But when we spotted First Lady Michelle Obama during a live webcast on AOL Health discussing the Let's Move! initiative wearing glossy peach lipstick and salmon pink eyeshadow that complemented her coral sheath and bejeweled brooch, we knew that the old adage was simply old.
"These tones look soft and beautiful on the First Lady's complexion and that's what makes this look work," says Byron Barnes, cosmetics expert and creative director of IMAN Cosmetics. "Women shouldn't take matchy-matchy to the extreme with a red dress, red nails, red lips, a red bag, and red shoes. But softly coordinating your tones works beautifully."
And while most women do not have a professional makeup artist on hand like Mrs. Obama, Barnes believes a woman of any skin tone can feel confident about wearing any color she chooses by using highly pigmented shades like those found in IMAN Cosmetics.
"If the everyday woman wore a dress similar to this shade, she could just as easily go deeper with a pumpkin colored satiny lipstick like IMAN Paprika Luxury Lipstick or go sheerer and softer with a golden apricot colored gloss like IMAN Luxury Lip Shimmer in Impetuous," he says. "These work for all skin tones and all occasions. Just make sure that your makeup doesn't fight with your attire."
Whether you are a pro or a novice, it's more about application than rules, according to Barnes.
"For instance, if a fairer woman wants to wear a deep plum eye shadow, she can apply it lightly with a brush for a softer look. A medium toned woman can take the same color up a notch by using a sponge tip applicator for more coverage. A deeper complexioned woman might then layer that over a darker liner to increase the intensity."
For a casual, day look, the celebrity makeup artist recommends smoothing on a sheer lip like IMAN Luxury Lip Stain or a gloss as an alternative to a traditional lipstick. For an evening, formal affair, add a touch of sophistication with a precise lip liner and full coverage lipstick. Keep the eyes soft with a satin shimmer, making sure that the finish is not too sparkly but just enough to fall flat on the eyes. And to finish, Barnes suggest bronzer -- the key item for any beauty wardrobe. "It makes every complexion look more radiant."
But don't get too caught up in the logistics of matching your makeup to your clothing. Barnes urges you to play, experiment, and have fun. "Remember, makeup isn't permanent, so enjoy yourself."
Are you in search of a daring new lip color this summer? Give orange lipstick a shot.