Which Rules of Makeup Application to Follow, and Which Rules to Ignore



When it comes to the makeup industry, the staying power of seasonal beauty trends tends to be fleeting and transitory. More often than not, off kilter makeup trends tend to go through a cyclical pattern of adopt and discard.

Over the years, several makeup rules involving the basic tools of the trade, like eye shadow, lipstick, eyeliner, bronzers, and contouring approaches, have evolved to become a ridged standard that all makeup artists abide by. As far as the application of makeup is concerned, the choice to adopt a discerning eye when it comes to established “rules” could take a look to new – and unconventional – heights.

Let’s take a look at a couple examples…

Breaking the Rules by Accentuate Both Eyes and Lips – The concept of pairing a heavily made up eye with a prominent lip is a huge no-no for most makeup professionals. However, when you begin to consider the fact that these two features are the first things that people look at and if you’re willing to break from the accepted norms, you might see the logic behind the choice to pair both elements in a cohesive manner.

The tendency to avoid these extremes extends itself to the way black eyeliner is conventionally used: Some people avoid applying black eyeliner during the day due to the severe nature of its visual effect, but combining black eyeliner with other neutral colors could soften the look for a day at the office.

When it Comes to Eyebrows, Less is More – Breaking established rules quickly becomes a trend in the makeup industry if the look is frequently seen on celebrities. But a trend does not always make for a good look on everybody. Reality stars in particular are famous (or infamous) for pushing trends like contouring and filling in eyebrows.

As far as practical application is concerned, the aphorism of “less is more” rings truest here. Adopting a scaled back approach to contouring makes for a much more natural and uncontrived look.

Nobody would ever suggest forgetting the established makeup rules on one hand or dismissing all trends on the other. When it comes to tailoring makeup to create a new look, but one that is still pleasant and esthetic, a little tweaking here and there is well worth considering, but it is always best to trust what the mirror says first and what the trendsetters say second.