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With recent events keeping many of us stuck at home, more and more amateur makeup artists are turning to practicing their editorial makeup.
Editorial makeup is much like it sounds – makeup looks and designs that are “print ready,” meant to go in a magazine or other fashion source. These designs are more like works of art than every day styles, although some can be used that way. Bright colors, fun shapes, and striking decals all characterize this style of makeup.
For those that want to go into the fashion arena, you will become familiar with these styles. Creating your own now gives you plenty of practice, while also letting your creative side run wild!
We’ve gathered some of our favorite editorial makeup designs to awe, amaze, and hopefully inspire you to new heights!
Best Editorial Makeup Looks and Ideas
Splash of Color
One of the best features of editorial makeup is the color choices. Flashes of bright color often come into play with these looks, in an effort to grab the eye of someone walking by the magazine. Gorgeous orange and a sunny yellow certainly are going to snag your attention, as do the cool shapes. Adding the rhinestones and white highlights are fun touches that round out the look and give it an extra layer of dimension.
Pops of pink and blue always make us think of the beautiful nighttime phenomenon, streaking over the sky in a mystical dance. This image is further emphasized by the glitter and rhinestones, sparkling like the stars amidst the streaks of light. Choosing to go without eyeliner lets the color take center stage, but it was smart to add a smudge of color to the tip of the nose. This helps to balance the look and tie everything together.
I’m Not Sure How I’m Feeling…
Surrealism, or surrealist art, is another aspect often seen in editorial makeup. Bringing in strange images, bold colors, or whacky shapes certainly packs a punch and gets the model noticed! Here, the yellow emojis stand out against the royal blue background, as well as taking on funky lines. Confining the design to one block across the eyes both draws attention and defines the style.
This look makes us think of a peacock flashing its feathers. With such bold colors, crisp lines, and the perfect winged eyeliner, how could you not think of a majestic bird? The striking lower lashes help to emphasize this effect, as do the diamonds cresting above the blue.
Combining several ancient warrior paint styles, this beautiful look is both intimidating and ethereal. Sharp is the theme here, fitting for the look of a warrior. From the shape of the makeup around the eye and the arch of the drawn-in eyebrows, to the emphasis on the cheekbones, there’s no doubt of the lethal beauty of this maiden. Using the same green on the lips helps to balance the style, as well as sticking with the color palette.
Somewhere in the Galaxy
A style that is truly out of this world, this editorial makeup look brings together different splashes of color to form one fantastic picture. Beginning with a bold yellow eyeshadow, that sets the scene for the supporting tones. Adding a bit of shimmer here and there gives that space effect that we love, along with the ocean blue lips. A tiny star beauty mark completes the picture, fitting nicely with the theme.
Take my Breath Away
Baby’s breath is a flower often associated with purity and innocence, something that comes to mind in this sweet style. While three-dimensional accents, like the flowers, are not part of a typical makeup look, they are common among editorial makeup designs. The baby’s breath also complements the white mascara nicely, which can sometimes look odd without the right design elements. Using a pretty aqua-blue goes with the model’s skin tone, set off by the faux freckles.
Editorial makeup designs, while breathtaking, sometimes can also border on the disturbing. Part of the reason for this is that they are intended to grab attention, make a statement, and often tell a story. Here, the red and blue lines mimic the veins that run through our bodies (including our faces), hiding just underneath the skin. This bold makeup look reveals them, symbolically showing there is more than just what is on the outside.
History gets a touch of glamour with this native-inspired style. Sometimes, it’s the simplest effects that have the biggest impact. Delicate white lines form designs inspired by historical war paint, complemented by the gold and feather accessories in the outfit.
Silence is Golden
Mimes have long fascinated the public, with their refusal to speak and incredibly intricate hand gestures. In addition to those features, another distinctive characteristic of a mime is their simplistic makeup. Mime makeup, such as the look pictured, often displays thin, sharp lines to emphasis different aspects of the face. Drawn-in eyebrows and a vertical wing complement the extreme lashes, creating a dramatic look. Red lips provide a needed pop of color, contrasting against the white-toned face paint.
Sometimes in an editorial makeup look, only the eyes get the full treatment. That is the case here, with these sweet and whimsical pink wings. Using a cut crease effect, the pink eyeshadow is broken up by a white swoosh, creating an amazing effect while establishing the shape. A touch of blue under the eye and a line of purple further define the design. The three little white dots are just the right touch to complete the style.
