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The Most Flattering Makeup for Every Eye Color

The right choice of eye shadow, liner, and mascara can make your peepers truly mesmer-eye-zing (see what we did there?)

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Matthew Cohen/RD.com

Copper metallics enhance brown hues

Although half the world’s population has brown eyes, never consider them ordinary. This eye color has numerous nuances, and can pull off just about any shade of makeup! That said, gold, bronze, and copper are the three shadow options that make brown eyes especially stunning. These warm, shimmering metallics bring out the natural specks layered within brown irises. “They highlight even the slightest hint of gold undertones,” says makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. When lining brown eyes, a dark blue eyeliner creates a softer juxtaposition than black kohl does. If you don’t want to commit to deep blue with a full cateye, just trace the waterline for a similar effect. And don’t feel wedded to black mascara. Instead, try an eggplant-colored one for added emphasis. “Purple shades best enhance brown eyes that have hazel flecks,” says Warren. “The eyes already have a variety of tones, so you don’t need a dramatic shade to create a striking contrast.”

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Matthew Cohen/RD.com

Soft neutrals serve baby blues

Big blue eyes have inspired poetry and paintings for centuries, but when it comes to creating your own artful makeup look, it’s easy to go wrong. Due to how light blue eyes can be, dark, rich shadows can easily overpower them. Instead of dark purples or browns, opt for neutral, light, and soft eye shadows. Any color with orange undertones—champagne, coral, terracotta, salmon, and burnt sienna—will pick up any gold or yellow flecks within blue eyes, making them appear even bluer and cooler. When it comes to adding liner and mascara, don’t be tempted to create a harsh contrast with black liner. Instead, it’s best to use a creamy, champagne eyeliner to enhance them. You can tightline—which means sticking very close to the edge of the eyelid, even cover your whole lid, or just blend the champagne liner into the corners of your eyes for added brightness. For mascara, try a dark brown or navy blue.

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Matthew Cohen/RD.com

Burgundy complements green

Green eyes are the rarest of them all, occurring globally in only 2 percent of the world’s population! Being such a rarity, they won’t easily go overlooked, but choosing the right eye makeup for green eyes can help them make an even more memorable first impression. When it comes to eye shadow, anything with deep red undertones will nicely complement green eyes. Reach for a shimmering plum, maroon, burgundy, or Merlot for best results. As is the case with makeup for blue eyes, black can look too severe on light green eyes. Instead, line them with gunmetal or slate grey for a more subtle—but still powerful— impact. Finally, applying maroon mascara on your lashes will work wonders to make green eyes pop.

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Matthew Cohen/RD.com

Steely silver works for grey eyes

Grey eyes are the paler version of blue or green, and no less beautiful. Grey eyes work best with steely hues, which perfectly emphasize their misty undertones. When choosing an eye shadow for grey eyes, reach for an icy blue, light stone, or mink grey. Any metallic silver will look magnificent. Smokey grey eye shadow also pairs well with gunmetal eyeliners and dark silver mascara. Grey eyes are very rare, and when correctly played up, appear quite enchanting.

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Matthew Cohen/RD.com

Choose gold for hazel eyes

Hazel eyes have the best of both worlds, with elements of green and light brown in their irises. To complement their wide range of hues, the go-to eye shadow color for hazel eyes should be brown or emerald. Any shade of creamy, brown eye shadow will give you a gorgeous earthy effect. Gold also picks up the golden highlights in hazel eyes. The best eyeliner for hazel eyes is a smudged, lived-in eggplant color. You can also add richness with dark brown mascara for results that are truly mesmerizing.

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Matthew Cohen/RD.com

Go bright purple for dark brown

If your eyes are the darkest shade of brown (nearly black), there are plenty of great color options for making them stand out. The trick is to choose rich eye shadow colors that are heavily pigmented, whether they’re bright blues or purples, or even heavily-pigmented silvers and golds. For dark brown eyes, another option is leave your eyelids completely bare and just line your eyes with turquoise or pink. If bright colors are outside of your comfort zone, pure black eyeliner and mascara will lighten and brighten them. Check out these other makeup tricks for getting eyes to really pop!