How to Choose Eyeshadow Colors

  All those lovely eyeshadow colors and palettes available in the market, and yet they are a rare addition to our makeup when we go out with friends or ...

5 min read


How to Choose Eyeshadow Colors

All those lovely eyeshadow colors and palettes available in the market, and yet they are a rare addition to our makeup when we go out with friends or party on weekends. When you ask an Indian woman why she doesn’t wear eyeshadow, her answers range from ‘that’s too much makeup’, to ‘I’m not sure if my skin colour can carry it of.’ But a significant number of women will also tell you that they don’t know how to use eyeshadows.

There are two things you need to learn when to comes to wearing eyeshadows. One, how to choose eyeshadow colors, and how to apply eyeshadow. In this post, we’re going to talk in the detail about the many shades (pun intended, of course!) of How to choose eyeshadow colors.

We’ll cover:

  • How to choose eyeshadow colors according to skin color
  • A small note on skin undertones
  • How to choose eyeshadow colors according to your lipstick
  • How to match eyeshadow colors
  • How to choose eyeshadow colors according to your outfit
  • An even smaller note on eyeliners

How to Choose Eyeshadow Colors for Your Skin Color

Indian skin undertone

Before we get to the main topic of discussion, let’s talk a little about skin undertones.

A Small Note on Skin Undertones

Whether your skin complexion is light, medium, or dark, it has a certain yellow, ashen, or pink  tinge or hue to it. This hue is called an undertone. If your skin appears blue, or pink, your undertone is ‘cool’. On the other hand, if there are yellow, peach or golden hues in your skin your skin undertone is ‘warm’. People who do not have cool or warm undertones are said to have neutral undertones.

When it comes to picking eyeshadows according to skin tones, you can go with palettes that emphasise your undertone. Warm skin tones can opt for warm tones in golds, oranges, and reds, to accentuate the warmth in their skin. Cool skin tones can go with blues, greens, and purples, to match the blue, purple pink undertones in their skin. Neutrals have the unique privilege to experiment with warm as well as cool shades.

When it comes to picking nude palettes, your skin colour determines the best palette for you.

Want to find out your SKIN UNDERTONE? Read our post to take the test.

How to Pick Eyeshadow Colors for Your Skin Color

Now this not a cardinal list, makeup like everything else related to creativity and aesthetic has not set rules. If you feel like wearing a certain shade, let no one stop you.  Having said that, every type of complexion has a certain set of colours that make it come alive.

Here are some of those recommendations by celebrity makeup artists.

Eyeshadow colours for light skin

Light skin colors with warm undertones can try a dull bronze. Cool skin types can wear a washed out copper, to highlight the pink hues.

Eyeshadow colours for medium skin/wheatish skin

Medium or wheatish skin usually have warm undertones, and should give are gold, cinnamon, and warm shades of red, like rust.

Eyeshadow colours for olive skin

People with olive skin tend to have a mix of golden undertones, but with an ashen hue that ‘cools’ down the warmth. And yet, it’s not exactly a neutral skin tone.  Olive complexions could try jewel tones in a cool palette, especially teal. The teal color helps accentuate the ashen undertone, without making it look washed out.

Eyeshadow colors for dark brown skin

This complexion has a neutral undertone, which means it is neither warm nor cool. If you have dark brown skin, every eyeshadow palette looks flattering on you. Go ahead and try them all!

Eyeshadow colors for dark skin

Metallics and bright colours look fantastic on dark skin, particularly purples, teals, and midnight blue. With cool tones, though, women with dark complexion need to be careful about the quality of the pigments so that the colour comes out well.  On the warmer side of the colour palette, experts recommend rose gold and coral.

Another Small Note on Colored Eyeliners

Black maybe a staple, but black can get boring (if it isn’t already!).  When pairing eyeshadow colors require ones to be slightly conservative, one can go all out when pairing eyeshadows with eyeliners. Liners can be used to either enhance a soft eyeshadow color. Or they can be used in complete contrast.

For example,

  • Pink eyeshadow + silver glitter liners
  • Brown shadow + golden liners

Read our article on COLORED EYELINERS for inspiration

How to Choose Eyeshadow Colors According to Your Lipstick

Pairing your blush with the lipstick or a tinted gloss is easy, you just stick to the same color. But things get tricky when it comes to pairing eyeshadows and lipsticks. So how do you go about it? The key is to balance; balance warm and cool colours, balance a rich or strong colour with a subtle one.

Here are some tried and tested lips and eyes combos to try out:

  • Red lips and golden eyes
  • Coral lips and champagne eyes
  • Nude lips and emerald eyes
  • Violet lips and taupe eyes
  • Coral lips and blue eyes
  • Bordeaux lips and copper eyes

Again, we emphasise that at the end of the day it all comes down to individual choice – if you like it, wear it.


Another Small Note: The Perfect Eyeshadow Colors for Brown Eyes (and Black Too!)

Indian eye colors range from the common black and brown, to the rarer hazel and cat’s eye green. Some gorgeous eyeshadow colors for brown eyes include cool colours like purple (think amethyst, lavender, and mauve), green (teal and jade), dark shades of blue like cobalt and navy, and metallics in bronze and copper.

How to Pick Eyeshadow Colors for Your Outfit

For Indian Ethnic Wear

Since Indian wear is generally rich in color and heavy on style, you could opt for metallics (golds, copper, bronze) and traditional palettes (pinks, nudes, subtle reds, and soft purples). These colors underline the richness of your outfit and jewellery, and give your face just the right amount of colour, without overdoing it.

For Contemporary Wear

WesternSince western outfits are usually in single colour, and even conservative prints like stripes, checks, and polkas, are usually in 2 colours.  This allows you to experiment with bold colours on your eyes.

Tonalities, or how light or dark a shade you should wear, will depend on the time of the day. Here are some combinations to try

  • Rose Gold, and rose gold for ultraviolet outfit
  • Cobalt blue, and teal, for light blue outfit.
  • Mauve, and terracotta for orange outfit.

Read our post for the complete guide to pairing your EYESHADOWS WITH ANY INDIAN OUTFITS.

How to Pair Eyeshadow Colors With Each Other

Tried and tested combinations usually pair a warm color with a cool one; pairing colours from the same palette with each other. Eg. pastel with another paste, pairing

Here are some eyeshadow color combos to try:

  • Nude and gold
  • Burnt cinnamon and blue
  • Beige and grey
  • Blue and coral

If you’re not sure about how to pair colours, an EYESHADOW PALETTE will do the job for you. Read our post for some palettes you can bet on.

Last Words on How to Choose Eyeshadows

Once you’ve added the right eyeshadow color palettes, we come to the next crucial phase of wearing eye makeup: how to apply eyeshadows correctly. The key to wearing eyeshadows is to blend the colours well. After you’ve got basics covered, you can experiment with the smokey eye, glitter halos, cut creases, and other eyeshadow styles.

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