Petals on a Pond
Tiny red flowers provide a fun color contrast against the bright blue of the cream eyeshadow in this editorial makeup look. Using the same shade of red on the lip provides nice balance, and complements the color of the model’s swimsuit. A rougey bronzer draws attention to the curves of the cheek and the brow line, while sticking with the red tones.
Hummingbird temporary tattoos are the star of this editorial makeup design, their deep tones complementing the makeup hues nicely. Adding a touch of glitter at the corner of the eye makes it appear as though the hummingbird is drinking it, fitting since hummingbirds are drawn to bright colors. Other details, like the white eyebrows and the dots of color, are just what is needed to make the style.
Working with a cooler color palette is perfect for a more astrological look, the blue of the eyeshadow and the lavender hair working together harmoniously. Dots of the same blue form extraterrestrial freckles, setting off the stars. Highlight and light purple shimmer help not only to accent the style, but to enhance the otherworldly nature of the overall look.
Neutral looks can be the most striking, as this editorial style makes clear. Extreme wings serve as the focal point for the style, still using a nude tone, but one that is lighter to provide contrast. The matte nature of both the foundation and the lip further emphasis the wings, drawing the attention to the eyes.
Butterfly kisses take on a literal meaning with these gorgeous wings! While this design definitely takes patience and a steady hand, it is well worth the effort in the end. Adding shimmer and jewels enhances the style, taking it to the next level.
Diamonds are really a girl’s best friend in this editorial design. The bright pink stands out perfectly against the diamond edge, the shimmer working with the sparkle. Keeping the rest of the look fairly simple helps both to make the eyes pop and to prevent the look from going over the top.
A monochrome style, the sharp edges and the cool shapes create a fabulous editorial look. Black lipstick makes the design around the eyes stand out. Keeping the rest of the eye makeup simple, as well as choosing not to use blush, also insures that the design is the main component.
Film noir came about in the late 1940s, featuring darker plot lines and melodramas. Amidst this style, darker makeup looks became popular in order to stand out on the black and white movie screen. This editorial makeup look fits within this old Hollywood motif, the dark eyes, lip, and thin eyebrows characteristic of this movie culture.
Making a statement is a key part of the editorial style, something seen here. Other than the foundation, the only component is the simple black line dividing the face. Following the curve of the mouth, this design makes the model appear to have two faces rather than one, which could be making any number of statement.
Another look focusing on the eyes, this style uses an unconventional shape. The white swirls draw attention to the eye much like a winged style would, but goes outside the norms. The rest of the look stays in a peachy-pink palette, which helps not to overwhelm the delicate white design.
Deck the Halls
Let’s face it, we know you’re ready for Christmas. If you are, this is a great look to let your holly jollies out! The red tones all match each other nicely, with the green accent popping out. Candy lips fit with the festive feeling as well.
Cracks in the Mask
Simple black lines again make a statement with this style. The idea of wearing a mask in public shows here, and the black accents represent the fact that such a façade is not sustainable. Editorial makeup tells a story, and the story here is one to which many can relate.
A style like this has so many aspects, it is important to have a feature that serves as a focal point. Full black contacts do just that, completely darkening the eye in and eerie way. The cascades of black coming from the eye, emulating tears, helps to balance the effect of the black eyes. While the foundation is pale, using a bronze tone around the eyes and under the tears softens the difference between the colors. Long lashes and a tiny moon finish off the style, adding those personal touches.
Playing cards provide the inspiration for both design and color palette for this editorial makeup style. Red and black work perfectly together, creating a killer eye makeup look. Keeping the lines sharp while following the same shape adds drama and flair, while complementing the delicate designs of the playing cards. You could either use temporary tattoos or a stencil to get those card symbols just right!
It’s all about the painted coy fish for this editorial design. Their delicate shapes and incredible artistry immediately draw the eye, with the model almost as an afterthought. She has little makeup otherwise, just a bit of foundation to create a smooth base and delicate orange eyeshadow to match the tones of the fish. Honestly, adding anything else would detract from the coy, which would defeat the purpose of the style.
