Makeup to Wear With a Purple Dress

By Wanda Brito

A purple dress, whether it's lavender or dark plum, demands attention in a sea of dresses. This bold color choice requires some savvy makeup palette decisions to highlight your features and remain appropriate for the time of day.

Makeup to Wear With a Purple Dress
credit: soup__studio/iStock/GettyImages
Makeup to Wear With a Purple Dress

Light Purple Daze

Daylight means lightening up on makeup to create a fresh, glowing appearance. If you're wearing a light lavender or rosy red-purple, keep the makeup simple and sweet.

Sweep a matte bone eye shadow over the entire eyelid. If you have fair skin or blond hair, opt for a taupe shade to warm up the palette. Apply a neutral shimmery champagne color to the inner corners of the eyes and just underneath the brow bones.

Apply a black cream eyeliner along the upper lash line, using tiny dash strokes as close to the lashes as possible. You want to build up the upper lash line gently. Blend out with a clean angle brush. Sweep an angle brush loaded with a light taupe shadow along the bottom lash line. Apply two coats of mascara to the top and bottom lashes.

Stick to warm coral colors for the cheeks and lips. If you want a slightly bolder look, opt for a rich red lipstick.

Darkness in the Daytime

Darker dresses in rich eggplant and plum shades demand bolder makeup with a little more edge.

Sweep a rich, shimmery champagne shade across the eyelid up to the crease. Using a fluffy blending brush, buff a matte eggplant shadow into the outer corner of the crease and blend until there's just a hint of dimension along the crease.

Using an angle brush sweep the eggplant shadow along the bottom lash line to build up a little smoky intensity. Apply a black gel or liquid eyeliner along the top lash line using small dash strokes; keep the line thin to stay daytime appropriate. Apply black mascara to the top lashes, focusing extra attention on the outer lashes.

Opt for peach and coral blushes that make the skin glow and work with every skin tone. Keep the lips light and soft to balance out the dark tone of the dress and the slightly smokier eye. Nude pinks and sandy tones pop against darker dresses and work with dark and light hair colors.

Nighttime Elegance

Evening makeup means sultry elegance and bold color choices. If you're wearing a purple dress, it also means an opportunity to build up a smoky eye using purple instead of the typical grays, browns and blacks.

Sweep a soft matte eye shadow in lilac or lavender over the eyelid. You want a very light wash of this base color to build up that purple color without going overboard. Avoid shades that have pink undertones, which tend to make eyes look a little inflamed.

Using a blending brush, blend a dark plum or eggplant matte shadow along the outer corner of the eye and along the crease. Blend, buff and build this purple color until you have depth on the outer half of the eye that gently blends into the lighter color of the inner half of the eye

With an angle brush, sweep a dark plum shadow along the bottom lash line for a full, smoky effect. To build a brighter look, line the bottom lash line with the lighter purple shadow instead. Apply a black gel eyeliner along the top lash line and flick up at the outer corner of the eye. Follow up with two coats of black mascara along the top lash line.

Finish the look with a nude pink or sandy lipstick. If you're wearing a slightly lighter shade of dress, a berry lip can add a warmer burst of color.