Are There Any Makeup Colors You Feel You Can’t Wear?

Published in: Just For Fun

Mac Viva Glam Nicki 2

Uh…that’s MAC Viva Glam Nicki 2 Lipstick on my lips

Oh, for sure. At the top of the list are opaque pale pink/purple lipsticks like MAC’s Viva Glam Nicki 2.

I mean, when the UPS guy saw me in it he said I looked like Lil’ Kim, and I don’t think he was referring to the Crush on You era.


That pretty much says it all…

I also have a really difficult time with red eyeshadows, in particular reddish browns. They make me look like I’ve been crying, or like I’ve recently risen from the dead.

And then there are certain lighter eyeshadows, like cool pastels and light neutrals, that can look really chalky on my warm skin tone (NC42), and opaque black and dark purple lipsticks.

I think if I were in my teens or 20s, I maybe could have worn the dark lipsticks during one of my artsy-fartsy phases (with a clingy black dress, big-@ss gold hoops and combat boots, YEAH!), but now that I’m in my late 30s, EEK! Not so much. I’m afraid I’d look like Miss Havisham, if Miss Havisham listened to Public Enemy and Morrissey all day long in her house…

I think I do better with rich jewel-toned colors and brights. Basically, if I see something working in a Bollywood music video, I feel like I can probably pull it off.

Break it down for me, love. Are there any makeup colors you feel you can’t/shouldn’t wear? What about them bothers you?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Heidi says:

    Yeah, that lipcolor you’ve got going on there? Not happening on my lips. I really don’t think “corpse-like” is a look I would want to try.

    That being said, I actually really enjoy the challenge of taking a shade that “shouldn’t” work for me, and playing around with combinations and different layers to make it look good. It’s a creative outlet for me.

  2. I think it’s very hard for a lot of people to wear pale pink / lilac lips! I don’t think it suits me too. I try to shy away from pastel colors, they look awful on me!

    x Renee
    Renee | Beauty Fool recently posted … Outfit: 50 Shades of Gray

  3. MollySC says:

    Nude lips make me look like a corpse, no matter what. And I TOTALLY feel you on the lilac lips; I have this one shimmery lavender gloss, but when I put it on, I look like an alien.

  4. GOLDS. Golds are so hard for me to wear. They have to be a dirty gold, with a hint of another colour for me to be able to wear them.
    And frosty lips-they make me look OLD hahaha!

  5. Lissan says:

    I can’t do orange lips or nude lips. I have tried and fail every time.

  6. breyerchic04 says:

    True orange opaque lips, this same viva glam lipstick because I’m not convinced it looks good on anyone, burgundy eyeshadow, brassy gold eyeshadow,

    I don’t wear black lipstick but that’s not because I can’t.

  7. Pale pinks/lavender/purple lipsticks don’t work for me either. Same goes with lighter pastel eye shadows especially cool toned ones – they look chalky against my skin.
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Video Tutorial : Ocean Blue Eye Makeup

  8. The stinkpot says:

    Honestly I didn’t like that shade on anyone I have seen it on, which includes Niki.

  9. Gowthami says:

    Pinks and purple never look good one me.. I also avoid yellow and orange eye shadows.. 🙂
    Gowthami recently posted … Tutorial: The Best Way to Apply Mascara!

  10. Advah says:

    I have a light shimmery green eyeshadow from UDecay that I bought years ago on a whim and have no idea how to wear, yet can’t toss it. Same with a light blue shimmery shadow from UD too. Apparently light pastel-y colours are my probs!

  11. Jax says:

    Anything too orange / yellow just looks really odd on my because I have a very ‘english rose’ cool pink toned colouring, Even thought I have blue eyes and everything says I should use golds and bronzes.

    I also have quite coloured lips so anything too pale just looks freaky. TBH I don’t really think very pale lips are good on anyone except as an extreme editorial style look.

  12. Sunny says:

    I have a long list here! I can’t wear reddish eyeshadows, either. They make me look really ill! I don’t enjoy mauvey or very gray taupes either. They make my skin tone look rather dull! I am more open to trying different lipstick shades, but there’s no way I’ll ever wear something super extraordinary (say green, black, and so on)!
    Sunny recently posted … The Monolid Trilogy. Part 3: Eyeliner & Mascara

  13. Dollie says:

    My skin tone is the same as yours so I stay miles away from pale, chalky pastels and most cool toned colours.

  14. Jen says:

    I have a hard time wearing blues. If they’re blue-green, I can make it work, but not true blues. I have a couple matte bright blues from Urban Decay, and I just look at them like wtf? o_O
    Jen recently posted … Sonia Kashuk: A Kiss on the Cheek Lip & Cheek Palette

  15. Jen says:

    Cannot wear those light pinks either. Any light lipstick that’s too cool-toned isn’t going to look very good on me.

