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Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The right makeup completes a menswear-inspired look

You can play it up or play it down with the right makeup and hair

  • When wearing menswear-inspired clothing in a muted palette, makeup is a bit more important, says Linda Wells, Allure magazine's editor-in-chief.

    Craig Ruttle / Associated Press

    When wearing menswear-inspired clothing in a muted palette, makeup is a bit more important, says Linda Wells, Allure magazine's editor-in-chief.

If you're slipping into a tweed blazer, an oversized cardigan or a sleek women's tux this fall, the right beauty look is the perfect accessory to complete your menswear-inspired outfit.
The choice is yours to do a 180-degree turn and go with hyper-girlie, or stay strictly tomboy: Either can complement the more masculine clothing silhouettes.
Makeup with menswear is a little more important than other styles because with a neutral, muted palette of grays, blacks and browns, "you want to have a little life to your face, a little health and vigor," said Linda Wells, Allure magazine's editor-in-chief.
When suiting up in this fall trend, women have choices for their beauty look, she said.
"Are you going to exaggerate the menswear look and play it up fully, or are you going to offset it with something feminine?" Wells said.
To soften menswear staples like gray flannel and houndstooth, which are so often fashioned into tailored items, add femininity by playing up the eyes or lips, experts said, but not both at the same time so your features don't compete.
For a ladylike touch, Wells envisions soft hair with a little wave to it falling over the forehead along with a rich burgundy lipstick, or dark, smoky eyes featuring gray eye shadow, eyeliner and lots of mascara.
"Who doesn't want to be a femme fatale?" she said of the "sexy androgyny" combination of feminine makeup and menswear.
If you want to keep the menswear feeling consistent from head to toe, Wells recommends a simpler style that doesn't draw attention to the face: Hair is slick to the head and parted on the side "so it looks boyish," and styled in a low ponytail or bun.
Keep makeup natural-looking, with clear or pale lip gloss, taupe eye shadow, mascara and a darkened brow to give strength and definition to the face.
MAC senior artist John Stapleton favors a minimalist tomboy makeup look featuring strong eyebrows and cheekbones.
"If you're going to go for it, you might as well go all the way," Stapleton said.
This more masculine face features eyebrows that are brushed up and over and set with gel; natural-looking, contoured cheeks with an ashy or taupe blush; and muted, nude lips in a shade close to your own lip color or created through concealer and lip balm.
Mascara darkens the root of the lash line but does not get applied to the ends to lengthen them.
"It's very chic looking," he said. "It's strong. It's commanding. Showing up to a meeting like that, it looks like someone who is going to take over the room and be in control and garner a lot of respect. You don't want to mess with her."
Story tags » Fashion

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