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Color Theory: Eyes

Monday, August 20, 2012

I get tons of emails asking me what colors would look great for blue eyes, hazels eyes, and brown eyes. My answer comes straight down to simple color theory. If you have a look at a color wheel, the colors that are opposite complement each other. This is the easiest way to figure out which eyeshadows work best for you!

For instance, blue is directly across orange. This would mean that people with blue eyes would look gorgeous in orange eyeshadows or anything surrounding that range (champagne, gold, bronze, etc). For brown eyes, blue happens to be the color straight across- so blue eyeshadows, teal, and purple will all make brown eyes really pop. For hazel/green eyes, check out the olive green color on the wheel- purple is across from it so colors like purples, pinks and burgundies would really make hazel/green eyes pop.

Color theory is really simple. If you want to enhance a certain color, just look right across the color wheel and you have your answer!

-Patti, contributing elfette

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ArianaB wrote:
1) 8/20/2012 11:53:27 AM
Thanks for the tip and I do love wearing purple eye shadow ;D
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tinamarie8 wrote:
2) 8/20/2012 2:30:05 PM
I've always wondered how to figure out what would be the complimentary color for brown eyes. This makes sense because my brown eyes have amber/orange spots so that explains why I love blue shadows on my eyes!!!
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tinamarie8 wrote:
3) 8/20/2012 2:30:06 PM
I've always wondered how to figure out what would be the complimentary color for brown eyes. This makes sense because my brown eyes have amber/orange spots so that explains why I love blue shadows on my eyes!!!
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LisaLu wrote:
4) 8/21/2012 9:33:49 AM
I have a color wheel and do use it to select colors to wear. It is very helpful.
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Dixiedawn wrote:
5) 8/21/2012 9:36:10 AM
Am I the only brown eyed girl that think blues look strange on them? Teals, purples, yes! But blue I think looks so odd..
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I love Elf! wrote:
6) 8/21/2012 9:41:11 AM
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loverofgloss wrote:
7) 8/21/2012 9:47:41 AM the colour wheel theory. Great idea;)
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Tristalyn wrote:
8) 8/21/2012 10:06:14 AM
Orange? Really? I think I'll pass.
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poppyboo wrote:
9) 8/21/2012 3:41:30 PM
This is good to know! And I guess Elf made it much easier by coming out with eye enhancing shadows!! Thanks!
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MarieTake3 wrote:
10) 8/21/2012 8:28:13 PM
Brown isn't really a color (it is a muted orange) but it can have all kinds of variations since it tends to be a mix of 3 complimentary colors. Brown is also considered a neutral when it comes to putting together color combinations. I can't see blue as the main recommendation for brown eyes. Too many things need to be taken into account for an easy answer. Which is unfortunate since this is a nice, easy to understand post. If you want to ~compliment~ a color you use the one opposite on the color wheel. There's triads, diads, analogous, tints, tones and all kinds of other things involved with color theory. Using the complimentary color on the opposite side of the color wheel is good to make a statement. Using colors next to your eye color can be a subtle way to enhance them. Using darker/lighter versions of your eye color is a neutral look. Enjoy Mr. Color Wheel! He's your friend!
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Clueless About Cosmetics wrote:
11) 8/21/2012 11:45:34 PM
My problem is that, like many people, my eyes aren't just blue. They're blue gray with some green and a ring of yellow. Brown eyeshadows just don't do it for me, though the redder I go the better my eyes pop (and the more washed out my already pale skin looks). Lose-lose situation for me :/
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Michele B. wrote:
12) 8/23/2012 10:16:17 AM
I generally wear neutral colors - browns, grays, etc.
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chochoney wrote:
13) 8/23/2012 10:21:38 AM
This is great! I've never used a color wheel but I've found that blues, greens, champagne and bronze colors really make my eyes pop! My eyes are a lighter brown and I have a dark skin tone.
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Elflet32 wrote:
14) 8/23/2012 10:21:59 AM
This Really helpful now I know what color I would've never known
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Darlinklemntine wrote:
15) 8/23/2012 10:22:27 AM
I have green eyes, and always have done lilacs for daytime and plum for night. I now see why purples make my eyes "pop"! Thanks for the info.
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morgn wrote:
16) 8/23/2012 10:22:50 AM
I have brown eyes with medium skin. I love browns and bronzes. Neutrals are my faces.
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honeybooboo wrote:
17) 8/23/2012 10:23:26 AM
I love to wear blues and purples on my brown eyes. But often times a neutral eye is my go to - a pale yellow or beige is how i achieve that.
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Diva On A Dime wrote:
18) 8/23/2012 10:24:27 AM
My favorite colors are blue,purple and bronze because it brings out my eyes since I have to wear my glasses all day long.
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Mich-x wrote:
19) 8/23/2012 10:25:20 AM
When in doubt, always go with the natural look
