Picking Eyeshadows is as Easy as Elementary Art


Remember the color wheel and learning about things such as primary and secondary colors in elementary school? Remember being a little bored and thinking why am I learning this?  Well color theory basics can actually be an easy tool to use in selecting makeup shades!

I’ve had a lot of questions regarding shadow selection for various eye colors, so I figured I’d try to tackle that topic. Let me preface by saying I believe there are no rules when it comes to makeup!  Makeup can be a great outlet for creativity, and I don’t want to stifle art with absolutes.  However, this can be a helpful guideline…especially for those who feel a bit lost when shopping for makeup.

Before we play spin the color wheel, let’s start with figuring out your skin tone.  This is key in helping you look your best and selecting the right makeup for your skin.  Ever feel like your skin still looks lifeless even after makeup application?   This might be a sign of not choosing the correct makeup for your skin tone.  Knowing your skin tone can also guide you in making decisions in wardrobe colors as well!  Most skin tones fall into 2 categories: cool or warm.  Here are some tips to help you figure out whether you are cool or warm:

Cool skin: Usually has pink, rosy, bluish undertones. If veins on underside of arms tend to appear blue, you are probably cool skin.

Warm skin:  Tends to have more of a yellow, peach, or golden undertones. If veins on underside of arms tend to appear green, you are probably warm skin.

If you’re still not sure, ask a makeup artist at your local cosmetics counter and they will be more than happy to help.

Now that you have your skin tone pinpointed, try sticking to wardrobe and makeup colors in the same family (either cool or warm) to really make yourself glow!  Again, these aren’t rules 😉 Here are a few examples of colors:


Now that you’ve had a quick lesson in warm and cool skin tones and colors, let’s get back to the subject at hand…selecting an eyeshadow that makes your eyes pop.  There are more shadows than one can imagine counting out there today, but maybe this tip can give you a jump start into becoming your own makeup extraordinaire!  Colors on the color wheel have complimentary colors. Think of these as “opposite” colors. Putting complimentary colors side by side will make them both pop, rather than a competition with each other to stand out.  To find out the complimentary color to your own eye, take a look at the color wheel below.  Find the best match to your eye color on the wheel, and then look in the same spot on the opposite side of the wheel.  This will be the complimentary color to your eye!
Blue eyes: try golds, bronzes, browns, or maybe orange for fun! (think of a sunset against a blue sky)
Green eyes: try pinks, mauves, rose, and pretty much any shade of purple
Hazel eyes: most versatile of all eye colors in my opinion. play away. try starting with soft pinks, browns, or greens
Brown eyes: try various shades of purples and blues. Perhaps a deep blue liner?  Most bright colors with contrast well with brown.
Remember there are various ranges and finishes of all shadows, so how dramatic you want to appear is totally up to you!  If you are afraid of color, start small 🙂  Try using the colors in combination with your neutrals, or try a simple liner.   The more you play, the braver you will be!  Don’t be scared to color outside the lines!
Ashley
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17 Responses to “Picking Eyeshadows is as Easy as Elementary Art”


  1. 1 Jemma March 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    You are seriously a life saver!! You deserve an emmy for best make-up artist of all time! Thanks ashley!!

  2. 2 anakellya March 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    cheers for the tips :] i’ll be sticking with blue&purple tones i think from now on 🙂 xxx

  3. 3 danielle1414 March 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Ashley, Where did you learn all this? haha you’re way clever!
    AWESOME tips! Love it 🙂

  4. 4 Jennifer March 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Awesome, if it’s ok with you I might just have to use this when we have makeover nights with the Girl Guides I run.

  5. 5 Jen March 4, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Thanking You Very Much! I have blue eye but now im wishin i had hazel, with it being most versatile. haha x

  6. 6 Regine March 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Hey Ashley,

    Great blog! I have brown eyes, and from experience, it’s true that purple eyeshadow really works well on me. And like you said, it’s just a starting point, so experimenting is key. I’ve tried greens and browns as well, which have also worked fine. 🙂

    Do you have any basic tips/techniques on applying eyeshadow? I’m okay at it and have a few simple brushes for applying them, but would like to get better without the need to purchase a bunch of pricey brushes.

  7. 7 Skye March 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Great Blog! Thank you so much. I would never think brows or golds would go with my blue eyes but I will have a try at it. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

  8. 8 Stephanie March 4, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Now how many different shades? Darker one on lid etc?

  9. 9 Linda March 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks Ashley!! Now I just need a video on HOW to apply all this wonderful stuff. When I do it on my own, I look like a clown, haha. vlog vlog vlog

  10. 10 Amanda March 4, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Oh, this is wicked helpful. I have hazel eyes and a cool skin tone, but my friend has dark brown eyes and a warm skin tone. Last night she asked me which makeup would work well for her, but I had no idea! I was like “I only know how to do my own makeup!” Haha. I will definitely send her this way 🙂

  11. 11 Gypsy Gies March 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Ok Ashley, you are officially a Goddess now. Just so you know. If you see people throwing flower pedals in your path, well, count it as natural. ;’). Expect a big hug if I ever see you.

    Thank you so much for this post it’s just crazy helpful. I’m the tomboy grew-up wants to be more fem but totally Clueless. So starting from some basics like this is simply a great help.

    And I’m all for a vlog on How to apply it all well. Sit Kate down and show us some lessons. Actually sit them all down so we get different eyes shapes. Strap Kelly in if you have to. haha

  12. 12 Karen March 4, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks Ash!! I am totally clueless each morning as I put on my makeup so this has been so much help. KC is sooooo lucky to have you!! Keep up the good work..you sure know what your doing 🙂

  13. 13 Mary b March 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I’m loving your blogs!!!! Keep em coming… At your convenience of course lol… We know your a busy girl!!!

    Thanks bunches

  14. 14 Sam perrin March 5, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Great blog ash!:)

  15. 15 Erin March 5, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Thanks for the great info! I will definitely try some of these out! Oh and just so you know, I looked like a complete asshole looking in my webcam trying to figure out the best color for my eyes hahaha wooo thanks again! 🙂

  16. 16 Jaclyn March 6, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I never thought of trying a deep blue liner…I might just do that…I found the purple shadow a while ago though and I really like it.

    Apparently my skin tone and eye color clash though, lol..because purples and blues seem to be cool colors and I have a warm skin tone 😛 …but no rules, right?

  17. 17 visit web page September 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm

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