We get it: The idea of wearing just a single makeup color might sound like a bit of a snoozefest. But a monochromatic makeup look can be surprisingly cool, depending on the color in question (no super-safe neutrals, thank you) and the way you use it. Sticking with one color keeps it simple, so you don’t have to worry about going through a million steps. And while you’re working with a limited range of colors—since bold shades aren’t really doable unless you’re extra gutsy—you’d be surprised at how many ways you can wear one color.
Take mauve. Sort of pink, sort of purple, mauve has a soft, romantic vibe that only gets better when it’s on the eyes, lips, and cheeks—making it perfect for a day date, fall wedding, or whenever you have a few minutes to spare. (Hey, why not?) With the help of Estée Lauder, we’re breaking down how to pull off monochromatic makeup like a pro.
Prime the Eyes
If you’re going to put effort into trying a new makeup look, you want to make sure it doesn’t move or wear off throughout the day. After applying your base makeup (we used Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige, $43), pat an eye shadow primer onto your lids to make your powder shadows last without fading or creasing.
Pink eye shadow used to be off-limits—not so much these days. To try the look, opt for purple-pink mauve, a hue that’s universally flattering so it works on any skin tone, says celebrity makeup artist Collier Strong. Choose a shadow palette that has multiple shades, like Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Eyeshadow 5-Color Palette in Currant Desire ($56), so you can mix and match your way to your perfect color. Then finish your eyes with a coat of lengthening mascara ($28).
Brush On Blush
When it comes to creating a natural, pretty flush, you can’t go wrong with mauve. “It’s a [subtle] version of pink, so it makes everyone’s skin look healthy,” says Strong. Use a fluffy brush to sweep Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Blush in Mauve Mystique ($37) just beneath your cheekbones and up to meet the tops of your ears.
Swipe On Lip Color
Complete your monochromatic look with a lip color to match. Strong’s pick? Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Dynamic ($32).
Mauve Gone Modern
With this chic, monochromatic look, you can make the most of mauve. It’s basically a win-win-win for your makeup.