10 Tips for Making Metallic Makeup Look Naturally Stunning (PHOTOS)

Maressa Brown | Dec 30, 2014 Beauty & Style
10 Tips for Making Metallic Makeup Look Naturally Stunning (PHOTOS)

woman applying mascaraWhether you're looking for a sultry, shimmery look for New Year's Eve or simply making a resolution to switch up your makeup regimen in 2015, the metallic makeup trend is one bandwagon you'll want to consider hopping on. The look has been showing up everywhere lately -- from red carpets to fashion runways and in celeb selfies (yes, we're looking at you, Kim Kardashian) galore. Even if you're concerned there's no way to pull it off in a super-natural "what makeup?" way, and you're going to look like C-3PO no matter what you do, think again.

metallic eye makeup"Metallics are in, because they are sexy [and] add shine and a little bit of edginess to any makeup look," explains Wende Zomnir, founding partner and COO of Urban Decay. "And neutrals are flattering and easy to wear. Put the two together, and BAM!"

Zomnir and other makeup pros dished all their secrets for going metallic while keeping your overall look neutral -- the key to confidently rocking the look. Check out their suggestions below, then tell us: Have you been following the rules of #3? What's your favorite metallic makeup product?


Images via Ammentorp Photography/shutterstock & Serg Zastaukin/shutterstock

  • Know the Difference Between Day & Night


    Image via XactpiX/Splash News

    How you wear metallics to that big party should be different from how you wear them out for Sunday brunch. The key: Switching up the lip. "I like to pair metallic eyes with a creamy bright lip color for evening, and a sheer neutral gloss for day," recommends Zomnir. For instance, Kim may not be wearing a daytime appropriate ensemble here, but her metallic eye/nude lip is perfect for pre-sunset!

  • Keep It Simple


    Image via Urban Decay

    Ggiving your look a slightly metallic touch could -- and should! -- be as simple as using a shimmering, softly metallic brown eye shadow (like Urban Decay Smog, $18, urbandecay.com) instead of a matte alternative.

    Similar tips from Song: "Add some shimmer on the inner corners of your eyes to brighten them up [or] add some shimmer onto your cheekbones to give a natural glow."

  • Pay Attention to Skin Tone


    Image via Urban Decay

    When deciding between a palette with soft gold shades (like Smashbox's Full Exposure palette, $49, sephora.com) or rosy gold ones (like Urban Decay's Naked3 palette, $54, urbandecay.com), consider the canvas they're going on. "Know what tones work for your skin tone," advises professional makeup artist and hair stylist Teresa Song. Here's her chart to identify the ideal metallic hue for your skin:

    Fair skin with cool undertones: pearl or pale pink shades
    Fair skin with yellow undertones: soft gold 
    Medium skin with cool undertones: rose-gold metallic
    Medium skin with yellow undertones: peachy-gold shades
    Olive skin: reddish-copper
    Dark skin with cool undertones: bronze
    Dark skin with warm undertones: copper

  • Pick a 'Universally Flattering' Lip


    Image via Blush.com

    Sometimes, you might not want to have to figure out which hue is the perfect match for your skin tone. That's fair. In those cases, try to find a product that is marketed as a "one size fits all" -- especially in the case of lipstick or lip gloss.

    "For a universally flattering metallic, try a gorgeous pink like Osmosis Colour Cosmetics' new lilac lipgloss ($17, blush.com), which works for almost all skin [tones]," advises Ami Shvartzman, Director of Education for Osmosis.

    Award-winning celebrity makeup artist Patty Bell, whose star roster includes Amy Adams and Kate Walsh, agrees, noting, "Nothing looks better on a flawless face than a beautiful, sparkling lip gloss." Her favorite: Chanel's Scintillance Glossimer lip gloss ($29.50, chanel.com). "It's a sparkly peachy-pink shade that looks great by itself or over another lipstick," she says.

  • Don't Get Overzealous With Blush


    Image via Sephora.com

    Speaking of peachy-pink shades that work for everyone, when it comes to blush, you can definitely stick with a tried and true hue instead of experimenting with anything too wild. Bell loves cult classic NARS Orgasm blush ($30, sephora.com). "It's just one of those universal colors that looks great on everyone," she says. "For an extra bit of glam, try Super Orgasm from NARS that adds some glittery sparkle to the cheekbones -- perfect for a fun night out or New Year's Eve!"

    An overall rule of thumb: "Use metallic blushes and powders sparingly," advises Meli Pennington, director of makeup artistry for ColorSisters. ­ "A light dusting can create a beautiful sheen, but relying on a metallic to give full color can create a tin-man look!"

  • Stick to a Solo Act


    Image via Imcsike/shutterstock

    It's best to play up your eyes or your lips. Even your manicure or your eyes. "You should pick one feature (eyes, lips, nails) to emphasize with metallics, and keep the rest of the look toned-down and matte for a modern and polished look," advises NYC-based hairstylist and makeup artist Eden DiBlanco.

  • Think Outside the Shadow Box


    Image via Ilona Koeleman/shutterstock

    We tend to think of eye shadow, lip gloss, and a blush/highlighter as the best ways to work in a touch of metallic, but you can easily get a really subtle effect with eyeliner, says DiBlanco.

    "A quick swipe of metallic eyeliner smudged into the lash line can help make eyes pop with definition and a little glamour without being over the top," she explains. One to try: Ulta Metallic Automatic Eyeliner ($8, ulta.com).

    Want to get a bit more creative? "You can use a metallic liquid liner as an accent, applied above a dark liner," advises Pennington. "Another beautiful place for a metallic touch is on the 'cupid's bow' of the upper lip, with or without a strong lip color."

  • Mix It Up


    Image via Sephora.com

    If you want to get in touch with your inner artist and experiment a bit, consider this tip from beauty expert and makeup artist Christina Marrale. "A fun way to tap into the metallic trend is by mixing and matching your own lip color with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics' Trio Set ($25, sephora.com). It's perfect option for those who love color and trying out new shades."

  • Marry Metallics to Warm Neturals


    Image via Sephora.com

    "When pairing metallics on the eye, always be sure to tie the look together with a warm, neutral shade on the crease," recommends Marrale. "This brings balance to the look, allowing the colors to marry together perfectly."

    Using a high-quality product helps, of course, and Marrale loves Bobbi Brown Metallic eye shadow ($22, sephora.com). "The color selections are gorgeous!" she says.

  • Steer Clear of Chunky Glitter


    Image via blush.com

    "Avoid metallic eye shadows, highlighters, and bronzers with large particles," warns Schvartzman. "Instead, find a line that is triple-milled, as the particles will have a smoother application that will look more natural on the skin."

    Bonus: Triple-milled powders, like Osmosis Colour products or Sephora+Pantone Universe Shimmering Marsala Cheek Trio ($28, sephora.com), "photograph amazingly well," she notes.

makeup makeup tutorial

More Slideshows