Sure, kits full of peacock, plum, and emerald sit pretty on your vanity, but making them work on your lids isn’t quite so simple. So with help from N.Y.C. makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor we assembled a guide to navigating the more adventurous shades, so you can hit pan in every palette you purchase.
This deep teal complements all eye colors and skin tones, but really pops when paired with warm eye colors, like amber, says Sotomayor. Spread the shade all over the lid with a dense brush, steering clear of your inner-corners and lower lash lines. Applying it below eyes can “create the look of dark circles,” says Sotomayor.
MAC Cosmetics Spellbinder Eye Shadow in Blue Karma
MAC | $22
Those with hazel and green eyes should reach for this warm auburn to enhance their eye color's cool undertones. The dark terra cotta shade works as a natural-looking crease color on those with caramel skin, says Sotomayor. If you’ve got a fairer complexion, a light wash all over the lid adds interest without reading as too red.
Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadow in I724
Make Up For Ever | $21
Like black, deep aubergine is universally flattering. According to Sotomayor, the shade can “beautifully define upper and lower lash lines.” He suggests using an angled brush to trace the shadow over creamy eyeliners to make the look more dramatic. Or wet the brush and dip it into a plum powder and use it as a soft eye liner.
Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Black Plum
Bobbi Brown | $25
For a striking contrast, those with baby blues should pop this orange-bronze shade all over the lid. “Blue and orange are on the opposite end of the color wheel, so it will make blue eyes pop,” says Sotomayor. The same theory applies to your complexion—if you’ve got cool undertones, this deep hue will be particularly flattering as a neutral.
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette
Charlotte Tilbury | $32
A flattering bordeaux draws attention to pale eyes, and gives brown eyes a sultry look. To add depth and dimension, diffuse this color along the creases and outer corners with a fluffy brush. “Avoid using it all over the lid, which can cause eyes to appear heavy,” says Sotomayor.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in Lust Red
Giorgio Armani | $35
6. Rose Gold
This sweet metallic brightens brown eyes and adds subtle contrast to blue ones. Though the hue works on all skin tones, Sotomayor particularly likes using it as a brow-bone highlight on dark complexions.
Surratt Beauty Artistique Eyeshadow in Dore Rose
Surratt Beauty | $20
This opulent jewel-tone works best with “eye colors that naturally have brightness to them, like green and amber," says Sotomayor. To draw extra attention without overwhelming the eyes, dab this shade right along your lashline, almost like an eyeliner.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Single in Emerald
Anastasia Beverly Hills | $12