    And while red or pink eyeshadows also make me look like I’ve been crying or haven’t slept or something–I still wear them here and there with a very careful, light hand.
    Jen recently posted … Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in “Aurora” and “Stellar”

  16. M.May says:

    I absolutely can’t wear red based browns as well. I look so… blood-shot. It’s very unflattering.

    Surprisingly, greys do a better job in bringing out my eyes than browns. Browns look rather dull on me, but grey really give my eyes a pop!

    As for lipsticks, I’m fine with whatever color. I’m willing to go crazy on lip colors, but not with eyeshadows.


  17. Meredith says:

    Blue to blue/grey shadow always makes be look bruised.

  18. Alison M says:

    There are so many thins people *shouldn’t* wear that I’d love to include, but I’ll stick to what doesn’t work for me. I’m NC40 with more olive undertones. I can not wear pastels to save my life. Or cool…anything. There are so may vivid eyeshadows thatI’d love to try, but they are all cool-toned and therefore always look wrong on me! I too struggle with the pale pink/purple lips. I went through a phase where I thought it looked good (shudders) but fortunately it didn’t last long and the only picture for proof is my first day of school my sophomore year of high school. I should dig that one up and memorialize it on the interwebs forever!

  19. Lizzy says:

    There aren’t many shades I won’t wear on the eyes, given the right occasion. Lips are a different story, though–greiges, lavender/lavender-pinks, and matte pastels are not so hot on me; ditto for some of the wilder shades like yellows, greens/teals, and all-out black. I can do some of the vampy reds/plums, just not the uber-goth hues.

  20. MARLA ROBINSON says:

    lilac or blue shades of lipstick or eyeshadow, yucky on me and most people

  21. I’m not sure pale, white based lip colors work for anyone… RED. For me – RED. It’s such a confident color and I’m so not there!

  22. Suzanna says:

    Any lipstick like you show here (plus beige variant); true red; coral; anything with orange undertone.

    On the eyes, anything gold or yellow.

    Muddy cheek colors, meaning those with brown tones. Pink blush in general, but especially light pink blushes.

  23. Esme says:

    I’m very pale and cool-toned, and as much as I want to wear orange and warm pink lipsticks, I just can’t. I have a straight-up orange (Milani Sweet Nectar) and an orangey coral (MAC Vegas Volt), and though I like staring at them, they look weird and unnatural on my face. (On the other hand, I love purples and pale, cool pinks, and would look almost decent wearing Viva Glam Nicki 2. Almost.)

    I can’t do warm browns on my eyes, either, which means that I’ve never bothered to buy either of the Urban Decay Naked palettes. Most of the colors would just make me look grimy.

    • Kristy says:

      Do you have MAC Up the Amp? I’m “cool” too and that’s one of my faves.

    • Jax says:

      I hear you, I love the idea of the Naked Palettes but I wouldn’t be able to make them work. I’ve been building my own, mostly from MAC. If you haven’t tried Shale give it a go its amazing, Colour Tattoo Tough as Taupe/Permanent taupe are great too.

      • Kristy says:

        I think someone should start a blog just for us cool girls, because I think we’re in the minority and no one understands us LOL! (Not you, Karen. We heart you!) That’s why I largely ignore the magazines because they always give wrong advice.

        • Jax says:

          I’ve thought about doing it in the past but I’m not a good enough photographer, or writer 🙂
          Try more of the UK Blogs Cool toned is more common here so it’s covered a bit more.

        • Esme says:

          There are a few cool-toned beauty bloggers out there! One of my favorites is Kate from Drivel about Frivol. But warm-toned skin is far more common overall, across races/ethnicities, so it’s understandable that most beauty bloggers are warm-toned. Oh, well.

          I’ve been meaning to try Tough as Taupe! And I’ve gotten a lot of use out of theBalm’s Nude ‘Tude palette, but I’ve used the cool gray taupe shade far more than any of the other colors. Of course.

          • Advah says:

            Sign me up on the cool-toned list.. I read (Ireland beauty website) as the reviewers are all cool-toned, so it’s pretty handy. Although I’m also discovering that celtic skin (porcelain skin, jet black hair and green eyes) can also pull off colours that us plain ol’ cool-toned ladies can’t. Sigh.

  24. Ru says:

    I can’t do a smokey eye with Black because it’ll look like someone punched me. True red lipstick doesn’t flatter me at all, makes my skin color look garrish, same with really dark lipstick. I like lighter eyeshadow colors but some of them (really pale/pastelish ones) were obvi not meant for brown girls.

