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How to Wear Colored Eye Shadow Without Looking Crazy


You really want to wear that cobalt blue shadow... but you're also not trying to look like a clown. As a collegiette who is a nude eyeshadow devotee, I feel your pain. But as hard as it is to step out of our comfort zones, celebs and models alike have given us enough beauty inspiration to make us rock every color of the rainbow. Yep—you can pull off an entire rainbow's worth of color on your eyes. Check out our favorite looks below—and tips for how to make them work!



Red is a hard color to pull off—how do you do it without making it look as if your eyes are swollen from hours of crying? Mary-Kate Olsen makes it work with just a touch of the bold hue to highlight carefully-lined eyes and sultry, thick lashes.  

(Sugarpill Cosmetics,Pressed Eyeshadow in ‘Love+’, $12)



Blue-eyed gals—this is the color for you. Orange and blue are complementary colors, so each will make the other pop. The heavy wash of color works for Barbara Palvin on the red carpet, but you can make this work for an everyday look by going for a color with a golder tone, and wear it in a smoky eye in the place of your typical neutral bronze. 

(NYX,Hot Singles Eyeshadow in shade ‘LOL’, $4.50)


Yellow is another shade that's scary to try—done the wrong way, it might result in skin that just looks discolored. We love the way Elle Fanning pulls it off—if this doesn't make you want to test it out yourself, we're not sure what will! The key here is to make sure the shade doesn't look like a mistake, or worse, strangely colored skin; if you're going yellow, go for a highly pigmented, super-saturated color so it really stands out. Keep the rest of your complexion natural!


(MAC, Eyeshadow in 'Chrome Yellow', $16)


If you want to make others green with envy at how fabulous you look, search no further. Like any of these other colors, green looks amazing with proper execution. This is another color that could really do great things for your eyes in terms of making them stand out more.

Check out the way Debby Ryan only applied the green eyeshadow under her lower lash line.

Make other collegiettes on campus green with envy when you whip out this shade! Rather than apply it like a classic shadow, use it to create a dab of color along the lower lash line, the way Debby Ryan is wearing it above. Use an angled brush to gently blend it right under your lower lashes; the line should be soft, rather than sharp and precise.

(Stila, Eye Shadow Trio in shade ‘Going Green’, $8)


Rihanna may be able to pull off outrageous fashion and beauty looks like nobody else, but we can still learn from the way she does it. If you're looking to go bold, create a classic cat-eye with bright blue rather than your usual black. Fill out the look (and make your eyes look wider!) by gently brushing it along your lower lash line, too. Not looking to go with this much color? 

Try a more subtle version with a light dusting of color along the inner crease of your eye, the way Ginnifer Goodwin wears it here.

(Sephora, MicroSmooth Baked Eyeshadow Trio in shade ‘Blue Lagoon’, $19)


This color can honestly create some of the most beautiful looks. You can either go super dark or super subtle, and it will bring out any eye color. There is just something so elegant about shades of violet/purple.

Can we talk about how great this purple looks on Beyoncé? The color is subtle and goes well with the gold tones of the rest of her outfit, which gives her a gorgeous glow that we all want to achieve. If you want to go super dark, use varying shades of grey and purple to create a sultry smoky eye, or use a light lavender to give an overall wash of color over the entire lid the way Bey does it here.

(Maybelline, Eye Studio Color Plush Silk Eyeshadow in ‘Purple Icon’, $9.99)

Most importantly: Focus on color combinations. Be sure the shadow you're wearing goes well with the makeup you're wearing on the rest of your face (hint: don't do green shadow with bright red lips). What colors will you be rocking, collegiettes?


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