While rainbows are a popular trend, it is not at all a new one. First coming alive in the 1960s, the rainbow trend is still going strong! And why wouldn’t it? With all the colors in one style, it makes for a versatile look that can work with any outfit. Here, the fun winged shape of the bejeweled rainbow matches perfectly with the top. It is a good idea to keep the rest of the look neutral though, as too much color can be overwhelming.
Editorial makeup styles don’t just have to be outrageous, they can also be simple perfection. In this look, every aspect is flawless, from the foundation to the perfect eyeliner accentuating the eyes. You might find this style in a bridal magazine, showing how even the basic touches of makeup can make a person stunning!
Smoke on the Water
Going for drama? Then you want a smoky eye. This particular smoky eye style incorporates several touches that pump up the wow factor – glitter, gems, and an ombré affect. While that may seem like overkill, when expertly done they all come together to make for a stunning style. It also helps to maintain a softer tone throughout the rest of the look, putting all the emphasis on the eyes.
Frosty hair is the real star in this show, from its unique texture to its fantastic color. However, you’ve got to find a solid makeup style to support such a hue. That’s where silver shimmer is the perfect fit! Just a touch of it on the eye lid, blended under the brow, is just the right complement to the hair. A clear gloss lip accentuates the shape of the mouth, mimicking the shimmer, but still letting the hair dominate the design.
Lips are sometimes the afterthought in a makeup style, but here they are the main event. Intricately painted flowers adorn the lips, painted first and then applied to maintain their perfection. The pinks, purples, and whites all work beautifully together for a light and springy feel. Sealing with a clear glitter lip gloss gives the final touch without distracting from the flowers.
The artistry of this look cannot be denied, with the different textures and effects building together to create a masterpiece. Beginning with the pale nature of the face, hair, and even the eyelashes, the contrast between the base and the colors is striking. The purple eyeshadow helps to create the shape and quality of the look, while the amber effect on top takes it to the final level. Using a 3D type effect, the amber looks molten has it moves across the face, standing out against the rest of the style.
Love of Dragons
A unique type of winged look, the shape and colors distinctly make us think of dragons. The blending within this style is immaculate, combining the colors with ease. Choosing to go without eyeliner or major mascara allows the design to come across clearly and effectively. You could even get away with this style in an everyday setting!
One disadvantage to a lighter hair color can be that your eyelashes and eyebrows are also that lighter color. Thus, they tend to disappear if not purposely highlighted. However, in this editorial style, that fact is actually emphasized as a major component. Keeping with a warmer color palette, the hair and makeup both take on a burnished glow. The freckles are the major focal point on the face, leaving the eyes generally alone. With such an extreme hairstyle, it makes sense to stick with a simpler makeup style.
Sometimes the most effective statements are the simple ones. A red streak across the eye grabs attention, while also working with the colors of the overall look. The hairstyle also helps to achieve movement within the style, the curves of the curls contrasting with the straightness of the line.
Walking on Sunshine
When using bright colors, a little goes a long way. Mimicking the tones of a tropical fish, these sunny hues lighten up the whole look and make us smile. Meanwhile, the rest of the style sticks with a nude palette, making the eyes the star. A hint of lip-gloss and the simple lashes are all that is needed to bring a clean finish.
Rose gold is one of the hottest trends out there, and how it has translated into the makeup world is incredible. Not quite pink, not quite bronze, this tone is the perfect war to get a neutral look while still adding color into your style. In this editorial makeup style, the rose gold eyeshadow pops right out without being too over the top. It works nicely with the rosy cheeks and warmer hues within the rest of the look, making a statement while still being a team player.
Out of the Haze
Combining smoky eyes with a glitter style can take on several different forms. While it is common to put a sparkling glitter on top of a smoky eye, it is not as prevalent to see a flecked glitter. However, as you can see in this look, using the large flecks of glitter creates a new texture without covering the color. Catching the light in a new way, the smoky eye takes on a different appearance, making for a fantastic style.
Life is the Bubbles
Mermaids are everywhere these days, and the makeup world is no exception. It should surprise no one that among the editorial styles you’ll find several examples of mermaid makeup! In this look, classic mermaid colors of pink, blue, and blended purple shine through. The pearls and diamonds fit with the theme, while also bringing a cool three-dimensional look.
