Color Theory 101: Makeup According To Eye Color

According to its Wikipedia definition, Color theory “is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination.”

Complementary (or inverse) colors are those opposite each other on the color wheel.  According to the phenomenon of simultaneous contrast, placing a color beside its inverse causes it to appear brighter.  Therefore, wearing eye makeup complementary to one’s eye color enhances your eyes, making them look like a brighter/lighter version of their natural hue.


Complementary makeup shades by eye color:

  • Brown eyes: blue, purple, green, grey, silver
  • Blue eyes: orange, copper, warm brown
  • Green eyes: Red, pink, burgundy

I’ve listed more shades for brown eyes because: a) Brown is a neutral and therefore coordinates with pretty much any color, and b) it varies a bit depending on the presence of gold or red in one’s brown eyes.

Also, anyone with green-toned brown/hazel eyes (like my friend Ashlee and cousin Kaley) should also play with red, pink, and burgundy.
And if you have blue-green peepers, go for any of the shades listed for either eye color but especially rusty tones and red-browns.

Neutral eye makeup looks good on pretty much everyone, but cool-toned neutrals are especially flattering opposite warm eyes and vice versa.
Color theory is not relegated strictly to eye makeup.  Wearing red, pink, purple, orange, or brown lipstick (respectively) can intensify eye color as well.

Did you find this beauty definition post useful?


Most of this information comes from my existing knowledge of color theory garnered from a multitude of art classes taken throughout my twenty seven years on this planet, but I did skim this article on Color Wheel Artist for a quick refresher of terms.

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