Monochrome makeup is having a moment. Take a look across the Insta accounts of top makeup artists and you’ll spot captions like: “Glowing Golden Bronzed Monochrome Makeup,” from the likes of Hung Vanngo, who counts Selena Gomez, JLo and Gisele as clients. Or, “Love a monochromatic look in earth tones,” from Kim K‘s mua, Mario Dedivanovic. Or “Chocolate tones on the beautiful @iamalinamorozova,” from supermodel makeup artist, Nikki Makeup whose painted the faces of everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kendall Jenner, to Yara Shahidi and Shanina Shaik.
So what is monochrome makeup exactly? It’s a gently unified beauty aesthetic, with one tone, or colour family, weaving its way throughout your beauty look to make it feel more cohesive and pulled together. It’s a soft-glam look that’s co-ordinated but still feels relaxed. As for what that means in practice? Matchy-matchy lips, eyes and cheeks created with a mix of textures. The trend involves blending similar tones, like terracotta, chocolate, dusky pink, peach or buff across eyes, lips and cheeks to create uniformity. We’ve seen matte lips, cream blush, and smouldering eyes with a subtle shot of sparkle – all in the same shade.
The big makeup artists have been teasing us with the trend for some time, but come autumn? It’s about to go stratospheric. Already the trend has over 4 million views on TikTok, but brands are also giving the look their seal of approval. Last year, Glossier gave us its Monochromes eyeshadow trios which focused on creating monochromatic dimension with three finishes (matte, metallic and satin) centred on the eyes. And for autumn 2022, Chanel has branched out with its Tone On Tone beauty collection which matches 12 brand new lipstick and nail polish shades with your skin tone. You can either go for the closest match or head a couple of shades lighter or darker to create a tonal contrast.
It’s beautiful for creating custom looks in autumnal tones like conker, teak, toasted almond and russet, but it also works in pretty pinks, peaches and apricots for summer.
Content creator @stxph.h showed how she created a coordinated rosy makeup look using the same pink mult-stick from Zara.
And makeup artist Claudia Neascu let users in on how she creates a nude-brown ’90s monochrome makeup look.
“Not only is monochrome makeup really easy to do and great for those who prefer to have a lighter makeup bag by using multi-tasking products, it also looks effortlessly cool and simple,” Nikki Makeup told GLAMOUR. “My celebrity clients love it, particularly Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who loves to add a little of her blush to her lids to complete her look,” she continues.
As for pro tips? “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,” says Nikki. “And bring your bronzer or blusher from the cheekbones through to the eye socket and diffuse outwards softly. I love this trick to tie the whole look together – it makes such a big difference to your finished look,” she says.