How To: Match Your Eyeliner to Your Eye Color (It’s Easier Than You Think)

How To: Match Your Eyeliner to Your Eye Color (It’s Easier Than You Think)

Eyeliner is obviously a crucial item in our makeup arsenal. Further, it’s something we consider an imperative part of our daily look for its ability to instantly open and define our eyes. Black or brown are without a doubt the most expected options when lining peepers, but we’ve recently found ourselves wondering what color (or colors, plural) would be best for specific eye colors.  To get to the bottom of this predicament, we reached out to Wende Zomnir, Founding Partner of Urban Decay.  Here’s what she had to say.

Beauty Banter:  What rules should we follow when picking an eyeliner color to best compliment our personal eye color?

Wende Zomnir:  I’m a believer in the theory of complementary colors (blue/orange, green/red) to bring out eye color. That doesn’t mean that someone with blue eyes should wear orange eyeliner. But what it does mean is that a blue-eyed girl should look for shades that have an orange or bronzy undertone to them, such as 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($20) in Scorch or Smog.

My eyes are a green-brown hazel, and to get the green to pop, I look for eye color that has a red base to it—usually found in red violets, pinks, and rosy browns, like 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($20) in  Rockstar or Vice.

Brown eyes can wear it all—you can tailor your makeup to help define your look. I’m not suggesting makeup that’s matchy-matchy with your outfit, although sometimes that works, but instead using what you put on your face to make a statement.

BB: What more out-of-the-box colors work for various eye colors when you’re going for a more playful look?

WZ: Purple! There are so many different variations of purple. Try experimenting with different shades, textures, finishes, and liners to achieve the perfect purple for your personal eye color.

TRY: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil ($26) in Black Plum or Laura Mercier Cream Eyeliner ($25) in Violet.

BB: How can we shake up our eyeliner routine? 

WZ: Many women get stuck in a rut with eyeliner, wearing it the same way every day. Eyeliner should be FUN. Swap your basic black liner with a blue one. I love blacker-than-black liner too, but I also like to experiment with color. For another twist, draw your liner on thicker or thinner than usual.

Thicker lines enable you to play with more shapes, while thinner lines open up the eye area more.  Or, try layering eyeshadow on top of liner to create a dimensional effect. I especially love this on the lower lash line, smudged out.

TRY: Guerlain Kohl Long-Lasting Eye Pencil ($31) in Katy Navy with Guerlain Ecrin Couleur Eyeshadow ($34) in Blues Brothers Navy.

BB: Should your mascara match your eyeliner?

WZ: Makeup is a means of self-expression. If you want to match your eyeliner to your mascara, go for it! A monochromatic look is certainly a statement, but definitely not the rule.

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind

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Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.