There are times where we purchase makeup based on pure instinct. There’s no rhyme or reason to some of the lip colors and eye shadows we fall in love with … that vibrant cobalt blue just happens to stand out. But, is it always the right choice? Or the most flattering one? When it comes to choosing the right smoky eye for YOU, there are several things to keep in mind. Don’t get us wrong — we love every color in the book (er, palette) but tailoring your look based on eye, hair and skin tone will definitely make big life choices like buying makeup much easier!

right smoky eye
Eye Color

Brown Eyes: For those with lovely, rich brown eyes, ideal shadow shades include eggplant, deep copper colors (like gold and bronze), as well as electric shades of royal blue. Since your eyes are a mix of all primary colors, you can get away with just about anything. Traditional black works best for creating the smoke in your smoky eye!

Product Recommendations: YSL Ombres Duolumieres in Turquoise Blue – Hazy Violet, Giorgio Armani Maestro Eye Shadow in 21 & 26

Green Eyes: Your emerald green eyes pair perfectly with warm hues of taupe, just about any shade of purple and mauve pinks. Stay away from dark green shades, as they don’t offer any added pop and use either black or brown for your smoke smudging!

Product Recommendations: L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe, Lancôme Color Design Infinité 24H in Vibrant Violet

Blue Eyes: Bright blue eyes look even more beautiful with a peachy, gray-brown, champagne or silver toned smoky eye look! Avoid any pigments that are too bright, since your own eye color is already light. Create your smoke with a dark charcoal shade or black.

Product Recommendations: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy, Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal in Silver Strike

Hazel Eyes: You’re lucky enough to have a range of colors that include brown, green and oftentimes, flecks of gold! Your pretty peepers work well with burgundy, deep fuchsia and yellowy-browns or mushroom grays. To deepen your smoky eye, you can use black, dark brown, dark purple or even a deep blue.

Product Recommendations: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Woodstock, NYX Cosmetics Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Smoky Gold Pearl

Skin Tone

Fair: Those of you with a silky Snow White complexion should steer clear of silver and bright colors that are highly pigmented, as they can overpower your light skin tone. Instead, stick to sheer shades for just the right amount of natural beauty and flare!

Olive: Brown, olive and bronze eye shadows complement your sultry, tanned complexion. Burnt oranges and beige are also perfect for your skin tone. Earthy colors are always your best bet!

Dark: For shadow that really stands out, darker skin tones pair perfectly with warm shades that are rich in pigment! Stay away from pale shades or white shadows as they tend to look ashy and muddled. Go for bold and beautiful with deep bronze or burgundy shadow for the perfect amount of depth.

Hair Shade

Blonde: Sunny blondes typically look best in gray, pink, black and blue shadow shades. Try YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres in Midnight.

Brown: Ideal eye shadow colors for dark-haired ladies include shades of purple, green, brown and black. Gold, copper and neutrals like the Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette also look amazing! Your hair color goes with just about anything!

Red: Since your hair is already vibrant (jealous!) go for gold, green- olive or purple shades … think autumnal forest! Try Maybelline ExpertWear Eyeshadow 8 Pan in Sunbaked Neutrals.


What’s your favorite smoky eye color? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo: thinkstock

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