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10 Step Monochrome Makeup Routine That Anyone Can Do

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Skye Rhodes

 In case you are unfamiliar, the 10 step monochrome makeup routine is the art of using a single color or colors from the same color family for highlighting at least two of the facial features like your eyes, cheeks, and lips.

The unique look takes the pressure from trying to find multiple complementing colors that go with your outfit and skin tone. 

It also helps to make a bold statement.

With this look, you can experiment with product textures and varying shades of the chosen color.

The look was extremely popular in the 70s and has made a comeback with celebrities like Rihanna sporting the look on Red carpet.

This look, as easy as it may sound is extremely hard to perfect!


10 Step Monochrome Makeup Routine That Anyone Can Do

So, do you want to try it out? – Follow these 10-step monochrome makeup routine to get the perfect monochromatic makeup look.

1. Getting Started

Before applying a primer, cleanse, tone, and moisturize your skin.

It’s a daily part of my routine.

It protects the youthfulness of the skin and keeps it hydrated and healthy.

Now, let’s start by using a primer on the face.

This step will help smooth out your skin by filling any pores or fine lines you may have.

It reduces the appearance of blemishes too.

Using a primer can make sure that your makeup stays on over a longer duration of time, that it’s more wearable.

It also creates a barrier of a sort between skin oil and makeup and gives you a clean dry face to work on.

Many women tend to skip this step of applying the base or are not aware of the benefits a primer can give to the overall makeup look.

A lot of brands have started combining the functionality of the primer with skincare products to offer acne reduction, sunscreen, etc. which is a huge advantage.

Many times using makeup on my face causes breakouts and using a primer with anti-acne properties has helped me immensely with it.

It helps in keeping my face irritation low as it creates a protective layer between the makeup and skin.

So, to those who haven’t yet tried on a primer, I recommend investing in one and see the benefits for yourself.

It might just become an essential product in your makeup bag.

To apply the primer, take a dime-sized amount of product in your palm and apply lightly all over your face and neck in small, circular motions.

This is the only product I would recommend applying without the use of a makeup brush.

A silicone or sponge applicator can be used too.

Let the primer set in for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

2. Apply Foundation

Once the primer is set and dry you can apply your foundation to prepare your skin for makeup.

Applying a foundation ensures a visibly uniform skin tone.

Foundation also reduces the appearance of blemishes and gives your skin a smoother finish.

Just like primers, foundations to come with benefits of sunscreen, anti-acne, oil-free, etc.

It is available in the form of powder and liquids.

Choose the right kind of foundation based on your skin type.

I use a light foundation to even out my skin color and cover acne spots.

It’s important to use the right colored foundation.

To find the right shade of foundation, apply swatches of different shades of foundation on your wrist, and choose the one that matches your skin tone the best.

Though many of the brands have a varied range of foundation colors, if you do not find the right one for you, you can mix two shades of foundation to get the shade that suits you the most.

Foundations also come in a wide range of coverages like sheer, light, medium, and full.

Higher the coverage, the higher the pigmentation provided by the product.

For people who already have a great, even skin tone Sheer foundation is the best as it has the least amount of pigmentation.

Based on your skin tone and type choose the right foundation which is best suited for your needs.

For example, if you have oily skin, opt for a foundation that has a matte finish.

Or If you are decking up for a day event, choose a foundation with sunscreen protection.

You can use a makeup sponge to apply the foundation to your face.

In the case of powder, you can apply it with the applicator that usually comes along with the product.

I recommend using a silicone sponge or makeup brush to apply foundation which ensures a minimum amount of product wastage and proper coverage all over the face.

Take a small amount of product and apply with your chosen makeup tool and make sure you cover your entire face as well as the front and back of your neck.

Let the foundation dry.

3. Use a Concealer

After you have applied the foundation, you may choose to use concealer under your eyes to hide dark spots if you have.

You can also use the concealer to hide prominent blemishes or marks which are visible even after the application of foundation.

After all, it’s imperative to have a smooth canvas before we start applying makeup!

I recommend using a cream concealer for its heavy and rich coverage and multi-faceted use.

It can be applied under the eyes for color correction and on specific blemishes or spots on the skin to make it look much more even and healthy.

