Charlotte Tilbury recently launched her Eye Colour Magic range of eyeshadow palettes and eyeliners, each one curated with individual eye colours in mind. It was received to great fanfare because it helped people know immediately what eyeshadow goes with blue eyes, brown eyes and everything in between.
You can read more about this launch – including a review of her Luxury palette collection – in our Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palette guide.
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However, while Charlotte Tilbury made the process easier, she is not the first makeup artist or brand to use colour theory. Far from it. Colour theory underpins everything to do with makeup – from finding a foundation match to enhancing your features; hair colour, as well as skincare when it comes to balancing redness and rosacea.
And colour theory is based upon the colour wheel (see below). Complementary colours – colours that go well with each other – are those found directly opposite each other on this wheel. In the image below, orange and blue are complementary colours, are green and red and so on.
When two complementary colours are placed side-by-side they create contrast, and – in the case of eyeshadow – this is what makes your eyes pop and look more noticeable. Alternatively, when complementary colours are mixed, or placed on top of each other, they help to cancel each other out.
Using this as a guide, the following list will tell you what tones to look for when shopping for eyeshadow for your eye colour. Click on each eye colour to jump to your section, or browse the full list.
With this in mind, and inspired by the Eye Colour Magic collection, we also thought we’d list other eyeshadow palettes that suit specific eye colours.
That’s not to say that if you have green eyes, you can’t use an eyeshadow palette we recommend for blue eyes, but hopefully these recommendations will make choosing the best eyeshadow palettes easier, without having to just stick to Charlotte Tilbury’s somewhat pricey options.
To complement your blue eyes, make them pop through the use of warm colours like copper, bronze or coral. These shades will work well as orange and red are opposite to blue on the colour wheel. This means they create the perfect contrast.
If you want to keep it light, or subtle, use champagne colours or swap matte coppers for shimmery shades to add sparkle and lift the look. We recommend:
For a daytime look we recommend shimmery brown and nude colours, as your green eyes are already bright and don’t need vivid shadows to attract attention. Red-purple and yellow-green are complementary colours, therefore violet, lavender and purple will also work really well with your eyes, if you want a more colourful pop on a night out. Try it out with these:
The majority of people globally have brown eyes and their neutrality makes any eyeshadow colour look good. This is the fact that if you mix all the colours together, you get brown, so all colours suit this hue. To really make them pop, we recommend warm, earthy shades for a day time look by creating a subtle smoke. If you want a night-out, dramatic finish, then opt for a striking green or bold teal. These eyeshadow palettes are some good options:
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Metallics and pastels are the shades you should go for if you have hazel eyes. To draw attention to your eye colour use delicate silvers, metallics and dusty pinks as they will make the light brown in your eyes sparkle. We recommend:
We love e.l.f makeup and you can read why in our e.l.f Brand Spotlight. This palette is also included in e.l.f’s Virtual Try-On feature, which allows you to virtually experiment with makeup, including foundation before buying.
People with grey eyes make up less than 1% of the population worldwide, and while this makes them a rare beauty, it also means that few products are tailored and targeted with grey eyes in mind.
To enhance grey eyes, use smoky shades to contour your eye socket and add depth. You can try to subtly play up your eye-colour by using similar shades, such as misty greys or a silvery blue. Similar to brown eyes, though, grey eyes suit a lot of eye colours but dark hues and tones make them pop most.
Check out these suggested eyeshadow palettes: