Make-Up and the Color Wheel


Have you ever been perplexed by what eye shadow colors to use to complement your peepers?


Do you shop at Sephora, ULTA, or the cosmetic section at various department stores trying on different colors on the back of your hand, possibly holding the color palette next to your eyes to see how it looks - and become even more confused? Maybe you leave without buying anything, more discouraged than ever, so you avoid eye shadow altogether.


Don't fret - help is here. When it comes to using the most flattering eye colors for your precious peepers, we need to discuss the basic theory of color and understand how the color wheel works.


How the Color Wheel Works


color wheel; UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care; Madison, WisconsinThe three primary colors in the universe that make up all colors are yellow, red and blue. The three secondary colors created from the three primary colors are violet, orange and green.


The remaining six colors are the tertiary colors, and they comprise red/orange, yellow/orange, yellow/green, blue/green, blue/violet and red/violet.  Tertiary colors are created by combining one primary color with one secondary color:

  • Red + Orange = Red/Orange
  • Orange + Yellow = Yellow/Orange
  • Yellow + Green = Yellow/Green
  • Green + Blue = Blue/Green
  • Blue + Violet = Blue/Violet
  • Violet + Red = Red/Violet

So what makes up brown? All three primary and all three secondary colors. The more blue and less red and yellow in the mix, the deeper the brown color, into black.


Here is the basic breakdown: Opposite colors cancel each other out.


A hair colorist will apply a violet based shampoo or toner to cancel unwanted gold/yellow in blonde hair tones and apply a blue or sometimes green based toner to correct unwanted copper/orange hair tones. Yellow cancels violet, green cancels red and blue cancels orange and vice versa.


Eye Make-Up Tips


Yet, secondary and tertiary colors in the color spectrum also complement their opposing color by contrast. Here comes the fun part! Have you ever noticed when you wear certain colors, your face and eyes seem to light up and look brighter? In eye make-up, opposite colors complement our eyes and make them pop with color:

  • For brown eyes: If you have brown eyes, good news! You brown-eyed ladies have the most versatile of all eye colors and can pretty much wear any shade.
  • For green/hazel eyes: If you have green or hazel eyes, try using purples, pinks and orange/copper tones.
  • For blue eyes: The best shades for blue eyes are orange/copper, pinks, and golds.

When in doubt, wear neutral and brown tones, as everyone looks good in these shades, and they are essentials. The rule that you should never wear the same eye shadow color as your eye color is not always correct. You just want to make sure you wear a shade lighter or darker than your natural color so your eyes don't look monochromatic with no extra sparkle.


Another tip - try lining under your eyes with blues/navys or purples/violets, as these colors will brighten the whites in your eyes. Keep the black or brown eyeliner for the upper eyelid.


Another tip to try is lining only ¾ of the way in from the outside of your lower eye to avoid "closing in" your eyes. This is especially true if you have close-set eyes.


When using mineral make-up such as Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics (available at UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care), you can rest assured you are using a line that has been through safety, allergy and comedogenicity tests to confirm that the products are non-irritating and don't block pores, and are great for even the most sensitive skins.


After all, if you chose to invest in quality skin care products for your daily regimen and in professional treatments to help repair, correct and prevent future skin care concerns, why not complete the routine with quality make-up that is good for your skin health?


Schedule a Make-Up Lesson


Share This StorySchedule your make-up lesson today with one of our Jeune Skin Care aestheticians to find your complementary colors ($60). UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care is located at 2349 Deming Way in Middleton, Wisconsin. Call (608) 836-9990 or (866) 447-9990 (toll-free) or request a consultation online.