The Best Eye Shadow Color For Your Skin Tone

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We know that identifying our skin tone is a crucial step in choosing the most complementary makeup shades for our complexion. Typically, the issue of matching our foundations and concealers comes to mind first to this end, but the eyes, which they say are the window to the soul, are one of the most definitive parts of the face—so why not apply the same concept to their coloring? To help us understand which eye shadow hues are the most reliably flattering and enhancing on different skin tones, we’ve asked makeup artist Ada Trinh to share her expertise and tips for finding our perfect go-to colors.

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Color Me Right

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Fair

"The best colors for fair skin tones are taupes and grey-beige. Pinks and reds paired with pale skin tend to bring out the redness around your eyes, which can make you look sick or exhausted. My favorite eye shadow palette for fair-skinned ladies is Urban Decay Naked2 Basics."

—Ada Trinh

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Medium

"I recommend using rose golds or bronze shades. These are universally flattering and complement both cool and warm undertones. Laura Mercier Metallic Crème Eye Colour in Burnished Copper looks gorgeous on medium skin."

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Dark

"If you have darker skin, choose a shadow with a deep bronze shimmer or burgundy—your eye will instantly look brighter. My favorite colors are NARS in Galapagos and ColourPop in Porter. Avoid white or any pale colors as they tend to make skin look a little ashy."

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Deep

"For those with deep skin tones, select an emerald green or purple. These colors not only pop against the complexion, but they also flatter both cool or warm undertones. My go-to products for those with deep skin are the IMAN eye shadow pencils in Deception and Seduction."

Tip: Know Your Undertone Before Selecting Shadows

"When shopping for eye shadow colors, it's important to keep your undertones in mind as well. To figure this out I suggest standing in natural light in front of a mirror—make sure your neckline and face are visible. If your skin overall tends to have more yellow compared to red, then you're considered warm. If you have more red/pinks than yellow, you have cool undertones. Another trick for identifying your undertone is to pay close attention to your favorite jewelry. If gold best complements your skin, then you're warm. If you favor silver jewelry, you’re likely cool. Once you know your undertones, I suggest sticking with earthy colors if you’re warm-toned. If you’re cool, grays and metallics are beautiful as they create dimension and balance out the red in your skin."

Tip: Use An Eye Shadow Primer Close To Your Skin Tone

"I always use a primer before applying shadow because it allows you to get the truest color. Find an eye shadow primer that is close in color to your skin as this helps to cancel out darkness and even out your skin tone. My favorite eye primer for fair to medium skin is one by NYX. MAC cream bases in Midtone Sepia and Bronze are both wonderful for dark to deep skin tones."