How to Choose An Eyeshadow Color
Have you ever wondered how to choose an eyeshadow color for your skin tone? If I had a quarter for every time I heard that, I would be living in an apartment in Rome.
Today, I want to teach you how I personally choose eyeshadow colors for all my clients. Get ready, it’s rather geeky but it works.
Class is in session. Are you ready?
What you will need:
1. GOOD LIGHT
First of all, you are gonna need good light. Whether it’s God’s light or The Makeup Light, you gotta have this before you can do ANYTHING. Super important.
2. A GOOD MIRROR
A good magnifying mirror is great. I suggest the most magnification you can get.
3. A Wide Selection of Eyeshadows
You will need a wide selection of eyeshadows to really study. I know, you think this isn’t hard, right?
Hopefully this experiment will get your mind thinking a tad bit differently than what you see on the surface. Check out this close up of shadows. Do you see shadows with color? If you look close, you will see shadow with shimmers. This is called a particle. More on that later.
Look Close! What color are your eyes?
When I am teaching my students how to choose an eyeshadow color, I take 3 things into consideration:
1. Eye Color (I mean the REAL eye color. Most folks have many colors in them.)
2. Skin Tone
3. The “particles” that are in my actual eyeshadow. This concept works with what I call the “Photon Philosophy” or a play on light. Photons are little particles that make up (no pun intended) light. Groovy.
How To Choose Eyeshadow Color
Step 1: Finding the color of your eyes:
1. Get your mirror really close to your light source. The temperature of light is key, so be sure it’s good light. You want as close to “White Light” as possible. This is going to be important to really see your true eye color and help you choose your eyeshadow colors.
2. Stare at your eyes really closely. What colors do you see?
I’m going to use this brown eye color as an example. Here you see the up-close look of a brown eye iris.
If you look in bad light or from a distance, this eye may just look like a regular ol’ brown. There are varying shades of brown and your eyes never lie.
In our example photo, if you look really close, you see that this brown eye has a lot of red and golds and almost a goldy-green. The overall color is a gold copper but looking close you discover a entire universe just like the big bang itself.
Step 2: Skin Tone
Next step is to look at your skin tone.
Are you porcelain and fair with a varying degree of pink, lavender and light blue in your skin? Or are you more olive skin tone with yellow and greens running through your skin?
There can be different variations of olive from light to dark.
When I am looking at someone’s skin tone and eye color, I take all of these things into consideration. I then pull shadow colors that compliment the persons overall skin tone and “undertone” of the eyes.
I have been doing makeup this way for the last 10 years, I also find that the tones of the iris tend to match the tones in the skin most of the time. It's really cool to study.
For example, if this person has warm undertones in the skin their iris tends to pull that same color. The health of the eye is also critical, so your mileage may vary.
Poor health can cause a color shift in the eyes as well as the skin. This is why I can usually tell when someone is in poor health, especially smokers.
Step 3: Particles in Your Eyeshadow
Particles are small little light reflective pieces that have a high reflective quality and give a shimmer to cosmetic products…. eyeshadows, blushes are perfect case in point but sometimes they are added to foundations and concealers. I’ll cover that in a future post.
I could write an entire post on particles, they are truly fascinating in the world of cosmetics! (Did you know there are companies that specialize in particle sizes for cosmetic companies!? Crazy.)
What do I mean? Let’s have a look.
Here you see a coppery brown gold in this eyeshadow. But if you look closely, can you see the difference? On first look, it looks copper and gold. But when you look close you see purple and pink. It also has champagne, gold, and small specs of red.
Particles can give an “undertone” to a base color to alter the overall color. Some “particles are refined” and some are chunky.
While this is my very own “geeky” way to explain how I choose eye color (or hell any color to apply to the skin) I will say this works about 95% of the time. It’s actually one of the A-Ha moments as you discover things on your own.
Since makeup is literally a “play on light”, if you think of how particles work in makeup, it will truly change how you paint as an artist.
Remember: Always have good light, great mirrors, and the correct particles in your makeup. When you do, light and photons will forever be your friend.
Happy Face painting!