If your love life’s in need of a pick-me-upper, take inspiration from Spring’s color pop trend that pairs opposites with flair! Seen at the runways of Oscar de la Renta and Max Mara, instant chemistry ignites when complimentary shades unite.

By Thea Mitchel

Victor Virgile, Getty Images- Oscar de la Renta 2020;

On the Color Wheel, bolds that lie directly across from one another, balance each other when placed together. Suddenly blue and orange have more meaning than a connection to Beyonce and Gwyneth ( oops, sorry…that’s Blu and Apple), giving us the courage to move beyond the “mascara is all I need” routine.  

Noticeable on the catwalk was the return to saturated hues, and we are loving the whimsical theme that seems to prevail! From muted Macarons to 80s neons, the spectrum leaves room for any comfort zone. It can be a slippery slope taking the plunge to work with two contrasting shades, but once you follow color theory protocol, fear need not be a factor anymore!

Ask yourself – is that shadow-free approach you’ve rocked since college masking your secret yearning to try more? Colors on your eyes don’t have to have a crayola effect…there is a way to be playful and presentable too! Once you have your combo of choice  (i.e. blue and orange), try finessing the hues with a monochromatic tweak (by slightly lightening or darkening the tone). Flashy blue, can be switched up for a rich denim, or vivid orange downplayed to soft peach. This way, you adjust the intensity of one color, making the other its wingman and creating even more harmony between the two.


When done right, this unique approach allows you to blend different hues without overdosing on pigment plentitude. Simply start with the brighter (or paler) of the two shades swept on your upper lid, then smudge the deeper one along the bottom (under your lash line). A word of caution: the ever-popular red/green combo can be a tad too Holiday festive-ish for Spring. Instead, replace the red with pink (or fuschia) to be trendy while maintaining the berry connection.


Keep in mind that this daring duo requires subtlety for other areas of the face, so you don’t overwhelm the effect. Soft, brushed brows, a swipe of mascara and nude lips are all you need to round it off. To further balance the finish, opt for making your nude lippy one of the corresponding tints:peachy-brown (for orange/blue shadow), pinky-brown (green/berry shadow) or golden beige (yellow/violet).

The models at Max Mara showed a variation on the look by playing up different textures with a minimalistic, haute couture vibe. Sweeping a translucent sagey green over the lids, then finishing off with a vampy, matte berry lip still adhered to the Color Wheel rules but kept it cool; the mood was more polished than playful, but just as striking!


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