Colour Theory and Makeup

Hi guys! I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting lately but I just had one of those weeks where each day consisted of going to work, going back home to sleep, and waking up and going back to work. I’m not complaining - I prefer to be busy and the money isn’t bad. It just doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing and shooting posts. Boo, right?

Sofie and I have casually mentioned some basic colour theory on here before but I want to break it down because our casual use of it hasn’t been all that explanatory.

We’re going all the way back to kindergarten here. Remember this? Colours interact with one another and you can manipulate that with makeup. The cool colours are at the bottom of this wheel and tend to be the ones that match your veins when you swatch them on the inside of your wrist (that is, if you have visible veins). The warm ones are at the top of the wheel.

Each colour has its true shade - one that can be hard to find in the makeup aisle. True shades are neutral, which means that they have equal parts cool and warm tones. Let’s use red as an example:

The shade on the left is Russian Red, my favourite lipstick ever. It leans too blue to be considered a neutral red but it’s incredibly difficult to find a swatch of neutral red lipstick. If you’re dead set on digging for that, try searching for L’Oreal's British Red.

The middle shade has warmer undertones. Warm reds can sway orange, like M.A.C.’s Lady Danger (pictured) or Nars Heat Wave. Classic magazine copy would tell you to stay away from that but we don’t do rules here. Be warned though, it won’t do your teeth any favours if you have to answer “all of the above” when your dentist asks if you drink “Coffee, tea, or red wine?”.

The one on the right is M.A.C.’s Ruby Woo, their other classic red. It’s blue-based and extremely cool. I’ve tried to fux with it but I wasn’t a fan of how it looked on my face because I have warm undertones - which I’ll explain in my next post. 

- Kennedy

built-by-machines asked:

1. Do you have any tips on finding a good lip color based on your skin tone? I ride a fine line between fair & medium skin, and I want a bright summery shade but it's just hard to find one that doesn't make me look like a clown. 2. How should I go about blush? I'm a total beginner but the lady at Bare Minerals applied it and I liked how it gave my face dimensional color, if that even makes sense haha. Thank you!

1. Try a coral. I’ll do a post on the colour wheel right after this.

2. When you apply blush - don’t swirl it around the apples of your cheeks like Seventeen magazine taught us all to do. Apply it on your apples/cheekbones and sweep upwards.

Lipstick Lundi: Unapologetic

What an appropriate name for today’s post, because I really am unapologetic. Kennedy has covered the Revlon Matte Balms here in the past, and I’ve always wanted to try some but never actually got around to getting one. WELL, TODAY IS THE DAY. 

I’ve been pretty bleh about makeup this summer and I haven’t worn lipstick in what feels like forever, but I want to start again. I think I’m just bored of all my colours. I’m going to New York again in 10 days or so and I’m going to make another custom lipstick at the Bite Lip Lab— this time, a dark dark dark purple. But that’s for another time.

We are gathered here today to talk about my new Revlon Matte Balm in Unapologetic, a bright pink/coral that is really what I’m all about lately. It reminds me a little of my Tom Ford Flamingo, but the colour doesn’t apply as smoothly and is definitely not as rich.


It seems a little warmer than Tom Ford as well, which is also prety warm-based, and though I always prefer blue-based lipsticks to make my teeth not look so yellow, I’m kind of okay with this. It applies smoothly and nicely, though I’m not as much of a fan of crayon-type packaging as Kennedy is. I like a regular lipstick tube.


I really gotta get back into wearing lipstick, especially these bright colours. It’s actually really nice and feels light on the lips, which I like for warmer weather. Summer is almost over and I spent it wearing boring eyeliner and too much illuminator. But such is life. Hopefully this new purchase will make me wear it more. Otherwise, I just really need you guys to send me a ton of messages and bully me into wearing lipstick. I wanna be babein again.


Review: NARS Illuminator in Copacabana

Later on, we’re going to have a post explaining the difference between highlighter and illuminator. I mean, I guess that should have been this post, but I keep feeling like I’ve not done a specific product post in a while, which is untrue. Whatever. I bought this a while ago and I’ve yet to actually talk about it, so. Here we go.

As someone with dry skin, buying an illuminator seemed like the most natural choice for me, because I wanted my dull, sallow skin to look bright and shiny and healthy in the summer light. Of all the colours NARS had to offer, this was the one I wanted to try, mostly because it seemed to be the closest one to High Beam by Benefit, which I have yet to get around to buying.

ANYWAY, as someone with dry skin, this seemed like a good idea. However, I didn’t really think this through as someone with acne-prone skin. Generally, if I have a bunch of acne flaring up, I tend to use blushes that are more matte than shimmery, because the extra shimmer puts too much emphasis on what I don’t exactly want to show off. Illuminator is like that, but times a hundred. That said, when my skin is looking better, I really like the way it looks on my cheekbones in the bright light of summer.

(Left: Just a blob, Right: Spread into my hand)


  • It has a really good amount of shine
  • Seemingly lots of product in the bottle, and you don’t need a lot to get the shine and coverage you want
  • Not sparkly— just shimmery
  • Super spreadable and smooth
  • Pink tint looks natural on my skin tone
  • Easily mixes with foundation or tinted moisturizer and creates medium level of shine


  • Can be a bit too liquidy and spreadable at times
  • It really is SUPER shiny and if you use too much, it’s pretty obvious
  • The pink tint might not work for every skin tone

Overall, a quality product that I won’t return, but I can’t see myself using every day. I think I’m going to stick to using mostly my blush and highlighter, and do another post about those another day.