Complementary Eyeshadow Colors for Green Eyes

green eye makeup
This terra-cotta color is the perfect complement.

When you want to look enticing and just plain perfect, finding the right makeup is an important first step. Artfully applied makeup makes the most of your best features and minimizes flaws like under eye circles. If you have green eyes (or green-tinted contact lenses), you already have an attractive and compelling feature to work with -- potentially mesmerizing eyes.

Choosing the right eyeshadow to showcase your green eyes isn't as hard as it sounds, either. The wonderful thing about color is that whether it's in the heart of a flower or in an Impressionist landscape, it conforms to reliable visual laws. Let's apply the science of color to making your green eyes the center of attention:


Know your eyes -- OK, so you know your eyes are green, but are they a deep, emerald green or more hazel with flecks of brown? Green eyes are very individual and unique, and the more you examine your eyes, the more you'll see that they're made up of a number of different hue -- and maybe even some tan, gold or brown coloration. Think of those flecks as complementary colors that can help integrate the look of the eyeshadow shades you choose. Inspecting your eyes will help you select the best shadow to make them look large and luminous.

Choose a neutral -- Using a base or neutral eyeshadow for day wear makes sense. Neutrals are typically compatible with most wardrobe colors, and you can mix a neutral with lighter or darker shades of the same color, or accent colors, to add interest. Warm browns and tans usually work well with green eyes, because green is opposite red on the color wheel. That makes red the complementary color for green. (Just like a toned-down version of the red and green Christmas colors.) Where stark red won't work as an eyeshadow color, shades that have some red or orange in them typically do work very well.

Here's an example: Blue isn't usually compatible as a shadow color for green eyes, but add a little red and you get plum or purple, which is compatible. Skip to the other side of red on the color wheel and you'll find apricot or copper. Both can be a stunning accent colors for green eyes. Make a habit of evaluating the eyeshadow colors you choose based on their subtle shading. Cool colors that look bluish or gray will work less well with green eyes than warm colors that are more reddish, orange or brown. Give it a try. You'll be an eye color expert in no time.

Pick an accent -- Accent eye shadow can be used alone, in combination with a neutral, or on the lower lid. The different shades of green in your eyes and the wardrobe colors you're wearing on a particular day will help determine the best accent eyeshadow for you.

How much accent color you apply, and where, will depend on the occasion. You can typically wear a more dramatic accent for evening than for daytime. These are some effective color options: copper, apricot, chocolate brown, plum, lavender, green and gold. Some pinks and even aqua shades may work, too. Experiment with different colors. That's what cosmetic testers are for. Those multicolored flecks in your eyes make all the difference when it comes to choosing dynamic accent eyeshadow colors. You'll know when you get it right. Your eyes will sparkle like diamonds.


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  • Donahue, Kayleigh. "5 Tricks to Finally Getting Your Eyeshadow Right." Redbook. (5/23/12).
  • Jones, Jessica. "Make Your Green Eyes Sparkle." She Knows. 8/1/11. (5/23/12).
  • "Makeup 101: The Best Eyeshadow Colors for Green Eyes." 4/20/12. (5/23/12).
  • Melby, Leah. "The Best Eye Shadows for Your Eye Color." Real Beauty. (5/23/12).
  • Niki, Alexis. "Eye Shadow Tips." Life Tips. (5/23/12).