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Eyeshadow Colors to Enhance Blue Eyes

Eyeshadow colors to both try and avoid for enhancing naturally blue eyes.

The trick to looking your best is knowing your best features and doing everything you can to highlight those features.  Many people would say that their eyes are hands-down their best feature, but aren't completely sure how to enhance their eyes to make them look as beautifully as possible.  Those with blue eyes seem to be among the most confused with this subject when really, blue eyes are very easy to enhance.

Before you begin randomly trying different eyeshadow colors to try and enhance your eye color, it's important that you understand what blue eyes truly are: blue eyes actually have no color.  Babies are born with blue eyes until they begin to age and their bodies develop its pigmentation - called melanin - to determine their true eye color.  If their eyes stay blue, it means no melanin was developed.  The blue you're seeing is actually just a reflection of light hitting the back of your eyes, which explains why blue eyes have a tendency to migrate constantly between green-blue and grey-blue based on external influences.  Knowing this will help you determine not only which colors can help your endeavor, but also which ones will hinder it.

Colors to try:

  • Black: many people recommend staying away from black eyeshadow because of its dramaticism and ability to swallow eye colors, but it's a great outline color - think of the outline around a cartoon character.  Because black is a natural light eater, very little light will be reflected in the iris and will generate a crystalline effect on blue eyes, making for a very clear and almost icy blue.  A crystal shade paired with the sharp contrast of the black will make your eyes stand out dramatically.
  • Red: deep red and burgundy hues will make blue eyes appear darker and more opaque in color, but they will also add depth and brightness.  Reds also tend to bring out any violet undertones hidden within the blue, giving your eyes an indigo appearance rather than just a straight blue.
  • Green: in its first impression, green may seem counterproductive because your first thought may be that it will enhance any green attributes and shadow the blues, which negates your goal.  In actuality, deep greens and kelly greens do the exact opposite: because the green pigment in the eyeshadow is so strong, it enhances the blue in blue eyes as the subtle green shades in the iris pale in comparison to such grand pigmentation.
  • Yellow: while yellow is overall a very unflattering color, it is included because if you're looking at strictly enhancing the color of your eyes rather than flattering them, yellow does its job.  Like red, it will darken the blue, but it can also help bring out any yellow swirls that many blue eyes possess around the pupil.  Next to yellow, the blue looks crisper and deeper and hides a lot of the greens in the iris.
  • Purple: purples have the same effect that red does in that it will help enhance any violet tones hiding in the depths of blue eyes.  Though purple won't darken the blue nearly as much as red will, expect some darkening with a bit of an indigo appearance.

Colors to stay away from:

  • White: white should be avoided regardless of your eye color because white is such a pure color, everything else will look dirty and blemished when stacked next to it.  It will cause the whites of your eyes to appear yellow and will make your blue eyes look dull.
  • Pastels: albeit some people swear by pastel eyeshadow, it doesn't really do much when paired with blue eyes.  Blue eyes are naturally light in appearance and so using a light eyeshadow won't do much to brighten them.  The colors are lovely and very versatile but again, if you're looking to strictly enhance the blue in your irises, pastel eyeshadow colors won't help you.
  • Pink: pink has its own category rather than being lumped with pastels because pink tends to do something strange with blue eyes.  Even the brightest of pinks will give blue eyes a dull appearance, enhance any grey tones, and generally cause blue eyes to look washed-out.  It's very different from its red counterpart and unless you're specifically looking to brighten the grey in your eyes, pink eyeshadow should be avoided.
  • Blue: blue eyeshadow is known for going well with blue eyes, but you're going to have the same problem with blue eyeshadow that you will with green eyeshadow.  The blue in your eyes, no matter how beautiful, will never compare to the brightly perfected pigments in blue eyeshadows and will always take on a blemished look.  Based on the ferocity of the shade of eyeshadow, blue eyes will either appear more green than blue, or they will look tarnished.  Never try to outdo manmade perfection, especially in the case of blue eyeshadow.
  • Orange: this could go without saying, but if you have blue eyes, orange eyeshadow is completely off limits.  Blue and orange oppose one another on the color wheel and if you dare to pair them together, they will cancel each other out.  This follows the same logic of orange concealer sticks being used to hide blue undertones in undereye circles.  Orange eyeshadow on blue eyes will create a battle for dominance on your face with neither winning and creating an unbalanced, beady-eyed look and nobody wants that.
  • Grey: greys and silvers will bring out any blue hues in your eyes, but they will also probably wash them out.  Grey is such a subdued color that when you match it with the most subdued eye color, they tend to blend together and make blue eyes look dull.
  • Brown: brown is in the avoidance side because brown can very easily overpower blue.  Brown is an earthy hue whereas blue is a cool color and the thickness of the brown can cause your eyes to look all eyeshadow, very little eye.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between and so if you're on the fence about it, skip the brown and try a burgundy instead.

Blue eyes aren't difficult to highlight once they're properly understood and you have basic knowledge of the color wheel.  Remember that everything is reflected in blue eyes, which will give them most of their color and varying shades in the iris.  Also keep in mind that there are literally tons of differing shades of all the colors, so if you're looking to experiment with a red color, don't forget that there is anything from a fire-engine red to a brick red to a purple-burgundy red.  No two pairs of eyes are alike and a shade that works for you may not work for someone else.

Most importantly, this should be a fun endeavor and until you try a color, you'll never truly know if you like it or not.  Experiment until you find some eyeshadow colors than enhance your blue eyes and relish in a hard day's work and a job well done.

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Comments (6)

Thanks so much for writing this article. I do have blue eyes but one is actually blue/green which people notice all the time. I rarely wear eye shadow for this reason. I occasionally use the pink from my blush brush but according to your article pink is not great. I will experiment with the other colors you suggested. Thanks for the great tips!

This is very well presented.

very well executed really deserve for vote.

Ranked #16 in Beauty Tips

Very helpful :)

Ranked #10 in Beauty Tips

Nice article with essential tips on color effects. Thank you Shiloh. I request your friendship and support. Please consider me. Paulose Varghese

Ranked #17 in Beauty Tips

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