Best makeup for your eye color

Terra Cotta eyeshadow for blue eyes(Photo: Roger Cabello)

When it comes to creating a look, complimenting your eyes with the perfect eye makeup can sometimes be a long process of trial and error. Let us make it easy for you with this guide to choosing the best shades for your eye color.


Blue eyes might be a recessive trait, but if you've got them, they deserve to be your dominant feature. Bring them into focus with these seven eye shadow, liner, and mascara shades designed to make your blue eyes pop.

Terra-Cotta Shadow: Layering your lids with a rust-colored shadow, like CoverGirl Queen Collection 1-Kit Eye Shadow in Fire It Up, is the quickest way to draw attention to blue eyes.

"The warm color makes eyes stand out," says makeup artist Meredith Baraf, who regularly uses this trick on her blue-eyed clients Adriana Lima and Doutzen Kroes.

Lancome Amethyst Glam(Photo: Roger Cabello)Purple Shadows: For a trendy fall color, opt for purple over emerald or cobalt.

"Blue eyes can get lost in blue and green shadows," says Baraf. "But purple shadows help accentuate them."

Put the focus on them with a shimmery palette like Lancôme Color Design Eyeshadow in Amethyst Glam. The amethyst and royal purples can be used as allover shadows or concentrated as liners.

Rimmel London Eyeful Eye Glistener in Flaunt(Photo: Roger Cabello)Orange Shadow: It sounds crazy, but orange eye shadow will set your blue eyes ablaze.

"Blue and orange are directly opposite each other on the color wheel, so it creates a strong contrast," explains Baraf.

Try a thin line of Rimmel London Eyeful Eye Glistener in Flaunt on your upper lash line. Then, when you're feeling bolder, sweep Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Mediteranee, a flattering burnt orange shade, on your lids. Need inspiration? Blue-eyed stars Scarlett Johansson and Fergie have both worn this look on the red carpet. 

Chanel eyeshadow in Spices(Photo: Roger Cabello)Neutral Smoky Eyes: Black smoky eyes might be a classic, but they tend to overshadow blue eyes rather than enhance them. Soften your look with a neutral palette of rich browns, golds, and light pinks instead.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow in Spices offers a customizable palette of subtly sexy colors for a smoky eye that works.

Chanel Le Crayon Khôl in Clair(Photo: Roger Cabello)Eye-Brightening Beige: Using a highlighter on the inside lower lash line is the oldest trick in the book for making eyes appear bigger. But women with blue eyes should skip white highlighters.

"They tend to look unnatural and kind of dirty," says Baraf. Instead, choose a soft, beige pencil (like Chanel Le Crayon Khôl in Clair) that will brighten eyes naturally.

Terra Cotta eyeshadow for blue eyes(Photo: Roger Cabello) Turquoise Liner and Navy Mascara: It might seem counterintuitive, but women with blue eyes should avoid blue shadow.

"You see the eye shadow before you see the eye," says Baraf.

But if you can't bear to part with the shade, use it strategically. A bold turquoise liner, like Nars Larger Than Life Liner in Abbey Road, helps accentuate bright blues. And navy mascara, like Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara in Blue, is a subtle way of bringing out blue tones in gray or greenish-blue eyes.

Chanel Le Crayon Khôl in Clair(Photo: Roger Cabello) BROWN EYES

Sharing an eye color with half the world's population doesn't mean you're destined to blend in with the crowd. Here, six makeup colors that make brown eyes seem like the rarest of them all.

Cobalt Shadow: "Brown is a mix of all the primary colors, so there are a lot of options," says makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. She recommends a vibrant blue shadow, like Estée Lauder Pure Color Gelée Powder Eyeshadow in Fire Sapphire, for rich, dark brown eyes.

"An electric shade like this really makes brown eyes pop—I just love the contrast."

Mally Beauty Volumizing Accents Mascara(Photo: Roger Cabello)Eggplant Mascara: Purple shades best enhance brown eyes with hazel flecks, says Warren: "The eyes already have a variety of tones, so you don't need a dramatic shade to create a striking contrast."

We like Mally Beauty Volumizing Accents Mascara because it not only flatters brown irises, it makes the whites of the eyes look seriously bright.

M.A.C. Eye Shadow in Sumptuous Olive(Photo: Roger Cabello)Greenish Gold Shadow: For a pretty eye-makeup look that's neither drab or cuckoo-bananas, go green.

"And don't be afraid to try different finishes," advises Warren. "Green tones come in a wide range of matte and metallic shades—they'll all pick up any flecks in brown."

Our favorite: M.A.C. Eye Shadow in Sumptuous Olive.

Josie Maran Argan Eye Shadow in Cinnamon(Photo: Roger Cabello)Copper Shadow: Warm up a neutral shadow shade, like bone or taupe, with a layer of copper shadow on the outer halves of your lids.

"It will highlight your eye color, and the shimmer will add a little texture," says Warren.

Our pick: Josie Maran Argan Eye Shadow in Cinnamon

Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Eyeshadow in Indigo(Photo: Roger Cabello) Navy Shadow and Liner: Deep blue is the best bet for daytime, office-appropriate cat eyes—it also animates brown eyes without looking severe (as black sometimes does).

"It creates a slight but eye-catching contrast," says Warren.

We like Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Eyeshadow in Indigo and Sonia Kashuk Eye Definer in Blue Jean.

L'Oréal Paris 24 HR Infallible Eye Shadow in Eternal Sunshine(Photo: Roger Cabello)

Gold Shadow: Warm metallics, simply put, make brown eyes glisten.

"They highlight even the slightest hint of gold undertones," says Warren.

We like L'Oréal Paris 24 HR Infallible Eye Shadow in Eternal Sunshine.


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