How to make your eyes pop with makeup

Ever looked at someone’s eye makeup and been amazed at how it makes their eyes just pop? Think you can’t achieve that look yourself? News flash: you can! And what’s better— it’s not as hard as you might think. There’s a secret to getting standout eyes, and it has everything to do with eyeshadow colors. Read on to find out which eyeshadows you should be using on your eye color, and the science behind why it makes your eyes POP.

To understand how colors can work together and compliment each other, let’s take a look at the color wheel. If you read our post on “How to Use Color Correcting Makeup,” well, you probably already understand the concept.

If you want to make your eyes stand out, find your eye color on the color wheel and look at the color opposite to it. That’s it! Simple, right? Let’s take a look:

The color wheel shows us:

  • Blue eyes will pop with orangey shades of eyeshadow

  • Green eyes will pop using red and purple shades of eyeshadow

  • Brown eyes will pop using blue and purple shades of eyeshadow

The color wheel helps us understand which colors contrast and, therefore, make each other stand out. Depending on the exact shade of your eyes, there is a little freedom with which eyeshadow color looks best. For example, if your green eyes are more blue-green than golden green, you can lean more towards orangey shades that purple shades. Make sense? Now let’s look at the breakdown of each eye color and which shades will make them stand out.

Blue Eyes


Looking at the color wheel, you will see that blue is opposite orange. This means that for stand out blue eyes, use warm coppers and terra-cotta colors to intensify the blue. Coppers, specifically, are directly across from blue on the color wheel, so they will ignite the eyes and make them pop.

If you’re looking for a neutral shadow, try bronzey, warm browns to intensify the blue. Shades to stay away from include greens and blues— blue eyes get lost in these colors, making them stand out less.

Green Eyes


For standout green eyes, purple and red hued shades will make the eyes pop since they are opposite on the color wheel.

For deep green or hazel eyes, any shade of purple from lavender to eggplant will intensify the green. For light, golden green eyes, use shades like wine or plum to make the yellow hues in the eyes pop. Gold eyeshadow will also bring out the gold in light green eyes, making them look amazing.

Red, since it is directly across from green on the color, will make green pop. So warm, fiery red shades will set green eyes ablaze and make them look incredible.

Brown Eyes


While brown isn’t on the color wheel, it’s a neutral color, so really any color will make your eyes stand out. It’s best to see which colors go great with your hair and skin and go from there. Typically, though, blues, greens and purples look amazing on brown eyes. We could argue that brown is a muted shade of orange (and even ranging to green, depending on the exact shade of brown you have) so typically, purples, blues and greens will look great with brown eyes.

Purple is known to be a universally flattering shade for any eye, hair or skin color, and since it contrasts brown on the color wheel, it will make eyes pop even more.

Blues will make the whites of the eyes pop, while contrasting with the warm brown in the eyes. Use true-blue shades like royal or electric blue, or green blue shades like teals and aquamarine for standout eyes.

Brown eyes look great with green shadows, especially if you have any hint of green in your eyes, as this will bring out that color even more.


Now that you understand the concept of colors, the best way to see which colors look best on your eyes is simply by experimenting. Afraid of using colored eyeshadow? No worries, just start by adding subtle colors in neutral shadows until you become comfortable. Even a little bit of color can give your eyes the pop you’re looking for.

Always keep in mind that makeup is an art and there’s no right way to do it! That’s the beauty of it.

For tips on how to get amazing skin, be sure to check out our post on The Ultimate Skincare Guide.


Photo credits: Kristen Love

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Kristen Love

Kristen Love resides in the Chicago area with her husband & two kiddos– an energetic toddler who will do anything to make his sweet, baby sister giggle (which doesn’t take much). She is the author behind The Love Notes Blog, a YouTube beauty vlogger, an extreme DIY’er, obsessive chick flick watcher, lover of all things pretty & her spirit animal is Li’l Sebastian. Connect with her! Blog: www.thelovenotesblog.com | Instagram: @thelovenotes | Facebook: The Love Notes Blog | Twitter: @lovenotesblog | Snapchat: @thelovenotes | YouTube: www.youtube.com/kristenlove13

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