How to | Tone on Tone Makeup

By Daniel Thompson
June 6, 2010

Photography Mercedes fashion week, Daniel Thompson, YSL, K&S Media

Often mistaken as a “nothing” look, the simple tone on tone neutral is one of the most elegant and timeless make up applications and can be worn to the office or with a dramatic evening gown for a touch of glamour.

TIP: The trick is to remember tone on tone requires slight variations in colour from the lips to the cheeks to the eyes while layering matte products with shimmer. Keep every product in the same colour family.

Four easy steps to follow:

1. THE FOUNDATION: The foundation should catch light not look flat. The best choice is to work with a tinted moisturizer and gently layer a soft setting powder over the top. This way the skin looks moist but the make up stays in place.

2. THE EYES: One eyeshadow and one eyeliner is all that is needed – a shimmer eyeshadow in a soft beige tone should be applied across the whole lid. Fill the entire lid area side to side and lash to brow. Then carefully line the eye with a soft brown liner close to the eyelash. Smudge out the liner with a make up brush or a cotton swab. Be careful not to let the liner extend beyond the lash line.

3. THE CHEEKS: Matte blush is essential – it will accent the cheeks without detracting from the eye make up or negating the moist look of the foundation. The colour should be a soft pink or a very soft mocha depending on the natural tones of the skin. Keep the blush soft by applying with a large powder brush or a fan tail brush rather than a traditional blush brush.

4. THE LIPS: Lipstick and gloss go together, but avoid the use of a lip liner. Use a creamy satin finish lipstick that is neutral but not brown. Soft beige or warm pink works very well. Apply evenly and completely across the top and bottom lip to create the colour base. Then use a clear or white lip gloss and apply only in the centre of the top and bottom lip. This trick will allow the lips to look plump, moist and full without having to shape them with lip liner.