The Most Flattering Makeup Shades By Eye Color
While the origins of hazel eyes are still a mystery to geneticists, the best shades for making them look amazing are not a secret. Here, our top six looks.
The Perfect Palette
"If you have hazel eyes, reach for rich, autumnal colors like browns, golds, and greens," says makeup artist Quinn Murphy. "Play with the colors in your eyes that you want to bring out." You can't go wrong with the shimmering pans of dusky gold, rich chocolate, creamy bone, and forest green in Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow in Reflets D'Ombre. For daytime, Murphy suggests a wash of green or brown over the eyes and gold or bone highlights on the inner corners and centers of the lids. "Any of these colors would look great on their own with a trace of eyeliner and mascara, too," he says.
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Earthy Brown Shadow and Liner
Warm, neutral browns enhance the richness of hazel eyes. A graduated palette, like Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Not Just Nudes, works alone "for a soft luminous effect, or as a base for other colors," says Murphy. To create more depth, Murphy suggests defining eyes with a brown liner, like Dolce and Gabbana The Eyeliner Crayon Intense in Coffee, a medium brown with gold flecks. "It's not as jarring as black, but still gets your eyes noticed," she says.
Watch: Smoky Eye for Daytime >
Warm Green Shadow and Liner
Bring out any green tones in your eyes by sweeping on a soft, army green shadow, like Shiseido Makeup Luminizing Satin Eye Color in GR 711. Then rim the lashes in a darker shade of forest green—we love Yves Saint Laurent Eye Pencil in 5.
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Gold (and bronze) bring out the warmth in hazel eyes—they pull golden flecks forward and make brown and green tones radiant. Dab gilded shadows in the corners of the eyes or the centers of the lids as dazzling highlighters, or sweep them across your lids for a more ethereal effect. Murphy recommends Dolce and Gabbana The Eyeshadow Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Gold: "It's a beautiful bronze goddess-y duo—you can't go wrong with either color."
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Eggplant Shadow and Liner
"The other way to enhance hazel eyes is to go to the opposite side of the color wheel," says Murphy. "Purple always provides a gorgeous contrast to hazel, and it's great for creating smoky eyes." We love the deep eggplant shade of Lorac Eye Shadow in After Party—use it to smoke out the top and bottom lash lines. Then line the eyes with a deep purple pencil, like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Lust, for a dramatic effect that's downright sexy.
Watch: Idiot-Proof Liner >
Metallic Black Mascara
Eye shadow or no, never forget to amp up your lashes. With its subtle light-reflecting gold shimmer, CoverGirl Exact Eyelights in Black Gold is especially flattering for hazel eyes.
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"Brown is a mix of all the primary colors, so there are a lot of options," says makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. She recommends a vibrant blue shadow, like Estee Lauder Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow in Fire Sapphire, for rich, dark brown eyes. "An electric shade like this really makes brown eyes pop—I just love the contrast."
Purple shades best enhance brown eyes with 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." We like Mally Beauty Volumizing Accents Mascara because it not only flatters brown irises, it makes the whites of the eyes look seriously bright.
Greenish Gold Shadow
For a pretty eye-makeup look that's neither drab or cuckoo-bananas, go green. "And don't be afraid to try different finishes," advises Warren. "Green tones come in a wide range of matte and metallic shades—they'll all pick up any flecks in brown." Our favorite: M.A.C. Eye Shadow in Sumptuous Olive.
Warm up a neutral shadow shade, like bone or taupe, with a layer of copper shadow on the outer halves of your lids. "It will highlight your eye color, and the shimmer will add a little texture," says Warren. Our pick: Josie Maran Argan Eye Shadow in Cinnamon.