Our new official beauty correspondent, Danielle of the Style and Beauty Doctor, is giving you guys the 411 on getting rap artist Nicki Minaj’s hot signature makeup look.
Her style might be questionable, but her makeup is fierce.

Say what you want about Nicki Minaj (trust, I tried and then oddly find myself bopping my head to her music *sigh*) but the chick is making some waves in the industry whether we like it or not. While her wardrobe of second-skin liquid leggings and bustiers may not be my cup of tea, I do admire that she takes risks with her makeup (and she’s a Queens girl of Trinidadian descent just like me). Taking such risks does not equate to putting on every single eye shadow MAC has ever made, it’s actually a bit more calculated than that. If you’re so inclined to try Nicki’s bright makeup looks, here’s how you do it:

1. Pick color combos that work. Bright makeup colors must agree with each other. Throw any color together and you could have a hot mess on your hands. To figure out if two or more colors go together, break out a color wheel (shown below).

Colors directly across from each other are called complementary colors and as you may have guessed—complement each other! So for instance, you can make a color combo out of violet and yellow (and variations of those colors like light purple and gold).

But of course there are more color combos than just complementary colors. So if you look at colors that lie on either side of any given color, you’ll find colors that are analogous. So you can pair blue, blue-green, and blue-violet together, etc.

Split complementary is a color and the analogous colors to its complement color. An example of this would be red-orange, blue-green, and blue violet.

Last, we have triad colors. Triad colors are three hues equidistant on the color wheel. An example of this would be yellow-green, violet-red, and orange.

Now you can make hundreds of bright color combinations using the definitions above. But how do you pick the right hue for your skin tone?

Generally, think in terms of warm and cool. If you’re warm toned (your skin has a golden or yellow undertone to it, your veins are green, your eyes are hazel, green, or honey brown, and you look best in gold jewelry), you’ll look best in warm toned makeup colors. It’s easy to spot a warm toned color if it has a yellow or gold color to it. Here’s a few pics of some warm toned celebs to help you out:

And if you’re cool toned (your skin has a blue, pink, or red undertone to it, your veins are blue, your eyes are dark brown, blue, or grey, and you look best in silver jewelry), you’ll look best in cool toned makeup colors. It’s easy to spot a cool toned color if it has a red or blue color to it. Here’s a few pics of some cool toned celebs to help you out:

Also, the darker your skin, the brighter in hue you can go.

2. Prep. Bright colors draw attention, so if you’re going the bright route be sure to properly prep. Skin must be thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated and the brows must be manicured. Avoid using a bright color near any blemishes unless you wish to highlight that area.

3. Tools of the trade. To get Nicki’s makeup, you’ll need more than just bright eyeshadow. In order for your makeup to last longer than 8 bars, enlist an eyeshadow base like MAC Paint or Urban Decay Primer Potion. If you really want to get your colors to pop, use a base that’s in the same color family as your eyeshadow.

While you can surely get away with applying some eyeshadow looks with your fingers, with a bright look containing two or more colors, you want the precision you can only get with eyeshadow brushes. Use a brush like MAC #224 for blending or for a simple light wash of color. MAC #222 is great for working in the crease while MAC #217 is a heavier brush great for heavier application of color and for smoky eye looks. MAC #219 is a great pencil brush used for applying eyeshadow in the smallest spaces as well as lining the eyes.

4. Can you wear multiple brights? Normally I’d advise to highlight just one area of the face and keep everything else understated, but you can actually wear multiple brights on the face, BUT it’s a hard look to pull off for everyone. The timid need not apply.

Pull off multiple brights by staying in the same color family or venture out with complementary colors. For example, if your bright of choice is orange, go for a hot bright orange lip paired with coral cheeks, and a combo of peaches and a medium toned orange on the eyes. And this should go without saying, but there’s a time and a place for brights so skip it for conservative work environments and certain places of worship.

For more info on wearing brights, check out these posts: Blush 101, Rock a Bright Lip, and Guide to MAC Eyeshadows.

Hmmm, I’m a little too scared to try, but perhaps I’ll dip my toe into some brights for the summertime?
What do you guys think?


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