How To Master A Neutral Monochrome Makeup Look

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Sometimes, there's nothing better than an elegant and neutral monochromatic makeup look. Of course, incorporating colorful makeup into your routine can be a lot of fun, as can playing with bold, high-contrast looks. But you typically can't go wrong with a more cohesive and classic makeup style for more sophisticated ensembles or understated everyday looks. "Monochromatic makeup is when you keep the color palette of your makeup the same for your lips, eyes, and cheeks ... Pick shades that complement your complexion and skin tones," professional makeup artist Lavonne Anthony told IPSY.


Claudia Neacsu, a TikToker with over 250,000 followers, posted a video demonstrating her own brown monochromatic makeup look. The results? A sultry brown smokey eye and matching lips featuring darker brown liner and lighter brown gloss. Anyone can pull off this type of makeup look once they choose a neutral to commit to and have broken down each step from the eyes to the lips.

What products you'll need for a neutral monochrome makeup look

Since monochromatic neutral makeup looks involve the eyes, cheeks, and lips, you'll need products for each of these areas:

  • neutral eyeshadow
  • neutral eyeliner
  • neutral mascara
  • neutral blush
  • neutral highlighter
  • neutral liner and lipstick or gloss

If you plan to frequently create neutral monochrome looks, invest in a neutral eyeshadow palette, such as the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette, available for $33 at Sephora with 4.4 out of five stars. That way, you'll have various shades, offering more options for different looks. It's also a good idea to have black, white, gray, or brown eyeliner and black or brown mascara to enhance your eyes while staying on theme.


You may also want to try a brown blush, such as the GEN NUDE Powder Blush in But First Coffee, selling for $26 with 4.5 stars at Ulta. A silver or gray highlight can be beneficial, too — like the Glossier Haloscope Dew Effect Highlighter, available for $22 with 4.1 stars at Glossier. And, of course, you can't forget about lip products. There are many options, such as the highly-rated ColourPop Gimme Nudes Lippie Stix Pencil Set ($18.90), as long as you stay within the neutral range.

Start with the eyes

It's typically a good idea to take a top-to-bottom approach to your monochromatic makeup that starts with your eyes. Before applying any product, choose which neutral — such as brown or black — you want to be the star of your look. "There are no rules when it comes to monochrome makeup, and you don't necessarily have to use the exact same product, but generally you should keep everything within the same tones whether it's terracottas, nudes, pinks or tans," supermodel makeup artist Nikki Makeup told Glamour. If you're looking for a neutral style, you should be sure about the hue you've chosen since you'll commit to it for your entire approach.


If you want a monochromatic brown look, you should use brown eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara — and feel free to explore different shades of the same color; you don't have to stick to the same one. Or, if you want to rock a black look, opt for black and gray eye products instead. For example, TikToker @fashionn_gallery shared a video of her monochromatic eye makeup look featuring an intense black smokey eye, eyeliner, mascara, and what looked like false lashes, proving that monochromatic neutral makeup doesn't have to be subtle or boring.

Coordinate your cheeks

After you finish your neutral eye makeup look, don't forget about the cheeks before jumping to your lips. While bright and pastel blush hues are ideal for more playful looks, colorful blush doesn't typically fit the neutral monochrome makeup theme. If you're focusing on brown or nude neutrals, brown blush will look excellent. "Brown blush acts like a natural contour by using shadow to help shape the face," Maria Hatzistefanis, founder of the Rodial beauty brand, told Space NK. So, not only will brown blush help you stay on theme, but it can emphasize your beautiful and unique face shape.


If you're staying more within the black and gray theme, you may want to skip the blush, as blacks and grays are more intense, so you likely won't need blush for extra drama. Instead, a light gray-to-silver highlighter can enhance your look if you want extra pizazz. However, trying to master neutral monochrome makeup isn't the time to start experimenting with colorful highlighter. For instance, a lilac highlighter can be a living dream but wouldn't typically be an appropriate option for monochromatic neutral looks.

Match your lips to the rest of the look

It might be tempting to add a bold red or purple lip for daring contrast, but if you want to commit to neutral monochromatic makeup, your lips should be the same neutral as your eye makeup. If you focus on brown, try rocking beautiful brown lips. Whether you opt for a classic brown lipstick or lip liner with gloss, you're right on trend. Or, if you're staying within a light nude theme, opt for a nude lip. For example, TikToker @makeupbyarlinda uploaded a video showcasing a luxurious-looking nude lip with brown liner, nude liquid lipstick, and light nude classic lipstick.


If you chose black eye makeup as your neutral, consider exploring black lipstick. "Because black is not a colour – technically it's a shade – there is no undertone, which means it works with all skin tones," Dominic Skinner, MAC's senior artist, told Harper's Bazaar. Wearable gray lipstick is another exciting option, as demonstrated by TikToker @krystal.leandra's monochromatic gray makeup tutorial.