Monochromatic makeup and clothing is no longer a look of the past — but if you’re going to go for this trend, you’ll want to make it clear you know it’s not 1983 anymore. Done well, matchy-matchy makes a bold, beautiful statement. Done poorly, and you’ll look ready for Halloween. Balance is key: Don’t overdo the style, but don’t be afraid of going too strong, either.



One Feature Focus

Don’t even think about pairing that cherry-red dress with red lipstck, blush and eye shadow — this is heading straight into clown territory. Instead, pick a single feature to enhance, like just the eyes or lips, and apply your outfit-matching color there alone. If you’re brave, you might be able to get away with a second focal point in another color. For example, if your outfit is multicolored, use one color on the lips and another for eyeliner.

No Exact Matches

Avoid putting exactly the same shade of green in your dress around your eyes — it looks too deliberate. Stay within the same color palette. Pick just one color hue and its variations, but go darker or lighter, more sheer or opaque, or more or less saturated than the original color. Pair bright blue clothes with a smoky blue-gray eye shadow; try pink lips with a coral top or dark red lipstick with a ruby-red dress. To go even softer, go sheer or blend colors with their complements, like a pink-brown shadow with brown clothes.

Embrace Neutrals

You want your focus feature to stand out alone, so tone down the rest of your makeup with a soft, neutral palette. With bold lips, opt for sheer, muted neutrals or peachy colors on the eyes and cheeks. With statement eyes, choose a neutral lip. However, if your outfit is neutral, be sure to add color into your makeup to avoid looking washed-out. Match your lipstick to a bright accessory or make daring eye shadow the only color you sport.

Mind the Hair

If your color palette skews too closely to your hair or headwear color, be forewarned — this look may be just too much. You want only one tie-in hue above the shoulders as a vibrant against a neutral background. Avoid choosing exact matches to your hair color — go for a different shade — and consider ditching your matching headwear. Otherwise, you’ll need to go fully neutral in the face for this look.