Makeup for Eyes: Selecting Shadow Colors

Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2003

Choosing eye shadow can be tricky; there are so many available colors. Pick hues based on your skin tone: Skin with yellow undertones calls for warm shades; cool hues coordinate with pink undertones. For your wedding, try shadows with a bit of shimmer. Use matte powder shadows as eyeliner for a softer line; they will blend more easily than pencil. Like the eye shadow, your lipstick and blush colors should work with your skin tone. "This creates a more harmonious look," says New York City makeup artist Lea Siegel.

Gray, White, Black
Shades of gray appear sheer on the eye and complement light skin tones. They achieve an understated and elegant effect. Use a gray shadow on the lid, a white shadow to highlight the brow bone and to dot the center of the lid, and a black shadow to line the eyes.

Pewters, Golds, Bronzes
Deep, opaque, metallic hues such as these are a good choice for African-American skin. For yellow undertones, opt for golden hues on the lid; for red undertones,consider bronze shadows. On very dark skin, which may have a bluish cast, try pewters. Use black or dark brown as liner.

Blues are more playful than classic grays or neutrals, but when applied lightly, these hues are also appropriate for a wedding. You'll want to choose icy shades if your skin is pale and richer colors if it is dark. For an eyeliner, use a navy powder; it's great for both skin tones.

Peach, Ivory, Brown
These colors look natural on the eyes. Their warmer undertones are a lovely match for those with olive or golden skin tones. Go with a peach shadow as an allover base color; you can use an ivory shade for highlighting the brow bone and lid and a brown shadow for lining.

For brides who want a more vibrant color choice, shadows in shades of purple are a beautiful option. These shades will particularly intensify brown or green eyes, while making the whites of the eyes appear even clearer. A deep, smoky plum or black is the perfect liner.

Makeup for Eyes


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