As a lover of fashion and beauty, I cannot say no to a trend. This is why I decided to try the "matching your makeup to your outfit" look for a whole week. Embarking on a seven-day excursion to coordinate tones, textures, and shades, I realized that the idea, at its core, isn’t as horribly cliché or grandma-esque as one might think.
I totally get the fear of looking like a bad '80s throwback, or, of course, of appearing uncomfortably matchy-matchy. But with colorful makeup more prominent in the beauty sphere than it has ever been before — and more risk-taking runway trends becoming mainstream with every passing Fashion Week — now is a better time than ever to try something new.
With all that said — and equipped with research into the realms of major matching inspiration — my mentality when I approached the concept was simply, "Why not?" I quickly discovered that the alleged beauty faux-pas that makeup and clothes must be separate entities is completely untrue. And what's more? Coordinating my makeup to my ensemble was surprisingly fun, creatively challenging, and just kind of pretty.
So I pushed aside my regular routine and squared away a few extra minutes in the morning to match my makeup to my outfit for a week. Even though I had my hesitations (would it affect my self-expression? Would it be too easy? Would it look chic, or downright horrible?), I was delightfully amazed at the results. Here's how it all played out.
Day 1: Golden
The Outfit: For day one, I wanted to test the waters with a duo I had admittedly worn before. I outfitted myself in my favorite metallic gold blouse, paired with basic black skinny jeans. I then threw on gold studded shoes, and finished the look off with gold jewelry.
The Makeup: Even though I didn't want to be too literal with the "matching" concept, that's basically how things went with this makeup look when I reached for bright and golden shadows for my eyelids. I also swept some golden highlight over my cheekbones. Keeping the focus on my golden peepers, however, I kept my lips and my base neutral otherwise.
The Results: After maximizing my use of gold for the day, I could confidently say that I loved the aesthetic and would be wearing it again soon. I personally adore gold because it pops on my olive skin. And doubling up on gold textures — with both the blouse and the shadows — gave me a shimmering feel that other neutral shadows cannot usually achieve.
Day 2: Black
The Outfit: This was yet another literal approach to the matching concept. But this time, I took things to the dark side. Black pants, black blouse, and black '90s tattoo choker? You know where I'm going with this: An all-black outfit.
The Makeup: The makeup for this look was especially fun to coordinate with my outfit because I often shy away from dark cosmetics in the day-to-day. Normally, I think they can be, well, a little harsh. But this matching experiment pushed me to grab my black eyeliner, ultra black mascara, and a black lipstick for a dark, all-black look.
The Results: Normally, I would balance out an all-black outfit with a bright, colorful eyeliner or lip color. That being said, I was smitten with this head-to-toe black look, even if my coworker said it was "goth." Yes, it's a little dark for summer, but I enjoyed how the makeup elevated the black in the outfit. I felt more dressed up than usual in my jeans and blouse, since they became more of a statement thanks to the black lips and black-rimmed eyes.
Day 3: Blue
The Outfit: On something of a high thanks to the successful start of the week, I decided to take a more casual, everyday approach on this day by sticking to the blue color family with jeans and a simple blouse. It's a basic outfit that I wear often, which I figured would make for a good test. Would the matching trend work for your average day?
The Makeup: After quite a bit of thought and a discussion with myself in the vanity mirror, I applied a light blue shadow under my eyes for a reverse smoky eye look. I didn't have blue lipstick on hand, but considering the look was supposed to be casual, I kept everything else neutral for my day at work.
The Results: After two very statement-making looks, I had doubts that the matching trend would be applicable to everyday life. But to my surprise, the blue jeans, blue blouse, and blue eyeshadow turned out to make for a really pretty combination. While the shadow didn't match the clothes exactly, I liked that the hue was a little different and added a pop of blue to my look.
Day 4: Berry
The Outfit: On day four, I was struggling for ideas regarding what to wear and how to match it to my outfit. After trying on what I suspect was my whole closet, I found a bright blouse in a magenta shade that's a personal favorite. I threw it on with black trousers, and then hoped for the best at my vanity.
The Makeup: After finding a lip color in a similar tone to the blouse, I decided to focus on my pout. Once I threw the berry lip color on, I knew that was it. I put on my foundation and powder, lined my eyes with a very light dusting of a berry eyeshadow color, and then threw on some mascara.
The Results: I think it's safe to say that the lip color, juxtaposed with the bright shade of the blouse, really made this outfit. I'll be the first to admit that the ensemble would have been boring without the bright pop of matching color in my makeup. It felt fresh and chic, and I even loved how my selfies turned out. There really is power in a bright lip.
Day 5: Frosted White
The Outfit: I loved the all-black look, so I started to wonder: What if I tried all-white? I went for it with an all-white outfit comprised of jeans and a blouse.
The Makeup: The only white makeup I own is white eyeliner. So I started off with that. From there, I applied frosty eyeshadow and highlighter in ivory shades.
The Results: Although this wasn't my most exciting look, I definitely enjoyed thinking outside of the box in terms of color. Sure, I could have tried orange or red. But white is a hue you don't see in makeup often. I liked how the frosted look of the white-based powders appeared against the ensemble's color palette, though.
Day 6: Watercolor
The Outfit: Instead of sticking to clothes in just one color, I decided I would switch things up and go with a tie-dye print featuring multiple colors. I threw on a watercolor-printed blouse in purple, blue, and green shades.
The Makeup: Naturally, I took that concept and ran with it. I lined my upper lash line with green shadow, and I lined my bottom lash line with blue eyeshadow. This, my friends, is what I call peacock peepers.
The Results: I would never in a million years have thought of such a colorful and bright eyeshadow combination, but my watercolor-printed blouse seemed like the perfect opportunity to make the most of day six. This approach may be more runway than mainstream, especially considering I got some weird looks and comments during the day. But that being said, it was a fun and out-of-the-box idea that took me out of my comfort zone.
Day 7: Olive
The Outfit: On the final day, I was running out of colorful clothes and makeup options for the experiment (I could easily do all-black four more times), but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone nonetheless. I reached for a formal dress I had never worn in a gorgeous olive green color.
The Makeup: I lined my eyes with a dark green shade that added some smoky-ness to my look. I then applied a foundation and powder for a flawless base, and finished off the makeup with a dusty pink lip shade.
The Results: While there wasn't as obvious a connection between my makeup and my outfit for day seven, I liked how the olive tones in both the dress and the dark shadow worked together. I think Lupita Nyong'o would agree with me when I say that rocking a formal gown in a stunning color with matching eyeshadow is a foolproof method.
What Did I Learn?
For the majority of my life, I thought that makeup and clothes were two separate categories that one could match, but probably shouldn't. But after coordinating my outfit to my makeup for a whole week, I've discovered that it's a versatile trend that can be applied to any ensemble (formal or casual) and that can be creatively fun and challenging.
Even though it took some time to plan out my looks every morning, I enjoyed messing around with beauty products and clothes to find matching combinations. And when I did finally discover the perfect look each day, I found myself feeling confident in combos I never thought I would wear.
From the all-black ensemble, to the peacock eyes, and even to the blue eyeshadow with jeans and a T-shirt, I tried looks that ranged from subtle to statement-making. And I felt flawless almost every time. All that said, I can officially endorse the "matching your makeup to your outfit" trend. After seven days of the aesthetic, I truly believe it's a foolproof way to approach planning a full look.
Images: Melodi Erdogan