Much like using your skin tone in order to determine which shade of blond is right for you, makeup artist Annie Tevelin says that finding the right eye makeup products is a lot easier than it looks, especially since it starts by choosing flattering tones based upon your eye color. And while it’s easy to think that means enhancing those baby blues with matching blue tones, Tevelin tells us that contrast is key, making it wise to select contrasting shadow, liner, and mascara shades that help your eyes really shine.
“If you want your eyes to pop, use contrasting colors that can be found on the opposite side of the color wheel of your eye color,” Tevelin tells us. “For example, green eyes look best in olive and teal tones, while gold provides great contrast to blue eyes.” To help all eye shades find their best makeup match, we talked more with Tevelin (plus more seasoned makeup artists!) about all of the best makeup tips and hacks to enhance your eye color.
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While it’s easy to assume that blue makeup products will enhance your eye color, NYC-based makeup artist Alex Rutkay recommends selecting tones including copper, gold, and warmer brown tones to help enhance your eyes.
“Anything with an orange base always sets off blue, so try sticking with warm copper, gold, and brown tones to really make them pop,” Rutkay explains. And to create a beautiful look that will truly keep your onlookers guessing, she recommends sweeping gold shadow across the lid, and lining the upper and bottom lashes with a smudged smoldering-brown pencil.
Because grey-colored eyes can contain a swirl of flecks of gold, soft green, and coppery brown tones, Melissa Baker, education director for Merle Norman Cosmetics, explains that you’ll want to choose contrasting shades based on the color that is most prominent within your eye. “To make the blue color inside your eye more prominent, choose shades with an orange or peach undertone,” Baker tells NewBeauty. “To enhance the green color, be sure to select shades with pink or rose undertones like plums and browns.”
Although red is the opposite of green on the color wheel, Rutkay says it can be difficult for most people to pull off shadow in this color, as she explains that these tones tend to create a sickly appearance. Instead, she advises staying within the red color family by choosing warm reddish browns and shades with warm brick-like undertones. These tones, she adds, can help green eyes shine.
Not into red? The plum color family works just as well for this eye color, according to Rutkay, as she explains that it gives all your off-duty makeup looks some added edge and mystery. “I don’t always love colored mascara, but I find that dark purple mascara products work great for this eye color as well.”
Hazel eyes may appear brown at first glance, but Rutkay says there is a difference between the two, as hazel eyes tend to have green tones inside. With this in mind, she recommends following similar shade rules that pertain to green eyes, as you’ll want to enhance any flecks of green that may be peeking through.
“I typically follow the green eye color route since hazel eyes tend to have green in them,” she tells us. “If you want to enhance the green, go with more plum and warm purples, and if you want to bring out the brown (or yellow), use more coppers or a soft brown shadow.” However, if dramatic eye looks are totally your thing, Rutkay suggests creating a come-hither smokey eye filled with dark metallic and coppery-colored green tones.
Brown-eyed beauties should take inspiration from the many tones present in the brown family, according to Rutkay, as she says reflecting on the yellow, light brown, and black colors present within the eye can be helpful in picking the right products. “I love seeing what other colors are present in a brown eye—yellow, light brown, black—and going off of those when selecting a color to enhance,” she explains.
And as contrast is key into helping your brown eyes pop, Rutkay advises experimenting with exciting bold and vibrant colors—think: baby blue, turquoise, metallic greens—that takes your date-night makeup look up a notch. However, if you are gunning for more of an office-friendly look, Tevelin suggests enhancing your eyes with classic pink tones, as they can be helpful in feigning a well-rested appearance. “Pink is a great contrasting shade to brown,” Tevelin explains. “However, be sure to line the eyes with black—or dark brown—liner so that the colors pop, as you’ll want to ensure that colors with a red undertone (like pink!) doesn’t make the eyes look sleepy or fatigued.”
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