Matching Jewelry to Make Up

By AP contributor Kristine Rose

Obsession doesn’t even begin to cover my relationship with jewelry. I currently own two hanging stands, and 5 boxes full of the stuff. Keep in mind that most of this has been accumulated in 10 years, but I still won’t pretend this is an acceptable level of jewelry for one person to own.

As I prepare to move from NYC first to Northampton MA for the summer, and then permanently to Philadelphia, the idea of transporting this cherished collection is daunting. A saner person with better priorities would take this as an opportunity to condense, letting go of anything that isn’t essential. For me it’s just an opportunity to lovingly catalog each and every piece, noting how glad I am that I consoled myself with that five dollar pair of hoops when the train was late. You see, I have something that goes with everything at this point. Literally everything. That goes not just for outfits, but also make up.

Like the dutiful neurotic that I am, every single piece of my ensemble must match, or at least “go” before I dare to leave the house. Though this is something that could easily get overlooked, I feel it gives a subtle sense of cohesion to the whole deal. A sense of continuity for the eye.

There are several “rules” I keep in mind while picking the best jewelry for my make up:



This is probably the most important component. If a lip color or shadow has a warm undertone, I’m more likely to pair it with gold or rose gold. If it has a cool undertone, I’m more likely to pair it with silver or gunmetal. If you’re feeling more adventurous as I occasionally am, you can mix cool and warm, but only if your outfit reflects different undertones. If there are at least two warm and two cool items (including shoes, clothes, makeup, jewelry, and handbag) this looks more intentional. For example when I wore oxblood jeans (warm) with a black and white printed leotard (cool) and a teal green sweater (warm) I accessorize with cool toned silver earrings and warm toned bronze lips.



I try to generally pair shinier accessories like bright silver with matte make up and jewelry with a flatter finish such as antiqued gold with dewy or glittery make up for contrast. I also tend to pair darker colors with brighter jewelry and lighter colors with darker or more matte jewelry.



If a piece of jewelry has a subtle detail that I want to highlight, I will accentuate that with make up. For instance if a pair of earrings has tiny rhinestones I will wear some white or silver glitter to echo that in my make up. If a necklace has a tiny bit of green in it, I will put a touch of the same green in the inner corner of my eyes. If a piece of jewelry is reflective or composed of many colors, I will pull one out and reflect that prominently in my make up that day.


There’s no one size fits all here, and I’ve been known to rock some door knocker earrings with a bright purple lip on occasion, but for the most part, if I am wearing very large or chunky jewelry I will compliment that with more subtle or lighter colored make up.



The color wheel is a great place to look for inspiration if you’re working with jeweled or colored jewelry. Contrasting colors are across from each other on the color wheel, and pairing them together will make your look “pop” For example, I like to pair green or blue toned jewelry with red or orange lips.

Experimentation is the easiest way to find balance. Try on several different necklaces with your face of the day and see which piece feels harmonious with your look, then ask yourself why. A pattern is sure to emerge.

Are any of you mindful of this jewelry/ make up equilibrium? Are there tips and tricks I’ve missed here? I would I love to hear them in the comments!

Kristine is wearing half a jewelry store on Instagram @glitter_or_death

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Kristine Rose is a make-up artist, esthetician, and writer. She strongly believes in each individual’s right to express themselves through style, make up, and body modification (or lack thereof). Beauty writing is her one true passion and she intends to revel in it until her untimely death, crushed under the weight of her own jewelry. Follow her on Instagram: @swansaredead and @_partoftheproblem_.

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