The Best Eyeshadow Colours for Blue Eyes
They’re the subject of numerous songs - and despite their name there’s no actual pigment in them - meaning they get their colour the same way the sky and the sea do (weird, right?). If you’re one of the 8-10% of people with blue coloured eyes - and you happen to love wearing makeup - you’re probably wondering: what colour eyeshadow for blue eyes?
Whether your “ocean eyes” are grey-toned, azure or icy blue - finding the right shade to complement them can be tricky: while certain shades can really make them pop, others leave them looking a little lacklustre. The trick is to know which colours offer the most contrast - and then play around with shades within that range.
But first: a quick art lesson - to get the best contrast, choose colours from either the opposite side of the colour wheel, or those next to each other. Still confused? Here’s how to choose the best eyeshadows to make those baby blues sparkle.
An 80’s classic, blue is admittedly one of the tricker options to pull off - but it can be done: just look at the exact shade of your iris to figure out which blue works best, and choose a colour a few shades darker than your eyes to avoid clashing, such as a gorgeous metallic royal blue - or for something a little more subtle, a flick of navy eyeliner.
If your blue eyes also have hazel or green tones in them, subtle shades of forest or khaki, (rather than luminescent lime) can look lush. For those with more “true blue” eyes, softer blue-greens like teal or turquoise can help bring out your inner mermaid.
If your eyes have flecks of gold or yellow in them (or any other colour) - accentuate them! Metallics in shades of gold or bronze are a surefire way to add a little extra sparkle, either worn as a solo wash across the lids - or as an accent in corners of your eyes - while darker blue-black eyes can even get away with a sunny shade of true yellow.
There’s a reason why some colours are called complementary: sitting directly opposite blue on the colour wheel, orange tones are a great place to start if you’re wondering what colour eyeshadow for blue eyes. Light blue eyes contrast beautifully with warm neutrals and copper tones - while grey eyes suit soft peaches and coral tones.
Are you seeing red? Normally ascribed to various shades of lipstick, red is one of the more unexpected colours for eye makeup - but if you have blue eyes, don’t rule it out: deep burgundy shades can look gorgeous against brighter blues or those with a greenish tint to them - while those with lighter irises contrast well with softer, rust-tinted shades. This is a bold look - so don’t forget to keep the rest of your look relatively neutral.
Another great choice for grey-toned eyes, pink eyeshadow adds softness and contrast to your look - but keep the colour warm-toned. If you have grey-blue eyes, fushcia might seem like a bold move - but give it a try: so long as you keep the rest of the face relatively neutral, it can look lovely. If in doubt, go for a shade of rose gold: it flatters most skin tones and eye colours.
In colour theory, purple is “analgous”, meaning it sits right next to blue on the wheel. Shades ranging from regal purple to icy lilac can all look gorgeous on blue eyes (especially those with hazel or green in them). Lighter irises look stunning with brighter purples, while grey-blue eyes look fabulous in smokey shades of aubergine.
Grey can look stunning against slate-blue eyes - and it provides the perfect backdrop for a classic smokey eye if you layer up various shades. Another metallic colour that compliments blue eyes perfectly is silver in shades ranging from a luminous moonlight metallic shade all the way through to pewter.
For blue eyes, soft shades of beige and brown tend to work best. Choose a colour that flatters your skin tone as well as your eye colour for best results: cooler complexions suit lighter taupes, while warmer skin tones look best with darker browns. If you love the smokey eye look but find it a little harsh in the light of day - why not try a softer, daytime version in shades of brown?
How to Apply
1. The Tools
A basic eyeshadow kit should contain - at the very least - cotton buds and eye makeup remover to fix any mistakes. Choose a stiff, flat brush for accuracy and maximum pigmentation when applying colour to the lid, a softer, fluffier one for blending and a soft pencil brush or smudger to help soften any harsh lines.
2. Base Notes
Your eyeshadow will need something to stick to, so choose a primer or a cream shadow with a little “tack” to it - just avoid using concealer, as it tends to crease - and don’t overdo it with the powder, or the skin around the eyes can start to look a little flat and dull.
3. Layer Up
Next, build up your layers. Get the shape of the eye first with transition colour in a neutral shade, blending into the crease of the eye and outer corner. Shimmery or metallic shades - if used to accent - can be worn on the centre, middle or outer corners of the lids, while darker shades generally look better on the outer corners when layered over a lighter shade. Use a light touch at first and build colour as you go. Take your time and remember to blend.
4. Dive Into Blue (Or Pink, Or Orange…)
If you’re used to wearing more neutral shades, playing with colour can feel intimidating, but don’t be put off, because that’s exactly what it is - play! Don’t be afraid to keep things simple to start with, either: if a more editorial look in a kaleidoscopic range of hues isn’t doable just yet, you can always experiment with blendable cream eye shadows or coloured eyeliner. Whatever your level of expertise, there’s a formula and a shade out there to suit everyone - so dive right in - and have fun!