April 2, 2015 Angela Melero Spotlight

The Do's and Don’ts of Pastel Makeup

With spring officially here there’s NO excuse to put off the pastel trend any longer! And don’t just play it safe by simply incorporating soft, sherbet shades into your wardrobe. It’s time to mix it up and add a little pastel spice to your makeup routine. Not sure how to go about it? Check out our tips on what to do and what to avoid when working with pastels. 

pastel makeup

DO play up your eyes. 

Go ethereal and throw some creamsicle shades on your eyelids. If you’re hesitant, play it safe with pretty lilacs or soft pinks and as you muster up more makeup courage, go for vibrant hues like seafoam green and sky blue. Make sure to blend out the edges of your shadow and make sure that no harsh color transitions are visible. Try applying highlighter along your brow bone to give your eyes definition and complement this pretty, fairy-like look. And if you want a pop of pastel color, try teal or light blue eyeliner!

Product Recommendations: NYX Cosmetics Prismatic Shadows in Mermaid, NYX Cosmetics Slide on Pencil in Purple Blaze

DO try a little gloss.

While we love a matte finish, sometimes subtlety is the way to go. For a fresh and natural look, swipe on a little pastel lip gloss. We promise you won’t look 12 and we also promise that this is the beginning of a pastel obsession. Lip gloss is the perfect gateway drug to bigger, bolder color cosmetics. 

Product Recommendations: Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Gloss in Captivating Coral, Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Gloss in Lovechild

DO experiment.

Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with your pastel usage. Try coral on your eyes, robin’s egg blue on your nails and lilac on your lips. The beauty of experimentation is it’s just that, an experiment. If you hate it, you move on to another look. If you love it, you just successfully expanded your beauty look! 

DON’T overdo it. 

While we encourage having fun with pastels in all aspects, we also suggest you be strategic with your approach. If you’re playing up the eyes, balance out the color by going subtle and neutral with your cheeks and lips. If you’re going bright with your lips, try a soft peach or dusty pink on your lids to keep your face balanced and to avoid looking Easter egg-ish. Also, a little tip for you fair-skinned ladies, when going with pastel shadow, make sure to add some definition and color to your lashes with a dark brown or black mascara — this will keep you from looking washed out. 

DON’T assume every shade works with every skin tone. 

Oftentimes, the reason pastel makeup looks off is because the colors are being paired with the wrong skin tone. Get educated on what shades complement your coloring best and work with variations of that color family. For example, if you have light skin with red undertones, blues are going to work well with your skin tone, so try a pretty sky blue or teal. If you’re olive-toned, try a pastel variation of purple or green. Not sure what colors work best with your mug? Read this

DON’T rule out yellow.

For some reason, yellow makeup is constantly tossed aside to the land of forbidden cosmetics. Many rule it out as being way too bright and complicated to work with. Well, we love a good redemption story and yellow is having one this season! Take it from us, yellow shadows and liners are all the rage and can be the perfect way to add a little sunshine to your makeup routine. New to the mellow yellow look? Take baby steps with a thin sliver of yellow liner along your top lash line. It’ll brighten up your peepers and goes great with a pink or coral pout!

 Product Recommendations: Lancôme Paris Color Design in Center Stage, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in El Dorado, L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Color Lift Blush in Pink Lift

What’s your fave way to wear pastel makeup? Tell us your secrets in the comments below!

Photo: Joshua M Shelton
Model: Olivia Crane

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    About the Author: Angela helps inspire and inform the Makeup.com audience by delivering the latest beauty tips, tricks and trends.