is that makes someone look overly done vs make someone look ethereal and stunning? They are probably wearing the same foundation- shadow-blush-lipstick routine that you are wearing and if you look at each element individually, neither of them would be too much.  So why do some women look messy, while some look polished? Essentially, its makeup coordination that can totally throw off a look vs make you look completely put together.


See any celebrity photo and most often, Rule 1 of makeup coordination is always followed !

Cardinal Rule #1 : Always match your lipstick to your blush!

Something i learnt from Lisa Elridge and you would think this is a no brainer but think about it. Usually, when i would want to wear red lipstick i would say ok, let me tone down the blush and wear some neutral beige blush because my lips are bright . But the end result is usually your face looking too ‘warm’ and with too many colors. I never figured out what was happening till Lisa Eldridge explained in her video of how you must choose a blush in the same color family of your lipstick. This means- Red lipstick with a pinky-red blush or pink red  tint put softly. Nude lipstick with an earthy blush and peach lipstick with a peach blush. Its a rule i swear by!

Leah Michele toned down the pink in her makeup when she wore a hot pink dress.

Image source:

Cardinal Rule #2 : Do not Over Co-ordinate Colors to your outfit

Hot pink dress, does not equal hot pink makeup. It turns you into one big, hot pink cake looking item and thats the last thing you want. So if you are wearing a really really bright color on your dress, tone down the pink in your makeup and wear a softer one. Or better, if your dress has a tiny element of cream or peach in it- use that to base your makeup on. So match makeup to the color which is least highlighted in the dress, or wear makeup thats a complete contrast. Example: White bodycon dress or white lace sari- go with hot pink lips ! Moreover, more important than color co-ordinating with your outfit is theme co-ordinating. So if you are wearing something very edgy, and high fashion- think of makeup on those lines (Clean, defined , minimal) vs if you are wearing a floaty gown or lacey sari think of makeup that is soft, feminine no matter the color

Cardinal Rule #3 : Know your color wheel

The color wheel  is what art students are taught in their very first year (i was one in class 11! ) . Colors that are opposite to each other in the color wheel are complementing colors. You are probably wondering, how the hell can green and purple complement each other and how do i include that into 1 cohesive look? Well, its a known fact that purple eyeshadows look absolutely stunning on green eyes, and coppery  eyeshadow look fantastic on blue eyes (blue and orange are complements and copper is in the orange family.). Since brown is not on the color wheel- shadows like purples, greens and gold are best on brown eyes. Its a good tool to use when confused even in outfits ! I also did this post long back about the best eyeshadow colors for brown eyes and skin

Cardinal Rule #4: Start with your lips and cheeks. Do eyes last.

Remember that while you can experiment with a ton of colors on your eyes , there are limited options for your lips (You can put green on your eye and not on your lips !). So make sure you do your eyes last and this is something i learnt from Bobbi Brown . This is because:

  •  After your blush and lipstick, your face will already look more radiant and alive and you willhave a better guess of how much shadow or liner you need
  • Co-ordinating your eyes to your lips is much easier than vice versa. Example: Whether you put coral, pink, nude, or brown on your lips you know you can trust that a gold would work or you could experiment with lilacs and greens .. But if you go ahead and put a vibrant purple on your eye to start with , it severely limits what else you can do with your face


Spot the number of mistake in Leighton Meesters makeup. Breaking Rule 3- Red is not a complementing color with purple (not on the opposite sides of the color wheel).  Breaking Rule r 5- More than 2 colors on her face at one time

Cardinal Rule #5: No more than 2 colors on your face at any time. Have some pre-set color combinations that you know work for you

These are mine , just incase they are helpful

  • Purple Eyeshadow, Peachy Blush, Peachy nude lips or with a soft pink blush/lipstick combination
  • Dark green eyeshadow, Earthy Blush, Earthy nude lips
  • Black liner, Red lips, Pinkish red blush
  • Gold eyeshadow and pretty much anything
  • Vibrant Blue eyeshadow and nude lips or soft peach lips (something in the orange color family)
  • Black eyeshadow and peach/ nude lips
  • No eyeshadow, hot pink lips.

Whenever im getting ready i know i have to scroll down this list and figure out what it is i want to wear today!


Thats my go-to look that works with everything!

Cardinal Rule #6: Have a go-to look that works with everything

For me, my go-to look is thick, black liner on the top lid. An earthy, peachy blush like Lakme Earth Rose Trio and lips to match. FInd yours and makeup wearing is a no-brainer !

Jennifer Lopez is working that cool toned  purpley-silver eyeshadow with her warm lips and cheeks beautifully!

Cardinal Rule #7: Cool and Warm tones used together can work beautifully

Apart from just the color of the makeup , it also matters whether the tone of the color is warm (think oranges, reds, yellows, browns) or cool (think purples, greens, blues, pale pinks). I know a lot of people say – warm toned girls should wear warm colors etc etc, but i honestly think a mix and match of both tones work beautifully for Indian skin. So if you are wearing a purple eyeshadow on your eye (cool tone), pairing it with a warm orange toned peach lipstick or blush totally works !!! One think i have found- warmer toned girls like in india can definitely carry off cool eyeshadows and look great with them, but not so much cooler lipsticks. So go cool with the shadows and stay warm with the rest of your face

Cardinal Rule #8: There are no rules.

Yes. I just scrapped my entire article didnt I. Sure, these are rules i like to follow but try and experiment and you can be blown away by the results. Dont confine yourself thinking this is what you can and cannot do, take these as guidelines and most importantly have fun!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Anams November 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Liked the post Mehak, specially the last bit “There are no rules”.


