Miscellaneous, Softly Special: All About the Eyes, Tips & Tricks
Comments 7

Breaking the Neutral Mold: Colored Eyeshadow for the Not-So-Bold

I’m sorry for the no-post day yesterday! I had a scheduling conflict, lol. But it’s kind of sad because it’s been a while since I went a day without a post. I’ve just been a bit busy lately! But hopefully we are back on track. 😀

I think you all know by now that I love eyeshadow. I mean, let’s get the obvious out of the way. I used to be really scared of colored eyeshadow and would stay away from them. Except for purple because purple is really pretty. Don’t get me started on blue eyeshadow! I mean, yikes, right?

But then I got over it. And certain blues didn’t seem so bad.

Made-Up History - Vincent Van Gogh - Almon Blossoms - Face

I think a lot of people are scared of wearing colored eyeshadow because they think that it’s a one-way ticket to Train Wreck Island. I was one of those people, but here are some ways you can ease your way into the colored eyeshadow world.

Here’s just a few things to keep in mind if you want to be a bit more adventurous, but not too crazy.

Remember, we are just trying to break out of the mold of natural neutrals here, not completely change out our makeup and wear bright blues and neon yellows. One of my favorite colorful eye palettes is the bareMinerals READY 8.0 Eyeshadow Palette in The Cocktail Hour.

Colored Eyeshadow - bM - The Cocktail Hour

For this eyeshadow look, I managed to use a coral, a taupe, and a dark purple on my eyes without looking like a hot mess. It’s possible, but I think it’s within the realms of “tread with caution” territory. There is a hint of neutrality to these shadows, for sure, but you still have the sense to put together colors that play well with each other.

For this next look, I used a purple and a blue, but it doesn’t look too in yo face or bold. I think it’s pretty office-appropriate even. For an almost fool-proof combination, stick to muted colors. They’re not as scary and people will only ever notice the colors when they take a better look at you.

Eyes: Addiction Fudge and Midnight Drive

Eyes: Addiction Fudge and Midnight Drive


Obviously, this is not a hard rule, but if you are wearing a lot of different colors on your eyes, toning down the rest in the color department wouldn’t hurt.

For this look, I have a mint and a warm brown on my eyes, so I stuck with light pinks and peaches on my cheeks and lips. It still looks pretty natural and “safe,” even though I wore a mint eyeshadow. The brown also acts as a “neutralizer.”

I think this rule is for when you really want your eyes to be the stand-out, statement piece of your entire look. This is actually a pretty “tame” colored eye look, but I imagine that a nude or muted lip and a dusty, neutral blush would look particularly good when paired with an over-the-top eye look if you don’t want the entire face to make any statement in particular.

Another neat trick is pairing a muted version of the eye color for the cheek or lip. I think that if you’re not a fan of neutral blushes or lips, this would be a great option to try instead.

What I mean is that palettes were created with colors that should match each other. This is a look I came up with using a Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope Eye Kit (aka, a quad) in Northern Lights, which features a pale pink, a sky blue, a rusty color, and a deep purple. When it works, it just works!

Le Metier de Beaute - Northern Lights - Face 1

Also, I’ve used that pale blue color more than I thought I would, so there’s that, too. I do have to note that for this “tip,” I used Le Métier de Beauté’s signature eyeshadow application technique, the Couches de Couleur, which I talk about in detail over here.

I chose a pretty orange for the inner part of the eye, but I kept the rest of my eye makeup pretty neutral. This is a pretty standard technique, but as you can see, it’s just a pop of color but it’s still a pretty tame look.

Addiction - Cheek Stick - African Sunset - Cheeks

For this look, I picked two pretty similar colors that are not too bold—a dark purple and a pale pink:

Pick a color; any color—then use it to line your lower or upper lash line. This is a super easy-peasy way to incorporate colored eyeshadow or eyeliner to your makeup look.

Made-Up History Basquiat - Face 2

Ultimately, there are no rules. If you want to wear mint eyeshadow with a bold red lip, go for it. People make makeup rules, but I honestly think that makeup should be your playground if you want it to be!

I myself am not comfortable with wearing “out there” looks, but I found a balance between “wearable” (though extreme colors are wearable for some people, not judging at all!) and fun.

Hope that helps! Remember to comment, tweet (@presidents), or post a photo of your eye makeup adventure on my Facebook page, if you’re taking it along with me. 🙂 We only have a few days left of this Eye Makeup Special and I feel a little sad! If you have any requests for posts, now’s the time to do it. 🙂


  1. Pingback: September’s Softly Special: All About the Eyes (Master List of Posts) | Softly Sometimes

  2. tropicthrill says

    Purple (plums, lavenders, etc.) really is pretty, and surprisingly not that to use in an eye look especially with the lower/upper lashline technique.

    Ughhhhh now I have to buy some more colorful shadows (I feel as if I’m still going to gravitate towards the purples oops) so I can try these. haha

    • Haha, sorry! But really, it’s always nice to venture out from your comfort zone, even little teeny steps. Good luck with experimenting!

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