Makeup colors and textures you should avoid

Amanda Storey

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Makeup Forever Neon Pink 75

Makeup Forever Neon Pink 75

In an ideal world there would be no rules when it comes to makeup. We could all wear anything our hearts desire and look fabulous while doing it, but that's just not reality. Just like there are colors that are universally unflattering, there are colors that don't work for most people. Sometimes I experiment with these colors and try to find ways to make them work, but some products I don't even mess with!


I love bright pink eyeshadow. I think if it's applied correctly it can be really soft and pretty. But applied improperly it screams “ I've got a nasty eye infection” or “ I didn't take my allergy medicine today”.

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Dust Sparkle from NYX

Dust Sparkle from NYX

Most bright pinks will make you look like you have been crying for ten years straight. If you love pink, stick to softer pastel versions like Dust Sparkle from NYX Cosmetics ($4.50).

If you have blue eyes, avoid matching blue eyeshadow. The same rule goes for green eyes. Have you ever spotted a green couch in a room painted green? Nothing stands out.

Anyone who wore makeup in the 60's and 70's is cursing me right now, but to figure this out we need only take a look at a color wheel. To make eye color pop, you want to choose a color on the opposite side of the color wheel from your eye color.

LORAC Glamorous

LORAC Glamorous

Blue eyes? Colors in the red or orange family will work best for you. I do not recommend running out and buying red eyeshadow, but think about wearable colors. Bronzey browns, peach, burgundy and purples will be flattering.

This bronze color, Glamorous by LORAC ($19), will look gorgeous with those baby blues.

Green eyes basically look good in the same colors as blue eyes. Brown eyes basically look good in anything, but especially nice in the opposite colors that look good on blue and green-eyes. Wish you would have paid more attention in art class?

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NARS Super Orgasm blush

NARS Super Orgasm blush


If you are past your pre-teens, try to avoid glittery blush or bronzer. Trying a subtle shimmer will really reflect light and make skin look beautiful and dewy.

Blushes and bronzers with large pieces of glitter tend to sit quite unnaturally on the skin and really enhance flaws (large pores and wrinkles). Glitter loves to settle into fine lines and pores, neither of which most people want to bring attention to. Glitter can also be too shiny and make you look sweaty, especially in photos or on stage.

MAC Cosmetics Melba Blush

MAC Cosmetics Melba Blush

Matte blush and bronzer are the most flattering textures for all skin types. This soft coral matte blush, Melba, by MAC Cosmetics ($21) not only looks great on most skin colors, but also looks soft with no harsh shimmer.

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer


Whether it's a bad spray tan or makeup, orange is just not a flattering skin tone for anyone.

With fair skin it's really easy to head down the path to Oompa Loompa Land. Many bronzers available have an orangey hue and can look extremely unnatural, especially on light skin tones.

Best bet, stick with bronzers that are yellow-based and matte like the Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer ($32).

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Frosty pale pink lipstick

Frosty pale pink lipstick

Lip Color

There are many colors of lipstick and gloss that look bad on most people, but two stand out to me. The first one, frosty pink. Frosty, silvery pinks were big in the seventies and stayed alive up through the eighties. That is were they should stay, in the past. Frosty pink looks dated, and isn't very flattering.

The second color that should be avoided is dark brown lip liner and lipstick., especially on fair skin. Matte browns makes lips look small, prune-ish and severe. Not a look that anyone strives for. And don't even get me started on brown lip liner around nude lipstick...eeek!

If you want to sport that nude lip trend, pick a lip liner closest to the lipstick or gloss shade and blend, blend, blend! Try one of the long-lasting nude lip liners from Urban Decay ($19) and you'll thank me later.

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Wet'n'Wild lip liner 666 - A makeup artist favorite, but if not blended, it could look disastrous.

Rules to good makeup

Dark colors make things look smaller, so avoid using dark colored products on areas of your face that you want to look larger or brighter.

For your face, stick to colors that mimic human skin tone. Yellow-based products tend to look the most natural.

Bright colors draw attention. If you have less than perfect lips, stick to neutral lip colors. If your under-eye is dark, don't wear red tones or bright purples. They will only enhance the darkness around your eyes.

Ladies, what makeup colors make you cringe? Share with us your makeup horror stories in the comment section below!

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