By: Liz Washer

Q: I’m a redhead bridesmaid and I’m wearing a champagne colored dress. What color makeup is best?

A: Oh, how I wish you were sitting in my chair right now so I could give you a more personalized answer! Makeup color choices are influenced by many factors, and wardrobe is just one. Your skin, eye, and hair color will significantly impact which colors will look best on you.

But here are some “redhead friendly” wardrobe-based rules of thumb:

1. Ask the bride. She may not have an opinion (and woe to the bride who insists that her maids wear identical makeup regardless of their skin tone!), but before you make a selection, it’s worth finding out if she has any guidelines or requests for her party – sticking to earth tones or neutral colors, avoiding very bright or dark makeup; that sort of thing.

2. Contrast is key. Matching makeup to wardrobe is a somewhat dated approach (this goes especially for brighter colors), so don’t feel the need to limit your makeup palette to the fabric color – instead, select shades that are in the same family but provide a nice complement, which will prevent you from looking washed out – very important, especially for fair-skinned redheads (pale dress + pale skin + pale makeup = flat photos!) Champagne gowns can range from icy cool shades to warm, yellow tones, so first determine whether your dress falls more on the warm or cool spectrum and select shades accordingly.

3. Determining the perfect pairing. OK, so what shades are a good fit with champagne? If you have been asked to stick with neutrals, you have a tremendous palette of earth tones to choose from – taupes, bronzes, and chocolate browns will create a beautifully sculpted eye that will offset the lightness of the dress color without clashing, and you can either keep things soft (and using a brighter shade on your lips and cheeks), or smoldering. If you want to bring color into the equation, try a complementary color like eggplant on the eyes – extra gorgeous for green-eyed gals! – and pair it with gently contoured cheekbones and nude lips. Alternatively, keep the plummy shade to the lips and gently smoke out the eyes for a gorgeous evening look as shown above.

Try: Urban Decay Naked palette, Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in Envy or Hope, MAC eyeshadows in Blackberry and Sketch.

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