How To Pick Eyeshadow Colors

This morning I was looking at my makeup compact, and I challenged myself to pick eyeshadow colors that I rarely use. Four of them, to be exact. Then, create as many different looks as possible with them. Do you make up weird challenges for yourself like I do? Sometimes, it’s the best way to stay productive and still have fun. Haha! If you don’t do it, give it a try!

That got me thinking about how often clients tell me “Wow! I would never put those colors together!” when I’m making eyeshadow suggestions.

I thought it would be fun to go over the basic steps of how to pick eyeshadow colors. That way you can confidently pick out shadows for yourself.

The Basics

First, no matter how you pair your eyeshadow colors, you’ll want to focus on choosing a light, medium, and dark shade.

The lightest color usually goes under the brow and the inner corners of the eye. The medium shade goes on the lid from the lashes to the crease. The darkest shade goes on the outer edge of the eye and is swept slightly into the crease, or used as an eyeliner.

Depending on your personal style, or the look you’re going for, you can mix shimmery and matte textures.

A general “rule” is to not apply a shimmery shade in the crease or on the outer edge of the eye. However, I’ve found that some shimmery eyeshadows are actually not that reflective. If the eyeshadow isn’t super shimmery and is more on the “satin” texture, try it in the crease or the outer edge of your eye and see if it works for you.

All of that to say…there are exceptions to all rules. 😉

Bump up your eyeshadow game and watch this video!

Typically, I choose 1 shimmery eyeshadow and two matte eyeshadows, or two shimmery eyeshadows and one matte.

Along with that, if you want your shadow to look really pretty and polished, you should choose a fourth shade as your transitional color.

Typically, the transition shade is either a couple of shades darker than your natural skin tone, or it is a color that is in between your medium and dark shade. This eyeshadow color should help you transition from one color to the other. It adds depth to the eye and allows your eyeshadow look to flow together. The transition shade is applied in and slightly above the crease.

Tip: If you don’t have a transition shade, you can always use your powdered bronzer.

When it comes to choosing specific colors, I personally don’t believe in rules and feel you should wear what fits your style. When I do makeup professionally, I have learned that the most flattering thing to do is to mix cool and warm tones. Don’t worry about trying to follow specific rules. Have fun and pick out colors that pop out at you, and that you know you will wear. My favorite eyeshadows are made by Seint.

Color Combinations

There are two different types of color combinations you can pick: Monochromatic and Polychromatic.

Monochromatic looks are eyeshadows are all in the same color family. For example, if you wanted a brown monochromatic look, you would choose a very light brown, a medium brown, and a dark brown. For the transition shade, you would pick a color that is in between the medium and dark that would help blend/transition the colors together.

Polychromatic looks are eyeshadows are multi-colored but are gradient from light to dark. You can pick any color you want, as long as you have a light, medium, and dark shade. For example, you could choose a light pink, a medium blue and a dark purple. If you were to wear a transition shade, that could be a shade darker than your natural skin tone, your bronzer, or a matte blue or purple color to help transition all of the shades together.

Ultimately, picking out eyeshadow combinations is really easy and fun! Just follow the few simple steps to help you get started and rock out your own signature style!

I challenge you to pull out some of your eyeshadow palettes and pick eyeshadow colors you rarely use. Pick a light, medium, dark and transitional shade, and rock your new eyeshadow color combo! If you want to send me a pic, I’d love to see it!!

Btw, here is an easy-to-follow look I did with some different eyeshadows: Quick + Easy Eyeshadow Look


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