We're thrilled to present the following post, written by celebrity makeup artist and Vanitymark Cosmetics founder, Brett Freedman!

Bold colors in clothing can make your makeup choices a little dicey. Should you balance a vivid shade with pops of color in the eyes and lips, or go neutral, as not to look too silly? Recently I styled starlet Camilla Belle's makeup for the Art of Elysium event. She wore a beautiful, bright yellow dress that gave me pause in terms of makeup. My first instinct was to do a bright lip and pale skin. I then decided that the yellow should be the only color, and that everything else should be crisp, but neutral.

For the cheeks and lips I wanted to go with Camilla's natural lip color, just a little more vivid: too pink and it would be too sweet/little girl, and too plum it would be kind of Easter-y. To accomplish this, I used Maybelline Dream Mousse in Soft Plum on the cheeks, and Tarte LipSurgence in Enchanted on the lips. It was the perfect way to let the yellow dress take center stage, all while keeping the face from looking low-watt. Want to play with color, too? Be sure to check out Brett's no-fail guide to punching things up when you read more.


How to experiment with color:

  • A safe and tasteful way: Say you're doing a charcoal suit and you want to give it a little playful edge. Go for a color-pop in the shoe or clutch, and then match your lips. A red clutch or shoe with a scarlet lip is a great start to incorporating your makeup to your fashion. For the most high-end look, you want one color brought out and addressed.
  • If you're doing a full-red suit, however: I'd resist a red lip. It's just too much.
  • Pair a plum bag with a plum eye and a gold lip: This is a great way to bring color to your eyes. Again, if you are wearing a plum outfit, resist a plum eye. It's too matchy-matchy and obvious.
  • Look for cooler versions of the vibrant shade: When wearing an electric blue dress, for instance, go for a silvery eye. The metallic quality will actually pick up the blue in a subtle way. Try: MAC's gorgeous pewter shade, Idol Eyes. Just remember that you want to nod to the bold shade, not match it; too much color actually looks costume-y. It's all about creating subtle hints and touches.
    • Example: I did Catherine Zeta-Jones's makeup for last year's Golden Globes. She wore an emerald dress, and I applied a wash of golden green on her lids (not a full-on emerald eye) to incorporate the vibe.
Stay tuned for more of Brett's advice on embracing color, where he shares his top bold, bright makeup picks.