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Colors For Pop And Impact - The Art Of Pairing

Learning to pair colors for pop and impact is an art. It's an easy skill, which we'll detail in this post.

Colors For Pop And Impact – The Art Of Pairing

Colors For Pop And Impact – easier than it looks!
Have you ever endeavored to put the colors that tend to be your favorites together on your face, and what you end up with, upon looking at the overall view in the mirror, is nothing less than a style tragedy? Or maybe you try a new color of eyeshadow or lipstick, and find that it clashes with everything you usually wear, or leaves you looking like a fashion victim, rather than a beauty victor?

Join the club. It seems like no one gets through the trial that is a makeup-lover’s life, without at least once turning something you thought was lovely into something that isn’t so wonderful.

Why does this happen?

Most likely answer:
You are using a color that is contrary to your own skin color palette.

Skins fall into just a couple of color categories:
Warm: your undertones are golden (yellow or green undertone), ruddy (red or orange undertone), or some blend of these colors.
Cool: your undertones are simply red, violet, or both.
A skin can be lighter or darker, and it will always follow these undertone patterns. Darker skins simply have more saturation of these undertone colors than light ones do.


Colors opposite your undertones are contrastive. Contrastive colors will highlight your beautiful undertones. Those on the same side of the color wheel are complementary. Complementary tones look great and natural on your skin.

Therefore, someone with cool skin can look completely natural in a blue or violet shadow, and someone with a warm, yellow-orange skin tone will look more extreme in these colors.


Now, look at your undertones and identify the main one. (for most people, that’s going to be a blend of ruddy and golden, and for about 20% of the population, it’ll be violet or lavender.) Look at the colors directly on either side of the color of your undertone. These are complementary. look at the colors directly opposite (across the color wheel). These will be your contrastive tones. Contrastive tones should always be used with caution, as they will be the colors that stand out most against any particular skin tone.

The two colors on either side of the complementary tones for your skin color are usually going to be colors that are better to avoid, known as your contrary colors.

Example: for ruddy + yellow undertone skins:

Complementary: gold, peach, warm green and warm brown. Contrastive: cool green, violet, pink, silver.
Contrary: bright and cool undertone reds, bright and cool undertone violets, cool undertone brown.

When you have these pieces of information, color matching is easy. Keep your shadow and lipstick within your color scheme, no more than one color group away from the shadow. Keep the blush and contour on the same side of the color wheel as the lipstick, and keep the clothes you’re wearing with it on that same side of the color wheel as well. Know that black and grey are considered cool colors, and brown is usually considered warm, and your life and color pairing just gets tons simpler. If it helps, bookmark this article. If you need to look at a color wheel, here’s a great one for reference.


Do you need more help knowing what your undertones are, how to pick a foundation or how to match colors to it, or help knowing overall what’s right for you? Let us help you. At Mingle Cosmetics, we are experts and we can make your best you shine forth. Contact us with questions, and we’ll get everything set up for a beautiful you.

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