For work, I tend to stick to neutrals because when I get people in my chair, and it’s a blue eye shadow day, it scares my clients.
I get the quizzical eyebrow, and then…
“You’re not gonna make me look like…you, are you?”
It’s easy to get offended by this, but I get it. Most people want to blend in most of the time. I get that for day to day work looks, neutrals are the safest. I wish that weren’t the case, but it’s what it is. When I get people in my chair, it’s like they have this unwritten rule book about colors and looks that I’ve not been privy to. A snippet of these rules:
1. Colors are only for going out.
2. Oh, honey, that blue shadow looks great on you, but I could never do such a thing.
3. Red lipstick makes me look like a streetwalker!
4. Smoky eyes are supposed to be black and silver, right? That’s what I’ve always seen.
5. I have dark skin, I can’t wear bright colors.
Sigh. None of these are true. I know that the way makeup is marketed will lead you to believe those things, but it really isn’t true. So, counterpoints:
1. Color is for whatever time of day you want to wear it. So pink eyeshadow is fine for daytime if you want it. Just put it on the lid only and blend with a neutral shade if you work in a conservative office.
2. You may not like the cerulean blue shadow I have on my eyes today, but I bet if you let me put some of this periwinkle on you’ll see your blue eyes pop! (purple is lovely with green, and greens are beautiful with brown.)
3. If you feel a bit…overdone, as it were, you just have on the wrong shade of red. Cherry red doesn’t go with all skin tones, y’all. But one could do a burgundy, or one with more blue (these look like they cast more pink). There are so many shades of red in the world, and if you have time to play around I bet you’ll find one that makes you feel and look fabulous.
4. Smoking an eye is a technique, so you can use any colors you want. Love green? Do it in three shades of green! Love colors in general? Use multiple colors. If you don’t know what works together, download a color wheel and pick three colors that sit next to each other. The more you play around, the more colors you’ll morph together (try pink, yellow, and orange!)
5. Nothing makes me sadder than to get folks in my store and decide that the world of color is not for them because they’re “too dark.” As black and brown folks, we can wear any color we want. We just have to look at the shade’s tones, not the shade itself. So, again, maybe cerulean isn’t your favorite look for yourself, but that deeper sapphire is amazing. Don’t throw the whole rainbow out because one beam doesn’t shine bright enough.
Honestly, I think the biggest rule of makeup is that there are no rules. Guidelines, sure (I think everyone should use primer, for example, and it isn’t just for eyes), but there is no set of set in stone rules for it. And there shouldn’t be. You have to be willing to be bold, really. Not too much more to it than that. Even though my customers are petrified of my bright colors for themselves, they LOVE it on me, and that’s because I don’t carry myself timidly when I have it on. I’ll do loud greens and yellows and pin up my ‘fro. I know I’m gonna get eyes on me, so I hold my head high and strut. That’s really what sells a look–not just the technique or color.
In honor of going bold this week (and every week), here’s a look I did with my Urban Decay Electric Palette:
With this look, you have options! You can go with a nude lip, as I did in the first two pics (gloss is Kitten by Stila), or you can go bright with a pink. I know, typically bold eyes go with nude lips. Here’s why this works: I’m in the same color family. So you can do a pink or even a purple, but no red here. This pink is called Jilted, and it’s by Urban Decay.
Would y’all like a tutorial on the eye look? Let me know and I’ll post it next week!
Go bold and be brave. 🙂