Picking from what seems like an army of eye makeup shades on store shelves can feel like a perplexing task, but our experts say you can rely on certain hues that are guaranteed to work for your eye color. “Like a simple ribbon that pulls together and brightens wrapping paper for a gift, eyeshadow can make your natural eye color pop!” explains Karim Sattar, International Makeup Artist for Dr. Hauschka.
Find your eye color in our gallery to discover which makeup shades and simple application tips will give you captivating eyes.
Blue Eyes: Go Golden
“Warm shades like rose gold and champagne swept across the lids enliven blue eyes, and golden brown or bronze in the crease softens this piercing shade perfectly for night,” says Sattar. RMS’s pure mineral cream eyeshadow contains organic coconut and jojoba seed oils and offers buildable coverage to take you from sheer to intense.
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“One of my favorite tricks for blue eyes is to do a smoky eye using dark gray—it’s striking and gorgeous!” says celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic. Shades of gray from ivory to gunmetal coordinate and layer easily in Jemma Kidd’s sleek palette that’s ideal for icy eyes. Apply the smaller accent shades in the crease and lashline, and the larger light wedges on lid and browbone to highlight.
Brown Eyes: Taupe Is Tops
“Brown-eyed girls are the luckiest because all shades look great on brown eyes, but I love blending a shimmer-bronze or taupe eyeshadow on lids and the lower lash line to bring out gold flecks in the iris,” shares Dedivanovic. Jane Iredale’s highly pigmented mineral eyeshadow applies creamy matte, and is safe for sensitive eyes that are otherwise easily irritated by eyeshadow.
Brown Eyes: Try Purple Tips
“For lashes that pop open your brown eyes, first apply your favorite black mascara, and then apply an aubergine mascara just on the lash tips—the interplay of shades is subtle yet stunning,” says Sattar. Dr. Hauschka blends beeswax with rose in a silk powder base that strengthens lashes with neem leaf extract in this creamy mascara formula that also comes in black.
Green Eyes: Copper Cools
“Copper is killer on green eyes,” says Sattar. “Apply copper eyeshadow to lids and the bottom lash line, and then wet your brush and go over the color to moisten it, which will intensify both the shadow and your eye color,” he adds. Or try a rich gel eyeliner in the pretty-penny shade, like this waterproof version by Lancôme.
Green Eyes: Purple Reigns
“Nothing makes green eyes stand out and sparkle like shades of purple!” says Dedivanovic. To accent with a touch of playful color, wet an eyeliner brush and apply a deeply pigmented shade like L’Oréal Infallible Eye Shadow in Perpetual Purple to the top and bottom lash lines only. Or if you’re daring, sweep the vibrant hue over the entire lid.
Hazel Eyes: Play Chameleon
“Wear a creamy or glossy nude shadow similar to your skin color all over lids, which will make your hazel eyes appear to slightly change colors depending on what you’re wearing,” says Dedivanovic. A blend of flower and coffee extracts enrich a line of Ellis Haas liquid eyeshadows that come in “nude” shades for every skin tone.
Hazel Eyes: Strike Center
“Use an antique gold to bring out the amber flecks in your eyes, or if wearing other eyeshadow colors, apply amber gold in the spot just straight over the pupil for the same effect,” says Sattar. Don’t be mislead by the “mini” labeling of BareMinerals’ pot of gold—the shimmery loose mineral powder shadow will last ages.
Gray Eyes: Bring On Blue
“Try a sheer blue shadow or a bright turquoise liner to play up steely gray eyes beautifully,” suggests Dedivanovic. Formulated to withstand even underwater emersion for synchronized swimmers, Aqua Eyes by Make Up For Ever comes in a brilliant turquoise shade you can count on to stay put.
“Focus on blending light around the eyes, and stay away from muddy colors that will look overdone with dark lashes, brows and eyes,” advises Dedivanovic. “Apply concealer on lids to brighten the base, and try shimmery beige tones or a nude pencil along the inner rim of eyes,” he adds. Three Custom Color Specialists is known for a signature peachy-nude Clarifier pencil that’s made especially for the inner rim, and comes in “Light” for fair skin tones and “Medium” for deeper complexions.
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