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Make your blue eyes pop

This is the start to a new series of how-to articles. These articles will help women (and men) with different eye colors better choose, purchase, and apply their eye makeup. If you have a color-wheel, go ahead and grab it, if not use the color wheel link below. Of course if you are short on time and just want the how-to part, scroll down to Apply.

blue eye makeup
Amy Conklin

Using a color-wheel seems extreme when it comes to applying your makeup but trust me, it’s not! You have to understand at least a little bit of color theory (or the science of color); when you are applying "beauty" makeup (makeup to enhance your natural assets and help you emphasize a feature to its most attractive state). For example; a colors direct compliment is the color that is directly across from it on the color wheel: red/green, violet/yellow, blue/orange. These colors side by side will complement each other, however when the colors are placed on top of each other they cancel each other out. You may be asking yourself why this is important, but we’ll get to that.

To give you a quick lesson on color theory, click on the link below labeled STAR; you’ll see a black star on the new windows page. Look at the star for 30 seconds, then look at a plain white wall, piece of paper, or even another blank white text screen (such as a blank word document).


What did you see on the plain white background? You should have seen a star, but what color was it? It was white. This is because black’s direct complement is white, and once the source of your color is taken away, your eye craves its opposite (or complement).

Now onto the makeup. Since this article is based on emphasizing people with blue colored eyes we'll use blue as our reference color. First determine the shade of blue; is it light, medium, or dark? Does the blue have more of a gray tone to it, or does the person have some gold color flakes in their iris as well. This helps determine the shades of colors to use on their eye. Today we are going to say we have a set of crystal clear true blue eyes, no gray tones, and minimal specs of gold. The person has a warm pale complexion (meaning more yellow undertones rather than red).


Create a clean canvas for the eye color; we need to begin with fresh clean skin, then we can prime and conceal.

First: Apply a very thin layer of any eye or face primer to the entire eye area. Next using a concealer that matches the skin tone, apply concealer with a brush or the tips of your ring fingers and gently tap the concealer into place. If you’re working with dark circles add a tiny bit of orange colored cream foundation to your concealer and apply sing the same technique. Be sure you’re only using the mixed color directly on top of the dark circles. If you go back to our quick lesson about color theory, you’ll recall that orange is blue’s direct complement, so placing it on top of the blue circles cancels out the blue color. (Pretty cool!)

Second: Use a dark brown Khol eyeliner pencil to line your eyes. Use the pencil as you would any other writing utensil, simply place the sharpened tip where you want it and draw a thin line, tracing your upper lash line. If you have down cast eyes, be careful not to over apply your eyeliner on the lower lash line. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to refrain from applying liner to the lower lash line altogether.Once you have applied the liner, use a liner smudge brush to do exactly that; smudge the line. This will take the harshness away from the line and make the look more natural, and less harsh.This is also a key step in blending the entire look once you’ve finished. No one point of your eye makeup will be fighting for attention from another.

Third: This is when we’ll set our base. Once you have covered your dark circles and or primed and concealed the area apply your foundation. If you are blessed with great skin and don’t need to worry about foundation, skip the foundation and start here; whether you used the foundation or not, you need to set your eye area. Using a powder (preferably loose powder) that matches your skin tone, or is translucent, dab onto eye area with a soft powder puff (don’t use a brush if you can help it; the brush will not set the powder into the foundation and or concealer.) You’ll know your eye area is set when you can touch the area with your fingers and the skin feels dry and smooth (not tacky or sticky from the wet products).

Fourth: Apply your base shadow color. Choose your base shadow color, by finding something to match your skin color, only about two shades lighter (if you’re going out at night or prefer shimmer in your base shadow, I recommend champagne for blue eyes). Using a soft bristles shadow brush (most are made of squirrel hair, but you can find synthetic) coat the outer bristles of the brush with your shadow and work the shadow all over the eye area from lash line to eyebrow and from your inner corner to outer.

Fifth: For a lid shadow use something with an orange base to it. For our fair skinned example we’ll choose a peach (if you are working with someone who has more of a medium to dark complexion, consider using a tangerine color or something similar). Using a soft bristle shadow brush apply the lid color across the entire eyelid. The eyelid is the area of skin from your upper lash line to the crease in your eye (about half way up the entire eye area on most people). You’re not going for a shock and ahh factor here (beauty makeup remember), so your just adding enough color to emphasize the color of the iris (the colored part of your eye). Remember adding a colors direct complement next to the color emphasizes the color.

Sixth: Using a crease brush add the crease color. We'll choose a medium reddish brown. The reddish brown is that along the line of a bark, or sepia print color opposed to a dark cocoa or muddy brown. Apply this color sparingly; you DO NOT want to over apply! Think of this part as working in layers to achieve the darkness you like or need to accentuate the crease of your eye. Once applied to the crease, use a thicker, but equally stiff shadow brush to blend the crease color down into the eyelid color, as well as out to the immediate base shadow color; blending ties the entire look together.

Seventh: Finish off the look by curling your lashes, and adding mascara. Since this is an article on eyes, we’ll leave off here, but here’s a tip for lip color and blush: If you are a warmer skin tone, use a cooler lip color and blush.

You now have hints and tips about choosing colors to complement your blue eyes. At this point you need to decide what colors you are going to want to choose; use your color wheel and find your eye color and its direct complement. All of the products and colors recommended can be found in different shades and varying prices from drug stores, mass makeup stores (Sephora, Ultra, etc.), makeup counters, and catalogue makeup sales (Avon and Mary Kay). It is up to you to find a product that works for your needs; here are some things to keep in mind: price (what can you afford), quality and content (read labels if you have skin sensitivities, or allergies), ease of purchase (can you run up the street to grab a refill if you run out, or can you afford the time to go to the mall), wear time (if you’ll wear the product all day everyday make sure it is a long lasting cosmetic.)

Finally, play around with your colors and technique; and be prepared to receive complements on your eye color everywhere you go.


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