One of the easiest ways to build a cohesive look is to start by using colors
that complement or contrast with the color of your eyes, and then using that
color decision to help you determine your blush and lip color.
A color wheel will help you determine what colors to use to complement or
contrast with the color of your eyes. The wheel is based on the three primary
colors: red, yellow, and blue. These are the pure and fundamental colors that
can be used to make all other colors.
Secondary colors are obtained by mixing equal parts of two primary colors;
these include green (blue+yellow), orange (red + yellow), and violet (blue +
Tertiary colors are achieved by mixing a secondary color and its neighboring
primary color on the color wheel. Tertiary colors include: blue-green, blue-violet, red-violet,
red-orange, yellow-orange, and yellow-green.
You can find out which color combinations are complementary by looking at the color wheel. Start with a primary color and find the secondary color that is positioned directly opposite of it on the color wheel, or vice versa. These two colors are complementary. Some popular complementary pairs include:
Blue and orange
Green and red
Violet and yellow
Because the basic complementary color for blue is orange, those with blue
eyes will complement the color of their eyes using shadows that contain yellow
or red. Using these shadows will make the eyes look even more blue.
Best options for blue eyes include gold, warm orange-browns like peach and
copper, red-browns like mauves and plum, and neutrals like taupe and
Red is the complementary color to green, but pure red tones are not
recommended for anyone’s eyes—they are too similar to the natural cues that
indicate you are tired! Therefore, for green eyes, complementary colors such as
brown-based reds and other colors next to red on the color wheel are
Best options for green eyes include red-orange, red-violet, violet, coppers,
golds, rusts, pinks, plums, mauves, and purples.
Brown eyes are neutral and can wear any color.
Complementary colors for brown eyes include purples, coppers, plums, and
pinks, greens, blues, grays, and silvers. For a natural look, gold and taupe
After you have chosen eye makeup, use the color wheel to determine whether
your choices are in the warm or cool family of colors. Remember that reds and
greens can be warm or cool. If a red is orange-based, then it’s warm, while if
its blue based, then it’s cool. Greens that contain more gold are warm and
those that contain more blue are cool.
Coordinate your cheek and lip color by ensuring it is in the same family as
the eye makeup. For example, if you pick a plum eye color to emphasize your
green eyes, plum is cool. Use cool colors for cheeks, such as rose, pink, or
berry. If using a warm, golden-toned eye shadow, choose peach, warm pink, or a
neutral golden beige. If
this all seems a bit much at first, neutrals (browns, tans, greys, blacks) are
safe eye shadow color choices for everyone. They are warm and cool and work
well on any skin tone, eye color, or hair color.