Surprising Color Pairings That Actually Work

The dog days of summer are the perfect time to ditch the neutrals and explore other parts of the color wheel. For inspiration, we tapped two experts with different backgrounds but a shared love of unexpected color mash-ups: Los Angeles makeup artist Julianne Kaye and New York interior designer Betty Wasserman. They came up with inspired combos that are more Beyoncé and Jay-Z than The Odd Couple.

Peach and Blue

We’ve been riding the pastel trend as hard as anyone, and we don’t intend to stop. To transition to fall, Kaye says, the key is adjusting the shades. She suggests tempering the warmth of a pastel peach with the cool of a bold blue. Sweep a deep, slightly shimmery blue shadow like Alima Pure Eyeshadow in Navy over your lids and dust cheeks with a matte apricot shade—we like Jouer Mineral Powder Blush in Peach Bouquet. Or dip your toe into this combo by pairing a peachy polish like Floss Gloss in Pony with a subtle midnight liner.

Eggplant and Silver

This power duo is an edgy, gender-neutral choice for home décor, says Wasserman. It looks just as elegant on your eyelids as it does in a Tribeca loft. According to Wasserman, the secret is that the eggplant is a warmer twist on your basic black so it acts as a neutral. Iridescent silver keeps things light, airy, and up-to-date. To get the look, line your eyes with Mally Beauty’s Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner in Royal Plum. Next, go metallic on your lids with MAKE Satin Finish Eyeshadow in Great Lakes. For a more feminine look, try a lighter shade of purple, says Wasserman. Stila’s in the moment eyeshadow palette has three violet options you can mix and match.

Blue and Green

Kaye takes inspiration from the spring/summer 2013 runways for this bold combo. “A way to make this wearable is to do a two-toned eye effect,” she says. Start by sweeping MAKE Satin Finish Eyeshadow in Blue Toile on your lids, but stop before you get to the creases. Next, rim the under eye with a bold green color. We love Mally Beauty’s Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner in Caribbean Sea. If you’re afraid of looking a little too much like a character from Avatar, you can always test it out on your nails: try a chevron design with your favorite blue and green shades.

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