The makeup community tends to take a very “do what makes you happy” approach these days, so it’s not unusual to see unexpected color combinations in a single eyeshadow look. And while we’re all for pairing unconventional shades (pink and blue are an unexpectedly fun example), this isn’t exactly helpful for the beginner beauty junkie who doesn’t know which shades work well together. That’s why we’ve called in the help of Los Angeles-based makeup artist Emily Oliver, who shares tried-and-true pairings that always produce a fire look (provided you blend properly!).
Peep her picks ahead:
1. GOLD AND BROWN
According to Oliver, this eyeshadow duo is great for a subtle smoky eye. Gold and brown pair well, and the result is both elegant and striking. To get the look, we recommend using Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Buck and Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Eyeshadow in Filigree. Buck is a matte shade that pairs well with the shimmery Filigree, a true gold hue that glides on like a dream.
2. CREAM AND TAUPE
Matte cream and taupe are a classic shadow pair that works regardless of the occasion. We recommend applying the cream shade all over lid and working the taupe into the crease on the outer edges to create definition. To get the look, reach for a mini palette like IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Eyeshadow Trio in Matte Luxe. The popular trio offers anti-aging benefits and incredible color payoff, and is easy to place and blend.
3. BURNT ORANGE AND NAVY
Burnt orange really pops on the lid, creating a point of focus. Navy, when blended into the lash line, provides a nice contrast and a little bit of edge. All you have to do is dust the lid with your orange shadow and buff it out just past the crease. Then, smudge your navy shadow into the lash line using a short, flat brush. We love Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Evidence and NYX Nude Matte Shadow in Frisky for this look — high-performance shadows that offer loads of pigment.
4. ROSE AND CHAMPAGNE
Rose and champagne eyeshadow shades are universally flattering, soft and feminine. They're a must in every cosmetic wardrobe and perfect for achieving soft glam looks. Apply the champagne eyeshadow all over the lid and pop the rose onto the center, stopping at the crease. Next, blend the eyeshadow colors well, so the transition is seamless. Our favorite pairing for this look is L’Oréal Infallible 24 HR Shadow in Glistening Garnet & Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy, two shimmery hues that look amazing on their own but even better together.