Often times figuring out what to wear can be a difficult decision we face when we have a special event or an important celebration to attend. While the little black dress has remained an icon throughout the history of fashion, we've seen more makeup trends come and go, and return again through the years, giving us pause to stop and ask ourselves, "When it comes to dressing up, what makeup looks should we really be wearing?" Whether you simply want to wear lip gloss and mascara or pull out all your favorite bright lipstick shades, we've rounded up several of our favorite makeup looks that you can wear with a black dress anywhere, anytime—keep scrolling for all the inspiration you need for your next makeup look.
Emphasizing eyes and lips while wearing a black dress brings balance and versatility to your makeup look, due to the fact you can choose any color palette you want. The options truly are endless. The soft mauve eyeshadow colors on the eyes and lips here are an excellent example of how wearing color can elevate any look instantly.
A classic makeup look that has stood the test of time, liquid liner and red lipstick bring an element of sophistication on any given day. If you're someone who wants to keep it simple but also appreciates glam, this look is always a great choice to wear with a black dress. Physician's Formula Organic Wear Precision Liquid Eyeliner can help create thin and thick lines depending on the angle you hold the brush.
Yes to Pink
Wearing pink and nude tones on eyes, cheeks, and lips can elevate your makeup look ever so slightly while still remaining natural. Incorporating consistent, similar tones in your makeup is an easy way to keep things cohesive if you're someone who tends to shy away from wearing bolder colors. Lumene Invisible Watercolor Blush has build-able color you can add to cheeks for a flushed look.
Bold and Bright
Bold and bright lips paired with minimal eye makeup show that utilizing the smallest bit of color is a powerful tool that takes your makeup look to the next level while wearing a black dress. These red lips seriously set the tone for all the right kind of drama.
Create an abstract feel with your winged eyeliner, and pair it with nude lipstick when wearing a black dress, especially if you're someone who likes to keep the drama only on the eyes. Be sure to trace out your wing on each eye before filling it in to ensure the shapes match.
Metallic eyes and shimmering lips show how textures and finishes in makeup are beautiful as ever when worn with a black dress. The glistening silver shadow and Fuschia lipstick shown here are quite the combo and we are truly loving it.
Glossy, Shiny, Happy
Glossy, shiny lips and precise eyeliner are a quick and easy way to put a makeup look together to wear with a black dress and cost-efficient too as they are usually items you already have in your makeup bag. This gloss from Mented Cosmetics is the perfect natural shade to wear. Simple touches like these are easy for anyone to re-create themselves and can also pair really well with any outfit.
The Earth Tones Have It
Neutral earth-toned shadows like this palette from Beauty Bakerie, and lipstick are the perfect go-to for makeup looks being paired with a black dress and can be worn with any other outfit as well, making them quite a versatile option. The beautiful tones here show just how minimal makeup can make an impact and look gorgeous all at the same time.
Smoldering Eyes, Bold Brows
Bold brows, smoldering eyes, bright lips—the reasons are endless on why this makeup look is a total win to pair with a black dress. Make the eyes as dressy as you like, the more dramatic, the better.
Rose Gold Sheen
Rose gold eyelids are giving life to this makeup look and accentuate a black dress in all the best ways. The more metallic the better, so don't be afraid to pack on the shimmer when testing out metallic finishes for eyeshadow looks, either.
Hot Orange Lips
Hot orange lipstick brings the heat when paired with a black dress and is a chic alternative to true red or berry colors. Seeing as it can be worn all year round, test a few orange-red shades to see which one is your favorite. Use a similar lip liner to help shape lips and keep lipstick from smudging.
Light Shadow Hues
Applying sheer, light shadow colors to the top and bottom of the eyes can change things up in an instant and work as a great alternative to smoky eye looks when you're pressed for time or want to keep your look natural.
Icy gray and silver shadows can create effects that are just as smoldering as smoky ones, without the need to use an assortment of eyeshadows. Chantecaille's Le Chrome Luxe Eye Duo in "Himalaya" is a great place to start when wanting to wear these tones. To create a more dramatic look, apply the shadow to the top and bottom eyes by blending it outward underneath for a smoky effect, and clean up any fallout with a q-tip.
A structured eyeliner paired with natural, rose-colored lipstick is an easy look to tout with a black dress that isn't difficult to re-create, either. When creating this look yourself, be sure to use a long-lasting eyeliner that will stay in place without smudging to ensure you keep the shape intact.
Shiny and Smudged
Smudgy eyeliner on the top and bottom waterline can elevate eye makeup in an instant and doesn't involve several, complicated steps. When re-creating this look, line the upper and bottom rims of eyes with a long-lasting waterproof eyeliner before adding any kind of eyeshadow. Finish with a few coats of your favorite volumizing mascara.
Green eyeshadow? Yes, please. This color is an excellent choice to wear with black dresses and comes in varying shades as well. This shade of eyeshadow in "Green Depth" from Kjaer Weis Whether you want pastel or metallic finish, the color pictured here really switches things up from everyday neutrals.
Peach is the New Pink
Peach very well could be the new pink and this versatile hue looks stunning when paired with a black dress. From soft pastel shades on the eyelids to a glossy lip, when wanting to utilize earth-toned and natural colors into your makeup look, peach is a great place to start as it is versatile amongst all complexions.
A Beautiful Contrast
Shimmering white shadow brings a beautiful contrast to this eyeshadow look paired with liquid eyeliner and lots of mascara. You can choose to wear this color alone or add definition in the crease by contouring with a deeper shade to bring out your features.