  25. Kristy says:

    My skin is medium olive but very cool and greenish with a rosy overtone. I have a super hard time with red lipstick. It clashes really badly with my skin, so I usually stick to berry or burgundy when I want “red” lips.

  26. Kim says:

    Pretty much anything that’s not natural with a tiny, extra something is too much color for me. It seriously takes a lot of effort to wear even a toned down green or blue liner. And I feel self-conscious about it all day. Totally NOT adventurous with the makeup colors. I realize this comes as no surprise. 🙂

  27. Danielle says:

    I totally agree with the pale lipstick thing. And I’m already really fair, so I need a color on my lips to brighten up my complexion. The only shade that I really hate on myself every time I wear it is purple eyeshadow. I try it every once in a while, but I find that it just doesn’t do much for me.
    Danielle recently posted … Products I Have Used Up #1

  28. ericca says:

    I stay away from pale colors or icy blues. As someone who is dark skin with yellow undertones, they just do not work for me.

  29. Monica P says:

    Nude lips. Ugh, I look dead. Doesn’t even matter if my eyes are really ‘done up’ .. I just simply look dead. lol.

    Monica P recently posted … bareMinerals by Popular Demand 6 piece collection from QVC

  30. Nele says:

    Dark blue eyeshadow doesn’t suit me as well as deep red lips. I rather use light colors or greens and browns for my eyes and brownish lipsticks.

  31. Julia says:

    HA! this gave me a laugh. you are too beautiful, i didn’t know there was a colour that would look bad on you… guess i was wrong we are all human!

  32. Maggie says:

    Brownish-red on my lips. Anything brown-tinged on me can look so wrong–I’ve been avoiding brick red shades for years.

  33. Stephanie Smith says:

    Black eyeliner! I know it’s a neutral and looks good on everyone, well, everyone but me. I just can’t get away with it. It just makes me feel like I look too harsh. I wear brown or dark blue and it’s fine, but not black. And any semi-opaque pastel lip gloss, a major no-no.

    • grlnxdor says:

      Oh you are not alone! I can’t wear black either. Every time I try it is a total disaster. I look so rough it’s not funny. I stick with brown, navy blue and olive.

  34. I absolutely cannot wear nude lipstick or I look like a corpse!

  35. Chelsea says:

    There’s a lot of colors I don’t look great in – I feel like being a redhead limits some things! Pale lipsticks in particular look awful on me – my lips are naturally rosy.

    No brown blushes – it makes me look like I’ve been in the dirt, with my huge amount of freckles. I used to be a fan of coppery eyeshadows, but I’m noticing they make my eyes look like I’ve been crying or sick.

    I would never wear red or pink eyeshadow. I don’t do a whole lot of color in eyeshadows in general – I look best if I only wear intense color as liner or lips.

  36. Katie F says:

    Karen, I think you could rock that VG Nicki II if it was worked into a really over-the-top look, like maybe a Japanese ganguro style…really exaggerated white eye makeup or something. I’m a firm believer that anyone *can* wear anything, it’s just a matter of what goes with your personal style. I’m a huge anti-“flattering” evangelist — who cares if something fits someone else’s idea of what looks good on you, if you love it you will look and feel awesome. I feel like fashion and makeup don’t always have to make you look sexy, sometimes it’s fun to look harsh or weird or intense. I love red eye makeup, even though it makes my eyes look kinda bloodshot, but it’s a fashion statement I like, so I just do it! 🙂

  37. Jill says:

    I can’t wear those white based pale lip colors either…they look crazy on me.

  38. Christina says:

    With my skin tone, cool- toned or white-based lip products just like the Viva Glam Nicki 2 would look so awful on me. Also some of the really popular nude colours with the beauty community would also look very weird on me. It’s sad, because the colours do look really nice, but sadly, they’re very ill-fitted to my dark skin tone.

  39. Daniela says:

    I’m a NW 25(I think…I’ve never gotten a perfect match) and my skin is a light warm olive with a ton of redness. I absolutely look awful in nude, pastel, light pink etc lippies. I also can’t do cool mauves since they turn grey on me..wierd huh? I also avoid blue, white and silver eyeshadows..for some reason they make my skin look older and sort of dirty. Wish my skin was more neutral but oh well

  40. doroffee says:

    Crazy opaque truqoise eyeshadows and hot pinks look really odd on me. They just don’t match my eyes and skintone… the pink looks kind of as if I was sick. The turquoise, in larger measures, even blended and mixed with colors, looks as if it was painted on me with MS Paint, no joke.

    Also, pastel/blue-based pinks and really nude-nude colors look really off on me… like I was a corpse, or a pornstar… or both.

  41. Iris says:

    I can’t wear mustard based colours or any really bright red lipsticks. They both make me look washed out. Depending on the colours, pastels can make me look sickly as well.

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