If you already have great skin, you can skip the applying foundation step and just apply a little concealer over problem areas and voilà! You can start with makeup.

To cover the dark circles, apply foundation in the shape of a triangle below your eyes with a point towards your chin and gently blend the concealer.

Under-eye skin is extremely soft and sensitive so it’s required to use gentle stroke so as not to cause any damage.

After the concealer is applied and dried we can move on to the next step.

4. Choose a Color

Once you have prepared your skin for the look, you can go ahead and choose a color for the monochromatic makeup look.

Start by choosing a color that complements your skin tone.

For light or golden skin tone pink and peach colors work well.

For brighter skin with bluish undertone dark colors like brown and magenta work very well.

They give a sort of contrast and help your features look more prominent.

For neutral skin tones, you can use blue, rose colors to get the look.

In case you aren’t sure about which color to use, you can try subtle colors like brown, red, and pink that go very well for this makeup look for any kind of skin tone.

Or if you are not afraid of experimenting and you are looking for a bolder look you can experiment with lavender, blue, and magenta colors.

In case you do opt for bolder and brighter colors it’s advisable to apply it on just any two of your features instead of three i.e. eye, cheeks, or lips to create a balanced and more defined look.

This creates a certain balance in the face highlighting the features that you want to enhance more.

For example, if you are choosing to go with the bold red lipstick, use a light dab of red around your eyes.

You can skip the blush or use a very light tint of red for the cheeks.

Or, If you choose to go with the color pink, you can use a shimmery and darker shade to do your eyes and lighter shades for your cheeks and lips.

Or, you may also choose a purple-colored lipstick to make a statement and choose a lighter shade of the color in a more subdued form on the eyes.

Orange and burnt rust colors go well with almost all skin tones and can give a fiery red carpet ready look if done right.

Even though the look requires playing around with a single or similar color family you can still be creative with the textures and coverage of the colors that you apply to create unique and extremely stylish looks that suit you.

For this look, you may want to go with a single product that is multi-tasking it can be used as an eye shadow, blush as well as a lip color.

Cream-based products go great for this as they are easy to apply to all features.

Although powdered products can be used to they need to be mixed with nourishing gels or balms to get good coverage as a lip color.

At this point, once you have decided on the color you want to go with you should also decide on the texture, intensity, and coverage of the products that you would use for your eyes, cheeks, and lips we can move on to apply the makeup!

5. Applying Eye Shadow

Once you have zeroed in on the shade that you want to use for the Monochromatic makeup look you may start by applying an eye shadow.

Apply the shadow on your eyelids with an eye brush.

I don’t recommend using fingertips to apply eye products because it has less control as compared to the eye brushes and because using brushes gives a cleaner, sharper look.

Also, the skin oil on fingers can make the eye makeup look messy.

Put the color on the crease of the eye and start applying the shadow inwards.

This ensures that you do not end up with uneven and broad lines.

However, In case you want to go for a bolder look like a Smokey Eye shadow look or cat eye you can apply the color a little over the crease line towards your brow line.

If you are in a mood to experiment more, you may use darker shades of the same color towards the outside of your lash and shimmery and lighter shades towards the center of the lids.

If you have chosen the color pink, use a light pink color to create a base eye shadow and finish with a darker shade of pink applied towards the outside of the eye and crease of the eye.

A darker crease gives the illusion of depth to the eye and helps it pop out.

Apply eyeliner or tight line your eyes to finish.

To tighten the line of your eyes, use a gentle eyeliner pencil and look up while moving the eye pencil on the lash line from inside towards the outside of the eye.

6. Coating The Lashes With Mascara

No makeup look would be complete without mascara!

It enhances and elongates the lashes and enhances the eyes.

In case you want to keep it subtle and light we recommend using clear or light brown mascara.

For a more dramatic and bolder look choose a dark black mascara.

I recommend always using a water-proof mascara when you are going for a dark shade because a little water or sweating may ruin your entire makeup look.

To apply the mascara, take the product on the brush and remove excess by rubbing it on the container.

Apply two coats by gently stroking the lashes and ensuring there are no clumps.

You may also use an eyelash curler before applying the mascara.

It is often believed that no more than two coats of mascara should be applied, but I have a habit of touching it up often, and if you avoid making clumps more coats and give you a thicker and more beautiful lash.