Glistening, gleaming gold tones aren't only reserved for golden hour, as the warm hues bring a delicate glow to the skin that works well with black dresses and clothing. If a shimmery highlighter is all you have, try applying the product to the eyes and cheeks for a multi-use experience that also saves time. ILIA Beauty's Daylite Highlighting Powder in "Starstruck" can be applied to both eyes and face.
The drama this makeup look is giving us is everything we want and more. Deep crimson lips with glittering, smoky eyeshadow set the tone for turning heads all day (and night), and this lipstick from Uoma Beauty is a beautiful crimson hue. Not sure where to place the glitter? Start at the center of the eyelid first to get a handle on how the particular product looks and blends, and then keep adding as much as you like until you're satisfied.
Don't be afraid to experiment with bold and colorful makeup when wearing a black dress, if you're used to wearing softer tones and not much else. This bright blue eyeshadow placed strategically in the center of the top eyelid and underneath the eye, help define and bring a lovely contrast.
Soft petal pink applied as a monochromatic tone throughout this makeup look gives a natural and fresh feel to the skin all while defining features. This is an easy way to put together a makeup look when wanting to wear black that enables you to create a color story with your makeup that looks really beautiful.
Create contrast in the eyes by extending the shape of your wing out and shade different areas to enhance. The pop of color on the cheeks and highlight gives a radiant glow to the skin and works well with the chosen eye makeup.
Ethereal, soft makeup gives a delicate finish and overall glow to the skin while pairing well with black clothing. This look proves that nude and natural tones can look elevated and beautiful no matter the occasion.
Playful and Defining
Liquid liner, defined brows, and an accentuated crease help to bring definition to the eyes and balance out playful touches of lip gloss and rosy cheeks. When blending eyeshadow in the crease, using a blending brush that has a pointed tip can help blend color seamlessly without a ton of shadow fallout.
The Brows Have It
Bold brows and defined eyeliner add structure to this soft makeup look that is very natural. When wearing neutral colors, enhancing eyebrows, eyelashes, and cheekbones are all ways of helping to define features without needing to wear a lot of product or bold colors.
This example of eyeliner paired with nude lips and brushed up brows looks divine with a black dress, as you can see the whole look pictured here is really working. After drawing your wing with liquid or gel eyeliner, blend it under the bottom lashes to create drama without the need for extra blending that comes with creating a smoky eye.
Winged eyeliner comes in many styles, and this softly diffused liner shows how even the subtlest form of a classic trend looks eloquent as ever. Wear it with any color lipstick of your choice, the options are endless.
A festive flick with detail takes eye makeup one step further from the traditional trends and looks amazing when worn with a black dress. Brows are perfectly shaped and a shiny, glossy lip doesn't take away from the work of art on the eyes.
The Under Eyeliner
Add some drama to your makeup look by emphasizing the eyeliner under eyes versus on the top. This technique allows for liner to be more prominent especially in the outer and inner corners. Finish with a few coats of your favorite mascara and a soft contour on the cheeks topped off with highlighter.
Glossy and Chic
Glossy pink eyelids and cheeks are giving us all the ethereal vibes and the colors pop even more when worn with a black dress. Multi-use products that can be worn on the eyes, cheeks, and lips are helpful when wanting to create monochromatic makeup looks. Jillian Dempsey's Lid Tint in shade "Dew" can be added to makeup on the eyes and cheeks to instantly make it glossy.
Shades of Purple
Varying shades of purple eyeshadow are always a good idea to wear with a black dress, and the violet and lavender shades here work well together to create a look that is beautiful. Experimenting with purple tones until you find the best ones that suit your skin tone can be fun and also knowledgeable, as this hue across the board is flattering for all.
A touch of highlighter with a smoky eye is a gorgeous way to wear makeup when pairing it with a black dress, and the definition around the eyes here using deeply- hued shadow tones is exquisite.
Touch of Burgundy
Burgundy eyeliner emphasizes any eye color and is a nice switch-up from traditional black, brown, and navy pigments. With a soft contour and highlight on the cheekbones, the overall look works extremely well when wearing a black dress.
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Bold and Blue
Bold blue and aqua tones paired with black show how color can make a huge impact when wearing a simple black dress or outfit. The color blended around the entire eye area is an alternative to a smoky eye that opts for using more traditional shadow shades.
The sharper the edges on winged-eyeliner, the better. This eyeliner exemplifies how details on the outer and inner eyes can change an entire makeup look. Paired with your favorite black dress, the whole look is flawless.
Have some fun with your makeup and look to the different decades of the past for inspiration. This 60's inspired look combines liquid and pencil eyeliner along with several coats of mascara that help the lashes appear more spider-like.
Deep amethyst eyeshadow paired with a vibrant and rich red lip shows how wearing color on the eyes and lips looks amazing with a black dress and allows for all the beautiful shades to really pop. Wearing eyeshadow with a metallic finish can also aid in the purple really standing out.
Smoky Chocolate Shadows
Chocolate brown eyeshadow gives way for stunning smoky eye makeup looks paired with black, smudged eyeliner. The natural gloss on lips and soft contouring and highlight all work together to create a beautiful makeup look that can be worn with a black dress.
All About Rust
Warm, rusted eyeshadow hues are rich in tone and pair well with black clothing, and can be worn on the lid for a touch of color, or blended around the eyes for a smokier effect. Whether you opt for sheer lips and soft blush or want to wear with a bright lip color, rust is a delightful color to wear on the lids.