• We're all for experimental beauty when the occasion calls for it, but sometimes (a lot of the time) you just want to wear what works. These tried-and-true makeup combinations look perfect on everyone, without the hassle of wondering, "Does this even look good?" With these looks in your arsenal, it'll work every time—trust us.

    Dark Red Lips with Taupe Shadow
    Because of its dramatic effect, dark red lipstick can easily be worn with an otherwise color-free face (colorful eye makeup definitely doesn't work here), but it looks especially impactful with shading on the eyes using brown or taupe shadows to add depth. You can go really film noir with medium to dark brows, or just add balance using a soft, neutral taupe. Anything in the cool, neutral brown or beige family acts as a perfect complement to a rich, dark lip color.

    Photo: IMAXtree
  • Nude Lips with Black Shadow
    Even the most extreme of black liner or shadow looks can be offset and balanced by a nude, neutral or even bare lip. A shadowy—rather than smoky—eye with black shadow or liner only on the lid pairs particularly well with a nude lip color as a simple look that defines and draws attention to the eyes. There are ways to wear a bold lip with an equally statement-making eye, but for every day or for the beginner, you can't go wrong with this combo.

    Photo: IMAXtree
  • Bright Lips with Groomed Brows
    A bright, orange-red lip color isn't just trendy: It also looks great on virtually everyone. The shade should be worn with makeup that doesn't compete for attention, so pale taupe eyeshadows work especially well. The best complement to a vivid lip color is always well-groomed brows that stand out. If your brows are sparse, fill them in for definition, then use a gel or wax to keep them in place and give a clean look that's perfect with the fresh, edgy hue.

    Photo: IMAXtree
  • Flushed Lips and Cheeks
    There's no better complement to a glossy lip in a reddish pink shade than a matching cheek. Whether you're using a two-in-one product or two separate, similarly hued products, pairing a subtly flushed rosy cheek with a stained-looking lip color gives a "just in from the cold" effect that's just gorgeous on every complexion.

    Photo: IMAXtree
  • Contoured Cheeks with Pink Lipstick
    Soft (read: not overdone) contouring has the potential to enhance every face, but there's something about sculpted cheekbones that really brings life to what's otherwise a fairly safe, almost neutral lip color. Even the most basic beauty look gets an instant upgrade with just a little bit of rudimentary contouring. It sounds intimidating, but all you need is matte bronzer and an angled blush brush for a "look" in thirty seconds flat.

    Photo: IMAXtree
  • Rosy Blush with Pale Shadow
    For an ethereal, easy-to-wear look in two steps (particularly on fair skin), pair a pink blush with a sheer touch of silvery or white shadow. It makes the face look brighter, healthier and more awake. The pale tones illuminate eyes, while a rosy flush mimics natural color. This simple look is perfect for those who don't gravitate toward lip color on a day-to-day basis but still want to look "done."


    Photo: IMAXtree
  • Cat Eyes and Glowing Skin
    Forget, just for a second, about the exact means by which to go about achieving "glowing" skin. If you can master (or at least apprentice) a cat eye, then you're a step above the rest, because a good cat eye requires nothing more than an even, well-highlighted foundation to go with it. Familiarize yourself with a black liquid liner and a damp rounded sponge, and you'll never worry about what makeup to wear again.

    Photo: IMAXtree
  • Defined Brows and Long Lashes
    It doesn't sound like much, but on a minimal makeup day or in a crunch for time, a bit of brow grooming and careful mascara application does wonders. This pairing is perfect for that pumped-up "natural" look that doesn't require much effort but has a completely transformative effect on the face.

    Photo: IMAXtree


Foolproof Makeup Pairings


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