Applying mascara makes your eyes open up and who doesn’t like a luscious eyelash.

That trend has always been in for any makeup look ever made.

So over to the next step!

7. Highlighting

To give your skin a dewy, glowing look use a highlighter.

They help enhance any specific area it’s mostly applied to highlight cheekbones, cupids bow, bridge of the nose, etc.

To apply, take a small amount of highlighter on the brush, tap it to remove excess product, and apply in “C” motion around your cheekbones.

Blend it well.

Apply a little highlighter around the cupid’s bow and just at the edge of lower lips.

The goal of using a highlighter is not to make a part excessively shimmery or shiny but to subtly bring light to accentuate a feature.

You can use the highlighter towards your inner eyes too to make them look brighter and bigger.

Some people tend to highlight after application of blush but to me applying highlighter before blush works out better and makes more sense.

This way I can understand where the blush needs to be softer and more blended.

8. Blush

Ladies, do not underestimate the power of blush.

It helps you get the natural glow.

A great pigmented product applied perfectly can up your makeup look by leaps and bounds.

Blush is meant to define your bone structure and is to be applied differently for different shapes.

  • The Triangular face: If you have wider and more prominent cheekbones that become thinner towards the end, apply the blush making a semi-circular motion from your cheekbones towards your head in light strokes
  • Blend it towards the temple for your head
  • The Oval face: If your face has narrow towards the chin and head and wide from the middle you have an oval face
  • The best way to apply blush for this kind of face structure is to keep it light around the nose and heavier around the temple of your forehead
  • The Rectangular face: If you have a rectangular face, apply the blush all over your cheekbones highlighting them
  • The Round face: If you have a round face then apply the blush in light stroke on the apple of your cheeks

Dab your blush brush in the product and tap it on the side of your hand to get rid of excess product and then apply it on your face.

With your makeup look almost finished, getting rid of the excess product becomes all the more important as it may ruin the look. 

Ensure that the blush is blended properly so that it gives a more natural look and finish.

Dab your face lightly with soft tissue paper to finish.

In case you are going for a bold and bright color for this monochromatic look like purple or magenta, you may want to skip the step or use a very light tint for the blush.

Choose what works best for you!

9. Applying Lipstick

Moving on! Texture and finish of the lipstick are important when you are trying to nail the Monochromatic look.

You can experiment with Matte, Sheer, and Shimmery lipstick to give more depth to this makeup look.

So if you have used a shimmery eye shadow, go with matte and bold lip color to complete this look.

You can also decide on the intensity of lip color based on the time of the occasion.

As a rule of thumb apply lighter shades for daytime events and darker shades for nighttime events.

If you have applied heavier makeup on the eyes, consider using subtle and lighter shades for the lip color.

Create a base of the lip color by applying a nourishing lip balm.

This will keep your lips moisturized and help reducing creases on your lipstick.

Next start outlining your lip with a lip liner.

Apply a coat of lip color and ensure you stay within the outline.

Once the first coat is applied, use tissue paper, and press it between your lips, lightly, apply a second coat.

These steps make the lip color last longer and give it a nice finish.

10. Set Your Makeup

We are almost done with your look, apply a setting powder that is translucent and light on your skin to finish the look.

Ideally, the clearer the product the better as it would not compete with the makeup pigments already applied on your face.

To apply the powder, dab the product on a makeup brush or applicator and gently tap to remove the access product.

Gently dust your face with the powder, do not apply pressure as you may crease your face and makeup.

Keep dusting until any excess product is blended and not visible.

You may also use a setting spray at this step.

Just spray a little bit onto the finished makeup look.

Take care not to get the product in your eyes as it may be harmful and irritate your eyes.

Let the product stay on your face for some time and wait till it dries out completely.

This step will help set the makeup and it will last longer and you will look fresh for hours.

Final Thoughts

The monochromatic look is simple but effective if done correctly.

It’s a relatively easier makeup trend for beginners to master because a single shade is used to tie the whole look together.

With a little bit of practice, you can look sleek and fashionable rocking this monochrome look in no time!

I hope I made this 10-step monochrome makeup routine that anyone can do easy and fun to follow.

Try out these 10 easy steps and leave comments below, let me know if you liked it.

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