Best Shadow and Liner Colors for Your Eyes

Best Shadow and Liner Colors for Your Eyes

Find what works best for YOU!

By Katherine Hahn for

Do you avoid eye shadow because you’re not sure what shades make your peepers pop? Can’t decide between smoky gray and light purple? Afraid of looking trampy or try-hard? Relax. Breathe. Makeup artists Donna Kelly and Lucy Baldock, who has styled stars like Elle MacPherson and Kylie Minogue, have got things under control. We asked them to break down the complicated science of shadows and liners….

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Brown or Black

Loreal, Infallible® 24 HR Eye Shadow

Lucy says: Use light taupe, brown or gray in either a shadow pencil or eye shadow. Style tip: Highlight those colors with silver or cream. For night, blues and purples pop on black eyes. Use highlighter colors directly above the shadow framing the lashes to avoid the “dark hole” effect. Or, just use dark mascara and highlighter color all around the lash line to contrast your eye color. You can rock shimmery metallic, black, gray, blue or green at night.

Covergirl, Eye Enhancers 3-Kit Shadows ($5.79 at CVS)


Donna says: Brown eyes look good with blues, purples or greens. If you have brown eyes and want to show them off, don’t wear brown eyeliner. Style tip: Try mixing blue and orange. Have fun with your makeup, but don’t let it take over.


Sephora, Metallic Taupe 127 ($20)

Lucy says: For day, you can rock brown, nude, cream, gray, medium taupe, burgundy or seashell color in either a shadow pencil or eye shadow. At night, try gray, brown, purple or glitter. Style tip: Highlight in cream matte or shimmery silvery nude.

Sephora, Laura Mercier Eye Canvas (light beige) ($26)


Donna says: Style tip: Start with a light cream color all over the eyelid so the color you choose will look extra clear.


Sephora, Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner ($12)


Lucy says: Blue eyes can get away with most colors, but the rule of thumb is applying softer intensity for daytime. For night, you’ll look great in liquid liners in purple, glitter or green.

Sephora, Diamond Burgundy 311 ($20)

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Donna says: Wear colors with a red undertone. Burgundy, a red brown, purples, plums and pinks are all great colors for green eyes. If you have blue eyes, wear a warm tone to show them off. Browns, blacks and coral colors will really bring out the blue in your eyes. Don’t wear blue eyeliner – the blues will be competing for attention and the eyeliner will win.

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I live to write about fashion and beauty, and I am trying to take my own advice more often. While a resident fashionista here at GalTime, I also spent the summer interning at Cosmopolitan's editorial department, where pitching stories and harassing strangers for confessions has never been more glamorous. Now, I'm thrilled to bring my experience to the next level here at GalTime as the Beauty & Style Editor. Follow me on Twitter @KatherineHahn1, and feel free to contact me at

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.