Choosing the Perfect Eye Shadow for YOU

I am often asked my opinion on which colors best accentuate blue eyes or green eyes or red hair. While it is fairly easy to match a foundation shade to the tone of your skin, many women are confused by which colors might look best on their eyes.

Should you match your eyeshadow to the color of your eyes? Should you match it to your outfit? Your hair? There are many theories when it comes to choosing makeup colors, and in the end it may just come down to personal preference.

A good place to start, however, is to identify whether you have a cool, neutral or warm skin tone. See my article How to Choose the Correct Shade of Foundation for detailed information on how to identify skin tone.

Generally speaking, if your skin tone is warm, you need to stick with warm colors to achieve a natural look. Anything yellow based or having golden undertones, such as peaches, apricots, greens, browns, russets, or any earthy pigments fall into this category.

Cool skin tones look better in colors like blues, pinks, greys and purples.

The seasonal color approach, made popular by the book, Color Me Beautiful, has been an accepted theory of skin typing for many years now. According to this method, everyone can be categorized into one of the four seasons by considering skin tone, hair color and eye color.

  • If you are a Spring, your skin tone is warm and fair (often with freckles) and your hair is light (blonde, light brown, strawberry blonde, etc). Your eye color may be hazel, green, blue or brown.
  • If you are an Autumn, your skin tone is also warm, but medium to dark in color with few freckles. Your hair is also dark (brown to red). Your eyes may be brown, hazel, green or dark blue.
  • Summers have cool skin tones with rosy or pink undertones, usually fair. Hair color can range from white to ash blonde to mousy brown to silvery grey. Eye color can be hazel, blue, grey-blue or blue-green.
  • Winter skin tones can range from porcelain to pale with rosy undertones, to deep olive, to brown and black. Hair color may be platinum blonde, white, silver grey, dark brown or black. Eye color is usually brown, hazel, grey, blue grey, green grey or dark blue.

Here is a general summary of colors suggested for each season:

Spring Autumn
  • Warm colors from pastels to medium brights.
  • Choose colors with clear yellow undertones, such as a warm grass green or camel brown.
  • Avoid dark or blue-based colors.
  • Earthy colors ranging from medium to dark, plus warm, rich, jewel tones.
  • Choose colors with golden or orange undertones.
  • Colors such as deep forest greens, rich chocolate browns and velvety russets look best.
  • Avoid cool, blue based colors.
Summer Winter
  • Cool, light to medium tones.
  • Choose colors with blue, rosy or grey undertones.
  • Avoid warm orange, golden colors.
  • Cool, bright primary colors and sharp cool pastels.
  • Choose colors with blue undertones and clear, bright jewel tones.
  • Avoid warm or muted shades.

Other color experts advise choosing eye makeup based just on eye color. Makeup artist Bobbi Brown has said you don’t want to fight your own eye color ˆê just draw attention to it. Here are some suggestions:

Eye Color Shades Comment
  • Brown
  • Rose
Warm colors make the eyes stand out by contrasting with the coolness of blue eyes. Also the metallic colors ˆê gold, silver, bronze and navy blue and fleshy colors. Bobbi Brown recommends lilac, lavender and browns.
  • Green
  • Gold – to pick up the colored flecks in brown eyes
Also, bronze, khaki, navy and fleshy colors. Blues, plums and eggplants are Bobbi’s picks for brown eyes.
  • Lavendar
  • Mocha
Light purples and plums for contrasting effect, light browns for a natural look. Also gold, bronze, forest greens and earth colors. Bobbi’s recommendations: pinks, lavenders, plums and eggplants.
  • Deep green
  • Pale yellow to pick up the colored flecks in hazel eyes.
Bobbi also recommends pinks, lavenders, plums and eggplants for hazel eyes.

On the other hand, makeup expert, Sonia Kashuk, suggests choosing your eye makeup according to your hair color. Her suggestions below:

Hair Color Shades
  • Creams
  • Taupes
  • Mochas
  • Chocolate brown
Red, Auburn
  • Copper
  • Peach
  • Reddish browns
  • Greys
  • Soft Purples
  • Blues

So, while there are many different ways to go about choosing makeup colors, these guidelines can help refine your selections and experiment with more confidence. And remember, in the end it very well may all come down to personal preference ~ the best colors for you are the ones that make you feel vibrant, healthy and alive!

Herbs of Grace Natural Look shades grouped into warm and cool:

Warm Cool
  • Apricot
  • Peach
  • Azalea
  • Silver Moss
  • Fern
  • Forest
  • Oatstraw
  • Twig
  • Cocoa
  • Cinnamon
  • Mahogany
  • Coral Bell
  • Desert Poppy
  • Amber Lily
  • Fringecup
  • Brownbell
  • Chocolate Lily
  • Sage
  • Wintergreen
  • Maidenhair
  • Pink Carnation
  • Rose Petal
  • Primrose
  • Rye
  • Hydrangea
  • Larkspur
  • Indigo
  • Lavender Mist
  • Huckleberry
  • Dark Plum
  • Tulip
  • Raspberry
  • Alkanet
  • Pasque Flower
  • Blue Bell
  • Gentian
  • Orchid
  • Calypso
  • Mulberry
  • Silver Leaf
  • Dusty Maiden
  • Oakmoss

©2014, Herbs of Grace.

This article is copyrighted by Vanessa Nixon Klein, the proprietor of Herbs of Grace, who is a Traditional Naturopath specializing in medicinal herbalism, nutritional therapy, homeopathy and aromatherapy. If you would like to reprint this article, either online or in print, please contact us.

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