It might seem a little counterintuitive to choose a look based around one color when so many of us have become accustomed to layering pretty much all the shades in a palette. But monochrome makeup has something incredibly cool and editorial about it, despite it having such a simple and attainable concept.
Not only are monochrome makeup looks beautiful, but they’re also really easy and time-saving. You can multitask your products to get the perfect match of color between the eyes, lips, and cheeks. Monochrome looks can sit anywhere from a light wash of color to an all-out attack with graphic liner and opaque lips. Here’s how to get the look with products you already have at home!
How to get the monochrome makeup look:
1. Choose your shade
Pick your monochrome shade. Pink monochrome is so feminine, ethereal and ever so slightly 1980s. Choose a pink that suits your skin tone. You may lean toward warmer, coral-toned pink, or you may be more of a blue-based pink kind of gal or guy. Orange, peachy tones are modern, warm and great for more opaque pops of color. Browns and taupes are oh-so 90s and glam when blended with a little warmth to keep things fresh. But really, it’s up to you! Have a look through your collection and find inspiration in the colors you have.
2. Start with lips
Take your lipstick first. If you’re going with pink, consider one from the incredibly gorgeous February LiveGlam KissMe collection, now available on the Shop page! For softer, more washed-out looks, press the lip color into the lips with your fingers and blend out the edges. For sharper, more opaque lips, apply from the bullet, blot and apply again.
3. Move onto cheeks
Take that same lipstick and dab the color onto the cheeks until you get the opacity you want. You’re aiming to freshen and warm the cheeks, but you can go a little editorial as well with a draped effect near the eyes or a slightly overdone application (in a good way).
Step back and make sure the color is balanced and blended. Take your foundation brush or sponge (with the leftover product on it, or add a tiny dot of fresh foundation) and dab it over the blush to tone down the color if need be.
If you have a powder blush in a similar shade you can use it to layer and set your lipstick-blush. Take a liquid or cream highlight and press it into the cheekbones and just above the brows. With monochrome looks, a dewy glow to the high points will give an extra dimension and keep things fresh.
4. Now the eyes…
Lay down a neutralizing base color just to make way for the monochrome color to pop. Take that same lip color you used on the lips and cheeks and press it through the crease of the eyelid, making sure to really blend properly. You can take the color quite high up the crease if you wish, especially for washed-out, floaty looks.
Make sure the edges are blended and the color is a whisper, not a yell. If you’re going for bold, graphic monochrome, you could find the same color in a liner or pigment and lay down a thick wing. Add a touch of highlight in the inner corner and the very center of the lid. Add lashings of mascara and voila.
5. Check, touch-up and set
Step back and admire at the entire look. You might want to balance out the saturation of the color by adding more to the lips, cheeks or eyes. Or, you might want to tone down the color by layering a very thin layer of foundation over the top (for cheeks) or blend out eye color with a neutral shadow on a fluffy blush. Set with a spray or translucent powder and you’re done!
Get creative with your makeup and start to see a lipstick as a whole color spectrum for the face. Look at your blushes and see if they inspire you to match your lips and eyes to their hue. Start experimenting and have fun with it, you can always wash it off if you don’t quite nail it first time around!
Gin is a beauty enthusiast with a passion for makeup she's had since kindergarten when she would raid her Mum's makeup drawer. When she's not playing with new products and writing about makeup, she's a theatre actress, director and producer. View all the posts by Gin Mabey