With the variety of colors and choices out there, it can be hard at times to choose the right makeup colors. Between eyes, cheeks, lip color, there are quite a few variables in makeup selection that can lead to it feeling a bit overwhelming. What is best going to accentuate one’s good features and minimize the features they’d like to minimize? What colors are going to show off my coloring? In this article, I will answer this question as it applies to the eyes by first giving a basic understanding of how darks and lights work with the skin as well as how color theory works. You will hopefully see, after all, that choosing makeup colors is pretty doable after all.
In general, darker shades of makeup make the color of the iris appear lighter, while lighter shades make the iris appear darker. Lighter colors also make an area appear larger whereas darker colors appear smaller. This is only a guideline or framework to work with, however, as one of the only universal “rules” or expectations of eye makeup is that day-time makeup should be more subtle than night-time makeup. Matching eye makeup with clothing can always be nice, but isn’t essential.
Eye shadow colors are usually divided into three different categories: highlight colors, base colors, and contour colors. A highlight color is generally lighter than the client’s skin color. It, therefore, makes the iris appear deeper and also functions to make the area, or the brow bone, appear larger (thus “highlighting” and accentuating the area). Pretty much any finish can be chosen to be a highlight, but matte or iridescent are common choices.
Base colors closely match the color of the skin and are often applied on the whole of the upper lid: from the lashes up to the eyebrow. Applied first, it functions to even out the eyelid skin tone and sets a base canvas from which the rest of the eye makeup can be applied. It can be a variety of finishes—depending on desired overall look and finish of the eye makeup.
The contour color is usually the darkest color, and therefore appears to be the smallest area and recedes the furthest back. Depending on the look you prefer, it can be used to minimize a specific area, create contour in the crease, or to define or line the eyelash line.
Now that we have an understanding of the different types of colors, we can move onto the specific colors that will work best for us. Remember that when using the base, highlight, and contour you can choose three different colors to create a look. You can use all colors within the same category, a neutral or two with some color, or combine different complementary colors together. The combination your choose all depends on what you prefer, feels most comfortable to you and best works with your lifestyle. This can be quite fun, as you will likely find that there are a variety of options if that interest you. A lot of eye shadow palettes these days offer selections within the same color grouping, making it easier and more accessible to create looks that work for you. You can always just stick with a particular color grouping if that is of more interest to you as well.
According to color theory, the complementary color is the best color to accentuate a particular color. The complimentary color for your eyes and colors within that color range are summarized below.
Blue eyes. Orange is the complementary color for blue eyes. Because orange contains both yellow and red, eye shadows with any combination of these two colors will make eyes look bluer. Some good colors with these combinations of color are gold, peaches and coppers and other similar orange-brown colors, as well as mauves and plums which contain a bit more red. Neutral eye shadows like light tan, taupe, or honey, or caramel also work well.
Green. The complementary color to green is red. Since pure red shadows tend to make the eyes look bloodshot or tired, it’s recommended to avoid such shadows. Instead, brown-based reds or colors next to red on the color wheel like red-orange, red-violet, and violet are good choices for green eyes. Like blue eyes, coppers, plums, and mauves also work with green eyes as they contain red. Pink shadow is another good choice.
Brown. Brown eyes are a neutral color and can therefore wear any color. Some good recommendations, however, are light neutrals like shades of cream, light tan, taupe, butterscotch, and light caramels. Shades of blue and green and many grays and silvers also work.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it was helpful to you in choosing your eye color. Please post below with any comments or questions. Thanks for reading and have a great day!