A cool way to shake up your makeup style is with eyelid designs. More editorial makeup styles don’t just cover the eyelid, they use the eyelid as part of the canvas for the look. When the eyes are shut, the overall design becomes clear. Here, the flowers start on the eyelid and run down the face, forming a hidden picture for when the eyes are open. The orange eyeshadow serves as a backdrop for the flower, allowing it to stand out.
Sunset colors are popular in the world of eye makeup, as their natural beauty complements many eye shapes and skin tones. These tones come to life in this glitter cut crease style, blended together with an expert hand. The glitter also serves to shape the overall eye makeup into a curved wing, with the under brow colors give the sense of the sunset.
It is simply that – pearls. The pearls are the defining aspect of the editorial makeup design, forming the winged shape around the eye. The rest of the makeup is fairly basic – delicate mascara, a wine colored lip. All work perfectly with the model’s natural tones, while the pearls stand out beautifully against her skin. The shape and contrast almost take on the feeling of a masquerade, perfect for a black tie affair.
Outrageous by Design
Editorial makeup, if nothing else, makes a statement. These bright greens, blues, and yellows form intricate shapes and designs, almost mask-like over the eyes. It is a fun way to “wear” a mask without actually donning one, and a fun way to incorporate color into your overall look.
Almost like an asymmetrical wing, shifting the triangular form below the eye definitely shakes up the typical style. As well as being all one color, the general shape of the eye changes with this style. It also helps that the mascara isn’t too bold and that there isn’t any eyeliner, both choices serve to make the shape stand out correctly.
Editorial makeup looks make use of the model at hand, incorporating his or her natural assets into the overall artistry. Here, we see a perfect example of this concept, as the model’s skin exactly matches the color of the beach in the background. Through expert color matching, the paint on her face also replicates the sea and sky, blending her into the background. Only her copper hair stands out in the foreground as a fabulous visual contrast.
If they had been daring enough, the Pink Ladies would have definitely rocked this style! Classic 1950s colors of pink, white, and black come together in a fabulous editorial style. Layers of color and glitter provide visual and textural contrasts, as well as the overlapping of the shapes. The final touch comes from the black pearls, following the natural curves of the model’s face.
With gold being the primary color tone, the diamonds on the lips stand out even more. Their sparkle and dimension take center stage, with everything else falling into the backdrop. The eyes even fade away slightly, as they have just a touch of gold across the lid and no other defining makeup. The choices here were definitely less about the model, and more about the artistic impact.
Best in Show
Nothing says spring and summer like a garden show or wine festival, and this is a fun look to rock at both! The colors of the makeup work perfectly with the flowers, both in the headdress and in the decal on the forehead. Killer lashes and a dynamite lip round out the look nicely!
Among different Disney trends, villains have gained a cult following, particularly the strong female villains. In an homage to the Evil Queen from Snow White, the darker tones and even the face shape with her general mystique. The touch of glitter in the eye makeup shows the sorcery underneath her regal exterior, while the sharp angles of the overall design display her ruthlessness. If you’re planning to Disney bound anytime soon, this would be a great inspiration style for you!
I Want Candy
Bright, colorful, and eye-catching, this candy-inspired editorial look will definitely turn heads. While technically a cut crease style, the actual defining line might be difficult to see with the overlapping colors. However, each color is expertly blended into the others, so as not to cause a mess or a merge into brown. Simple lashes and brows frame the eye makeup nicely, while the bright red lip is the perfect complement. Faux freckles are the ideal finishing touch, upping the cute factor within the style.
Sharp angles are the focus in this style, from the shape of the red eyeshadow to the emphasis of the natural features of the model. Her strong cheekbones and pointed chin are accent points within the style, the red of the blush and lip drawing attention to them. The wings of the darker eyeshadow and the length of the brush of red further extend the face shape and emphasize the angles.
Creamy red eyeshadow strikes you as soon as you see this style, standing out strongly from within the face. A tinted red lip balances the eyes, without distracting from them. The twists of the hair help to form an intricate frame around the face, while also giving height to the style. Finally, the choice to go without eyeliner and long lashes adds to the extremity of the red eyes, packing a punch.
Next time you look at a magazine and see the front page, don’t think “I could never do that.” Now, with some inspiration from our editorial makeup styles, you can! All it takes is time, patience, and practice, and you too could have your own editorial makeup style in no time. Don’t forget to snap that selfie!