Your Most Flattering Eyeshadow Shade

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

In my unofficial studies (read: in my casual polling of friends) it seems that, somehow, eyeshadow is one of the most intimidating products in the beauty world. Not eyeliner, not lipstick, not even self-tanner. Somehow, of my non-beauty-editor friends, not one wears eyeshadow. And I’m not quite sure why.

Compared to eyeliner and mascara, shadow is super-easy to apply. You basically slap it on and smudge it around with your finger until it looks ok. Maybe that’s the issue: I’m a decidedly type-B person who doesn’t need rules and perfection. My friends probably have higher standards.

Nonetheless, in an effort to write a bit of an amateur “Eyeshadow PSA”, I’ve rounded up the prettiest shadow shades for fall 2015, and broken them down by eye color so that at least one aspect of the product is figured out for you. But, of course, there are so many shades that complement each eye color—find out what you’re drawn to, and start playing! It’s much less scary than you’d think, I promise.

photography by kate stafford


Blue Eyes

Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow in “Bora Bora Bronze” by Josie Maran 

To bring out blue tones in the eyes, I love nothing more than a bronze eyeshadow. The effect is smoky and sultry, but warm and natural. If you haven’t tried bronze shadow yet, let this be your push in the right direction: it actually looks amazing on everyone.

Hazel Eyes

Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in “Desdemona” by NARS

I think that hazel eyes are absolutely gorgeous—and, in my opinion, the best way to offset those gorgeous green and golden tones is with a burgundy-violet, like this shade from NARS. If you’re scared to wear it all over your lid, simply wet an angled brush and apply along your top lashline, for a hint of color.

Green Eyes

Eye Colour Cream in “Dusky Mauve No. 108” by Burberry

I know, I know: pink eyeshadow does seem especially scary, but here me out. Rose gold and dusty mauve shades are huge this season, and the look is very natural—and the red undertones are amazing at complementing green eyes.

Light Brown Eyes

Liquid Metal Eyeshadow in “What Do You Sea?” by Catrice

Girls with light brown eyes have it easy: there are few shadow shades that don’t complement a lovely light amber. But, if you’re feeling daring, I’d try this shimmering teal; it’ll create super-sexy contrast.

Dark Brown Eyes

Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour in “Sage 70” by Dolce & Gabbana

On women with dark brown or even black eyes, I think that a green shade is especially bewitching; I love this dark sage cream from Dolce & Gabbana.

Gray Eyes

Elitist Eyeshadow Powder in “Eggplant” by W3LL People

Navy is another shadow shade that, like bronze, looks good on many different eye colors—the blue pigment will make you look wide awake, no matter how little sleep you’ve gotten. But, I especially love navy on gray-eyed girls, as the color brings out the nuances in the eye color so that it all looks like a stormy day at sea. Lovely.