Xuvious November 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Awesome post! ^_^
Love Lisa Eldridge as well, her videos on foundation, concealing and skincare helped me a lot. :)
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sahana November 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm

wow, I never think about matching makeup to my clothes consciously. Its more of a subconscious intuition. Its like I know when a bright lipstick will look tacky and when it will look elegant. More like, knowing you face for so long that you know what works.

My best makeup trick: dark black eyeliner with red-lips and skipping the blush completely always works.

But these are great rules to keep in mind when in confusion.
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Marathi Weddings November 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Mehak, you are the best!!
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Lisha November 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Such a great informative post!Im looking forward to more such beauty masterclasses :)
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Swati November 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Great!! I so needed this. Sometimes I am at a loss when it comes to co-ordinating certain shades (and this mostly happens when I don’t have much time :P) This post helped a lot :) Thanks :)
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Neha November 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Hi Mehak…
Wat lipstick r u wearing in dis pic


Mayuri November 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm
supria November 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Mehak, love your lip colour. What is it?


Clothes and Creativity November 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Quite a useful post, Mehak!
I love wearing make-up and my go to look is bright lips, kajal and a hint of blush. BTW, which eyeliner do you use? I’m using the maybelline gel one and although I like the cinsistency, the brush gets kind of stiff after every use (despite the fact that I wash it with water).
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Clothes and Creativity November 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Quite a useful post, Mehak!
I love wearing make-up and my go to look is bright lips, kajal and a hint of blush. BTW, which eyeliner do you use? I’m using the maybelline gel one and although I like the consistency, the brush gets kind of stiff after every use (despite the fact that I wash it with water).
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fiona furtado November 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm

wow! what a lovely and informative post! no wonder why your blog is hatke and nice!


Tina November 29, 2013 at 7:55 pm


A great, great post! I am so going to print this and pin it to my dresser! Thank you very much! :)


Shikha November 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Very helpful post. I never thought of trying green eyeshadow on brown eyes, nice tip. Also I like idea of using color chart to decide shades. Many times I get confused which lipshade will look good with few colors. Like mint/pastel green or wine color dress- I dont like wine shade on lips so I play safe and go for light pink glossy shade :(
Also I have noticed that makeup artist in Delhi (4-5) that I have tried they all do eyes first and lips at the last and I do same. Next time I will do reverse and see how well this work.
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jyoti November 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm

omg ! this is awesome..! the fact tht u share SO MUCH….is respectable :)


Embellished November 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Great post. Loved the last bit :)
Also, rule four was great. Never thought of that.


Appu November 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

definitely a very informative post and your go to look is nice :)
easy to carry out.
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Gowthami November 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Simply great! I love the color wheel tip a lot… Love the post ^_^
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beautifulandconfidentyou November 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I found this post really helpful …thnx Mehak
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Jyoti November 29, 2013 at 10:24 pm

lovely post Mehak! you look gorgeous, loved your lip shade <3
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Shreya November 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Brilliant post ! Very helpful ! I have done horrible makeup mistakes in the past and really learned a lot.
Its really very important to coordinate shadow lipstick and blush !


Maitreyee November 30, 2013 at 1:24 am

Loved the post!! very helpful… specially the lipstick part as i dont go with blushes and foundation much.
I would like to add though – brown may not be on the colorwheel but finding the contrast of any color is easy – just google it. the contrast of brown is basically blue… so all shades os blue (purple, green) look great and wish you’d add something about the eyeliner too… cause black liner’s too boring. i guess double eyeliner in the colors of the eyes and lashes looks great like blue liner for blue eyes like priyanka chopra did in dostana song(ek taraf hai asmaan). though people like me have same colored eyes and lashes- black! :P


Vipra S November 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

Great post dear – Loads of stuff for grab :)
Noted down ;) .. & You look adorable as always <3
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Vineetha November 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Excellent Post!!!!!! :-)
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Sumathi November 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Great tips Mehak.. I just go with anything that I feel would suit me.. But somehow it doesn’t look perfect all the time..
These tips would be of so much help.. Awesome post.
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Shruti November 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Love the article. Gotta ask, what are you wearing on your lips? Been trying to mail that color


mehak November 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Its Mac mocha under a coral lipgloss
Nude+coral equals perfect peachy lip


joyi November 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Great post! Thanks.. :) I am also a regular Lisa Eldridge follower.


Chris November 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I think the problem with Leighton’s makeup is that she wore a drab grayish purple shadow with bright red lipstick. The eyeshadow doesn’t suit her complexion and makes her look a little tired. It’s also poorly applied. If she wanted to wear purple, she could have done a soft lavender eye with a berry red stained mouth (instead of an opaque lipstick).
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Manasi December 1, 2013 at 12:35 am

Informative post dear… :)
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swathi December 2, 2013 at 9:33 am

Very innovative and cool article Mehak. I think I will now have to try and nail down a couple of looks that you have mentioned. But need to figure out colors that will suit my duskier skin tone though. I really loved your tip on coordinating with the least dominant color in your dress. That’s a super tip. I have always wondered if am looking too red or too pink sometimes. !


Heyhanee December 3, 2013 at 7:29 am

This is very helpful, thanks for sharing!
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thedelhibride December 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

THANK YOU for such an awesome post! Sooo useful for us makeup beginners! Pinned it, this is a must-keep article forever!
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deepti December 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

thank you so much for sharing this info, Mehak.
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Richa February 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm

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