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Shortandlovely wrote:
20) 8/23/2012 10:25:43 AM
I like the color chart. It's good to help people that dont know what works for them.For myself I love all colors and love to mix and blend different colors. It's what works for you. :-)
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jennybinflorida wrote:
21) 8/23/2012 10:26:06 AM
So glad to know that I was choosing the correct colors for my brown, somestimes hazel eyes! In fact, I'm wearing purple and teal on my eyes today! Thanks for the info e.l.f.!
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CarrieKate wrote:
22) 8/23/2012 10:26:56 AM
Purples, but I'm not a big fan of purple. I tend to wear neutral colors most of the time, anyway.
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Bew! wrote:
23) 8/23/2012 10:27:24 AM
This is great! I'm excited to start trying pinks and plums with my green eyes
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Arlie wrote:
24) 8/23/2012 10:27:50 AM
I have blue eyes and I prefer to wear blue eyeliner with brown shadow because it really magnifies the blue in my eyes.
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Michellieee wrote:
25) 8/23/2012 10:28:40 AM
I think purple will look great
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Pattygo wrote:
26) 8/23/2012 10:46:47 AM
It seems that with my BLUE eyes (altho' I am 100% Italian -- must have some northern Italian in me), the orange, champagne, gold, bronze shades would look best on me. Thanks for providing us this forum, Elf!
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J-Larr wrote:
27) 8/23/2012 11:11:57 AM
This makes sense. I'm not fond of yellows so now I have an excuse with my blue eyes :) Thanks!
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28) 8/23/2012 11:29:10 AM
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kwalker wrote:
29) 8/23/2012 11:37:00 AM
I never really knew how to use a color wheel. Although I did know that I was to wear the neutrals and browns since I have blue/hazel eyes. I get a lot of compliments when I where the purples and pinks.
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dr. kids wrote:
30) 8/23/2012 12:10:10 PM
I love the way peaches make my blue eyes look. Now I know why!
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templedance wrote:
31) 8/23/2012 12:58:33 PM
I have brown eyes and purple looks best on me but this year I tried orange, yellow and purple combo WOW I love it!
1 Reply | Reply to this | Open Thread
Nazna wrote:
32) 8/23/2012 1:00:33 PM
Purple eyeshadow for brown eyes!
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Browneyedbeauty wrote:
33) 8/23/2012 1:26:00 PM
I have brown eyes & purples & greens look good on my eyes. Some greens are ok, but purples look the best!
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Star#1 wrote:
34) 8/23/2012 1:27:52 PM
Hi, I have blue eyes but my eyes are sunken down so have to make dark so my eyes pop.any ideas to make my eyes stand out? I'm not chinese but my eyes look it.
2 Replies | Reply to this | Open Thread
Amber00 wrote:
35) 8/23/2012 1:52:45 PM
Thx never knew purple worked with my hazel eyes!!!
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SabrinaBieber wrote:
36) 8/23/2012 2:40:56 PM
Thaks a lot of help
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pattyrice55 wrote:
37) 8/23/2012 7:51:47 PM
Blue ooo lala
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AnnetheCatDetective wrote:
38) 8/23/2012 8:46:26 PM
I've got blue eyes, but most oranges look terrible with my skin tone (or clash with my already ginger hair), but I've found that I really like the right gold or bronze. And I tried a cool neutral red once-- it was part of an elf warm palette that I already had (where I got the gold-y bronze-y champagne-y shadows), and I didn't think it would look good on me, but I was experimenting, and I have to say, it really brought out a green shift in my eyes and looked fabulous and understated!
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gshep wrote:
39) 8/23/2012 8:50:44 PM
I have dark brown eyes and I like to wear shades of purple.
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colorfan wrote:
40) 8/24/2012 1:15:22 AM
I have blue eyes. I go for the browns but only in the crease, white on the lid.
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Belles wrote:
41) 8/24/2012 1:23:10 AM
The problem with color theory is that it only works for some. For example, I have cool coloring and blue eyes. The orange tones that would seem to be the logical way to set off my eye color looks unnatural on me. What I use are grays and blue grays. They work infinitely better than the warm colors. Where I get people asking if I'm OK with the oranges, people tell me I look great with the grays.
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Barnowl wrote:
42) 8/25/2012 3:51:22 AM
Thanks....I have Hazel eyes...haven't worn "purple" shadow in a LONG did look great...thanks for the ideas!
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jkey wrote:
43) 6/16/2013 12:00:30 PM
What if someone can't determine the color of their eyes? Mine bounce from green and blue but no brown anywhere so they're not hazel. Just dull...
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Clovemoon wrote:
44) 2/13/2015 7:44:37 PM
Sometimes you have to take more into account, than just your eye color.... I have blue eyes, so browns and gold should look good. They do, as long as my hair color is my natural dark blonde. BUT, I'm sporting purple/pink hair, and orange/gold/brown eyes makes my face look old and dull (and my eyes tiny)- but when I work with teal, green, gold and bronze- WOW! My hair, eyes and skin look great.
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