How To Pull Off Pastels Without Looking Clownish

Pastels work for literally everything — your wardrobe, your Pinterest-inspired apartment makeover, your face — but pulling of that last one can be a little tricky if you take a heavy-handed approach. In order to avoid looking like an art project gone wrong (and we’ve all seen that happen), I consulted a few pros to teach us how to apply pastel makeup in the best way possible. Yes, it's seemingly scary, but actually totally nice to work with. (Hint: Adding all the colors at once is not the way to go.) !

I spoke to Sarah Maxwell for Smith & Cult, Japonesque National Makeup Artist Shawn Fisher, Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge Lead Stylist Samantha Freda, and Vasanti Cosmetics Founder Pinki. Soft purples, blues, and pinks can be gorge on your peepers when you've got Hollywood’s glam team guiding your shadow brush armed fingers, so commit their tips to heart before you bust out your makeup trunk.

You’re going to also want to see the celebs killing the pastel game right now (Hiiii Katy Perry and Camilla Belle). These are the babes to channel when it comes to nailing pastels — #MakeupMonday watch out.

Trust me, you're going to want to take some notes.

1. Make Your Eyes Pop

"When it comes to pastel eye makeup, I think it’s best to take a natural approach and keep the focus on the eyes," says Sarah Maxwell for Smith & Cult. "A neutral, subdued palette for lips, cheeks and skin will allow the color on the eyes to truly pop. To apply the perfect eye, I like to frame the lash line with Smith & Cult’s B-Line Eye Pen, then add a lighter pastel shade right at the lash frame. I blur the two textures together to create an impactful look and layering products allows the makeup to set properly and prolong the length of wear.

I'm obsessed with all of the pastels in the new Smith & Cult collection, coming this fall:

"You need to be careful wearing really pale matte pastels, as they could really wash out your look," says Japonesque National Makeup Artist Shawn Fisher. "Make sure to add either some shimmer, or a lot of depth to the eye using smoky tones."

Vasanti Silky Eyeshadow Duos in Masonic Temple, $22,

"Always make sure to keep your crease/transition color matte and make sure you properly blend any edges to keep the eye from looking messy, because pastel always reflects in the light," says Samantha Freda, Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge Lead Stylist.

Vasanti Silky Eyeshadow Duos in Purple City, $22,

"Adding a thin black liquid line to a pastel eye will give it a defined '60s flair," says Vasanti Cosmetics Founder Pinki. "I love working with pinks, lilacs, and teals on the eyes as well."

2. Balance Out Your Lips & Cheeks

Vasanti Life Saver Blush Duo in Glowing Baby Pink Flush, $29,

"For cheeks, try using a bright-pink poppy blush and lightly sweep it on," says Fisher. "For darker skin tones, try opting for a berry color. If you want to go subtle on your lips, match your color with your blush. If the pastel eye is very soft, try going bold with a daring bright lip in fuchsia, pink, or orange."

Tony Moly Pink Blush, $2.76,

"Pinki-pinks, nudes, and peach are the most complementary to any pastel eye," says Pinki.

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lipstick in Naked Dolly, $30,

"But to ensure your face makeup is even and fresh and ready for a pastel pop, the key is to have a flawless complexion before applying color."

3. Prep Is Key

Benefit Stay Don't Stray Eyeshadow Primer, $31.70,

"It's important to prep the eye with an eyelid primer, when using pastel eyeshadow go for a color correcting or colored primer to give the lid more of a solid palette," says Fisher. "This will really help the pastel eyeshadow to show up and stand out!" Freda adds, "Another great trick is using a white base to help your colors pop."

4. Choose The Right Shade for You

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"Purple and pink pastel shades bring out green and hazel eyes," says Freda. "While blue pastel shades are great for blue eyes and any color pastel will work for brown eyes."

5. Channel Celebs For Inspo

John Shearer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Celebrities are always a great source of inspiration, whether it's your #OOTD or what color eyeshadow you should wear. Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne are always rocking bold, but beautiful pastel shades on their lids and lips.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Now, go on and finish out summer feeling more confident about pastel hues!