How to Build Your Eyeshadow Collection (Part II of II): Colors!


If you caught the previous post: Building Your Eyeshadow Collection: Part I, then you more than likely have been curious about this post scheduled to follow. Building on the basic knowledge supplied in the first post, this continuation will talk more about colors and how to go about selecting the right ones for you.

Please note: This article uses MAC eyeshadows as examples of eyeshadows to start your collection with. If MAC is not an affordable option, I recommend NYX eyeshadows as they are quality comparable dupes to MAC and numerous dupe lists may be found on Google.

Your Unique Eye Color

Selecting the right colors to make your eye color come alive is the first crucial step in the process. Do you have blue eyes, green eyes, brown, hazel? If you missed the past post on How to Pick the Perfect Eyeshadows Based on Your Eye Color, it will help to better explain the method behind what I’m about to cover.

Blue Eyes: Oranges, purples, pinks and gold shades.
Green Eyes: Similar to blue eyes; oranges, purples, pinks and gold shades.
Hazel Eyes: Pinks, purples, and gold shades.
Brown Eyes: You can wear any and EVERY eyeshadow color (lucky you!) Purples, blues and greens are electrifying!

Contrary to popular belief, you may also select colors that are of your own eye color. The trick to selecting the right ones is to focus on the intensity of your eye color and go for shades opposite that. For example, if you have dark green eyes, choose light green shades but avoid darker green shades, as they will mold too well into your dark eyes. Another example, if you have light blue eyes, choose darker blues and avoid light shades of blue.

How Do I Choose?

Once you’ve figured out the shades that best accentuate your unique eye color, bulk up your collection based on those shades. As mentioned in Part I, your complexion will also play a role in selecting the right colors. If you’re cool, seek out blue-toned shades, and if you’re warm, choose red-toned shades. Once you have that down, I recommend following this basic principle to round out your collection and give you an endless variety of combinations:

  • Select 2-3 light colored shades of that color
  • Select 2-3 medium colored shades of that color
  • Select 1-2 dark colored shades of that color

As an example, if I have blue eyes and I’m interesting in building my pink collection, and I have a warm complexion, I might choose:

  • 2-3 light pinks: Jest, Da Bling, Pink Freeze
  • 2-3 medium pinks: Free to Be, Swish, Expensive Pink
  • 1-2 dark pinks: Cranberry, Beauty Marked

Or let’s say you have green eyes and you wish to build the eyeshadows in your purple collection and you have a cool complexion:

  • 2-3 light purples: Seedy Pearl, Beautiful Iris, Crystal
  • 2-3 medium purples: Nocturnelle, Satellite Dreams, Shale
  • 1-2 dark purples: Shadowy Lady, Sketch

Of course, you can build from there, but having 2-3 per shade category will round out your collection a little better when you’re first starting out. Additionally, if you need help selecting eyeshadows for your unique eye color/complexion, I’m always available for a personal consultation. 😉

How did you build your color collection?

19 thoughts on “How to Build Your Eyeshadow Collection (Part II of II): Colors!

  1. Great Information as always. I tried Urban Decay’s new Naked foundation in the lightest shade. Unfortunately, it’s about two shades to dark. Oh well. I hope you and your hubby have a fantastic weekend! 🙂

    1. Awww! I’ll be doing a review on the Graftobian, Mehron and Ben Nye foundations I got samples of recently; they’re the only ones I’ve ever seen real white-leaning shades of so far. More on that soon!

  2. Love the information you provide for us. I have always owned some type of makeup but never really wore any of it up until a 4 years ago when my bestie introduced me to MAC from then on I’ve had the mentality of “oooh shiney” when I see a color I think is pretty I’ve just tried if I likie I buy if I don’t I pass. Before I purchased the colors from you Zabrena I attempted to google search them to see if I would really wear them. And now 4 years later I own more MAC then her.

  3. Hi Zabrena! Thank you for the helpful post. 🙂 I have a quick question: in the picture at the top, what is the name of the reddish pink eyeshadow next to the clasp of the left palette? It is right above the orange color on the bottom? It looks really pretty 🙂

  4. Hi Z,
    Could you post a listing of some common colors categorized into warm, cool, and neutral like you did for the first post? I found this to be very helpful. I have a difficult time being able to tell what is warm and what is cool and what could be neutral.

    1. I second this suggestion! Some shades are obvious, but others I have a tough time figuring it out. Maybe those are neutral shades. LOL

  5. Hi Zabrena!! I joined your site only two weeks ago and Ive learned so much! I’m new to makeup and I do really need help building my shadow collection. I’ve already purchased the Urban Decay Naked pallets 1, 2, and 3. I’m very interested in getting help building from there. I need your help! 🙂 Thanks so much!

  6. Zabrena,

    I decided to study this post again so I could focus on what I want to buy. It left me with a question.

    I have brown eyes of medium intensity, (they tend to go sherry or hazel depending on clothing and surrounding light), and I have a fair/warm complexion.

    As I understand it, I would then choose warm neutral eyeshadows of differing intensity, and some of my best complimentary colors might be blues, purples and teals.

    My question is, since I have a warm complexion should I be looking for warmer blues, purples and teals? Which would probably be more neutral colors, slightly toned-down versions of each, or go with the actual cool color?

    I got a bit confused when it came to understanding matching your complexion versus choosing complimentary colors and when to apply one principle versus the other.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Paige! You’re right on! If you’re warm toned, you’d want to stick with the warmer shades in the colors that will counterbalance your eyes. So definitely warmer purples, blues and you could also try oranges and pinks. Stay away from blue-toned purples (like MAC’s Shale, Parfait Amour, Satellite Dreams, etc.) as they can give you a bruised effect; same is true of cool neutrals like MAC’s Omega and Coquette. Go for browns that have red tones like Handwritten, Mulch, Cork, etc. Hope this helps a little more! 😉

  7. Love the list of cool purples here, very helpful.

    I’ve have hazel eyes and a cool completion. I feel I’ve covered the pink and gold aspect pretty throughly with Naked 3 and Lorac Unzipped.

    I’m starting to build out purples now. How I wish I could find a decent purple palette and be done with it.

    I have a few Urban Decay purples that I like but I need some that are less shimmery. I’ve been less than impressed with purples from department store brands.

    The MAC counter is at a mall I never go to so I will have to make a special trip soon. The combo library has been really helpful in giving me an idea of what I want to look at.

  8. I built my collection by developing an instant addiction and I am now in the process of trying to figure out the essentials so I can swap/sell/give away the rest so I can be organized & efficient.

    I also have a hard time knowing what a warm or cool shade is. Based on the examples given, cool shades look best on me. I’d say I’m cool leaning toward neutral.

    In addition, these tutorials are a lifesaver because I can’t figure out how to match up colors yet. Maybe someday.

  9. Hi Zabrina, I love your posts! They are so helpful! I love eyeshadow and color! I have mature hooded eyes with minimal wrinkling, they are deep set and I love frosted shimmery shades that are warm as they look best with my steely blue eyes. Can you please post another video for mature hooded eyes? I really loved the last one but I wanted to see more color used. I have to have color, but don’t want to look like a clown.
    Luv you Z!

  10. I have mkre of a cool complexion and I have blue eyes I wanna do oranges and golds I don’t kno what to use:( I only use MAC products

  11. I have light/med blue eyes, pale skin, and my veins in my wrists look blue. However, I just don’t know if I look better in gold or silver jewelry. I do prefer silver jewelry, though, so would I most likely be cool tones?

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