Friday, March 20, 2009

Eye Shadow Theory 101: Complimenting Your Eye Color

One of the most common things I'm asked as a makeup artist is, "what color eyeshadow should I wear?"

If you're most interested in emphasizing your eye color, there are certain shades that are best. Colors look brighter when placed next to their opposite, or complementary, color. This means that for blue eyes, orange tones are best. Translate this into makeup shades and you get brown, gold and copper shades. For green eyes, red is the complimentary color. If red eye shadow isn't your idea of wearable, think of eye shadow colors that contain the most red: pinks, purples and wines. Brown eyes are a bit more complex, since brown is a mixture of many colors. The common complimentary color is blue, which can also include grays and silvers.

Want to know more about color theory?

Check out a color wheel or try this little experiment. Get 2 pieces of the same yellow paper, a piece of purple paper and a piece of orange paper. Hold the yellow and orange paper together in one hand and the yellow and purple together in the other. Which yellow looks brighter? Even though they're the same color, the yellow will appear more vivid next to purple, it's complement.

Of course, this is a basic way of choosing colors, and I'm definitely not saying that if you have blue eyes you have to wear brown eye shadow. While color theory can tell us what shades will bring out particular eye colors, gone are the days where you're assigned a "season" that predetermines what 6 colors you must wear for the rest of your life. Makeup should be fun and creative; a way for you to express yourself and your mood. I've never found a makeup "rule" that can't be broken.


Galina said...

Hey great post... i have green eyes and have already noticed that purples and pinks are great for me. Will now have to try wines!

Unknown said...

have fun- a good tip with burgundies and wines; use neutral tones or gold tones as a base to keep from looking dead (or undead). Unless, of course, that's the look you want! We all have our moods :)

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