Everyone wants their eyes to pop. After all, they are the windows to our soul. The easiest way to make your eye colour stand out is to highlight it with the right eye shadow colours and tones. Do you remember at school colouring in the colour wheels with pencils and paints until you had the whole rainbow? Or mixing all the colours together until you got a brownish grey in the middle? Me too! I want you to cast your memory back there and take a look below to help find your perfect eye shadow to make your eyes stand out!
Ok, what you can see is a basic colour wheel. This wheel has every base colour you need to help track down an eye colour and a starting point for your next smokey eye.
Before we get started, lets talk colour theory for just a smidge.
As you would know there are three primary colours, Yellow, Red and Blue. Three secondary colours, Orange, purple and green. And you get a tertiary colour by mixing a primary and a secondary colour together. Most eye colours are a tertiary colour if you want to be particular but lets keep this simple today by sticking to the six colours above.
The rule of thumb is this:
To make eyes stand out, choose the colour opposite on the colour wheel.
To make eyes blend in or tone down the colour, choose a colour either side of the colour wheel.
Blue is opposite Orange and beside green and purple.
If I had blue eyes and wanted them to stand out I would choose colours that have an orange base. Colours like amber, terracotta, copper, gold and bronze. This is because the colour is the highest contrast to the blue.
If I wanted blue eyes to blend into my eye shadow I would choose colours with a cool or a blue base, or colours with green or purple in them. Things like mauve, grey, lavender would all take the focus off the eye colour and onto the eye shadow instead.
What about the rest of the eye colours?
- Green is opposite Purple, so choose colours like lavender, maroon, Cadbury purple, eggplant, and blend it out with purple based browns or greys
- Brown is treated like red or orange which gives you blue or turquoise as the opposite colour which will make the brown stand out more. Blend with lighter tones of similar colours to give a softer edge.
- Hazel Eyes. Depending on if you want the brown or the green to stand out more, follow the above colour guide.
- Blue is opposite Orange, so stick to orangey shadows like browns, coppers, golds etc and colours near them to help blend them out.
Some of my go to eyeshadow and palettes for each eye colour are:
- Blue Eyes: Zoeva Caramel Melange Palette
- Green Eyes: Huda Beauty – Mauve Obsession Palette
- Brown and Hazel Eyes: Zoeva Artisto Palette
How do you know if a colour has a base tone?
The way I learnt colour theory was through practice and a lot of fiddling. And… to be honest, tonnes of crappy attempts at mixing colours together only to get back to that brown-ish grey colour all over again. After these attempts I went back to the colour wheel and rethought it a little.
Now I look at a colour and try to match it first to which ever colour it is. Think of Maroon. It’s a dark red. But does it have anything else mixed in? A Maroon would also have some purple in it so it’s a dark red with a purple base. Make sense?
A colour like taupe, it’s a light brown with a touch of grey. So its brown with a grey base tone (perfect to tone down a blue eye. Oyster would be a light brown with a purple base.
If I was looking for a neutral eye shadow to make a brown eye stand out a little more I’d opt for a mushroom or Oyster colour as it’s a brown with a purple tint which is about the closest you’ll get to blue to help the brown stand out more. Does that make sense?
If you look to colours opposite to your own eye colour you’ll get a stronger contrast and then your eyes will stand out more. If you opt for colours similar to your eye colour, you have a higher chance of getting a softer look.
I hope this has helped send you in the right direction to choosing colours to make your eye colour stand out. There are so many different things you can do but this one never fails. Mix it with darker or lighter eye shadows, eyeliner, black smokey colours or even your nude tones and your eyes will be poppin’ before you know it!