Of the two questions I am asked most often, far and away the No. 1 question is:

What colour eye shadow goes with my blue/green/brown eyes?

The correct answer is: Whatever colour you like that looks good!

But there are some colours that will make your eyes look their very best and enhance them more than others. Come with me back to grade school for a few minutes and take a look at this colour wheel:

The colour opposite to your eye colour on the wheel is the one that will make your eye colour “pop” out most. In artist’s parlance, this complementary colour will make your own eye colour “more active”. The two colours on either side of this one are the next best to achieve this effect, followed by the two colours adjacent to your own.

However, it’s probably unlikely that most of us would wear a true red eye shadow, as the colour would make us look as if we’d been crying (for the daring, I recommend MAC Shadestick in Crimsonaire”>. Pink is the acceptable substitute.

With that in mind, these are the colours that are most complementary to:

Green eyes: shades of purple, especially darker colours like eggplant and plum, pink, peach, gold, dark blue

Blue eyes: lilac, lavender, shades of brown, camel and taupe, pink, peach, bronze

If you have hazel eyes, the colours for green eyes will work well for you, but the shades for blue eyes will work if you have predominantly blue stripes in your irises.

Brown eyes (most likely position on the colour wheel would be orange”>: try any shade of brown lighter or darker than your own eye colour, peach, pink, steel blue, steel gray, dark purples.

Makeup colours are not simply red, blue, yellow, etc. Every shade available comes with varying undertones — it is possible to get blue eye shadow with red undertones (looks more purple”>, yellow undertones (looks more green”> and gray undertones (different intensities of the blue”>. If one undertone doesn’t look right on you, try other ones.

Sales staff at department store makeup counters will be able to help you pick the shade with the right undertones for you. If you know which undertone washes you out, makes you look flushed, or makes you look ashen, let them know.

The best advice I can give you for finding your perfect eye makeup shade is to try before you buy. Have a makeover (Clinique has eye makeup workshops at every retail location at least once a year”>. While some companies offer this service this for free (especially if you are only having your eyes done”>, you should be prepared to spend a minimum amount. The notable exception is at Sephora, where makeovers are FREE, regardless of which brand of makeup you select. “Try Before You Buy” usually means buying more expensive makeup because one rarely finds testers of drugstore brands today. I realize that can be problematic for a teen just starting to build a collection, but I can honestly tell you from personal experience that buying less of the right makeup saves more money over the long term than buying the wrong makeup!

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