Eye Makeup for Green Eyes and Fair Skin/Hair

For years I’ve been looking for internet help on makeup for my coloring but haven’t found anything (even on youtube!). So I’m posting this just in case someone else might find it helpful, or in case someone else has any insight on my issues.

Green eyed girls always get told to wear shades of purple on their eyes. All the mainstream drugstore brands that have recently come out with products tailored to eye color have developed shades for green-eyed girls that vary on purple (Almay, which has also done a version with brown and green, Cover Girl, etc.). While I love purple, I feel like it’s the dominant shade marketed toward us, and I think companies need to branch out if they’re going to go the route of tailoring palettes based on eye color.

Here’s my problem: I have fairly pale skin and blond hair. I used to think I have warm undertones but I’m not sure anymore. I have a slightly uneven skin tone from the few years I wasn’t yet into wearing SPF (not good, I know!). So my skin tone has changed over the years in an uneven way. I also have freckles, which complicates things for me. I’ve heard that if you have freckles you have warm undertones, but if you have blue veins running under your skin then you’re cool toned. Well, guess what? I have both freckles AND blue veins. To make matters worse, foundations that match the inside of my arm typically don’t match my face, and foundations that match my jaw line/chin typically don’t match my forehead and cheeks.

A most helpful reader pointed out that I might have neutral undertones and reminded me to re-visit the Estee Lauder counter to try out their Double Wear foundation in 1N1, which was all out last time I visited (will swatch soon). The Estee Lauder rep also recommended that I wear neutral toned foundation, but she said I should do it to balance out some redness on my cheeks even though (the rep said) my undertone is slightly more cool than warm. She matched me to 1N1, and I like it much better than 1C1, which I was also matched to on a different occasion by a different Estee Lauder rep. I’ve also been matched to every other pale-ish foundation shade under the sun, including Clinique Porcelain, which is way too pink/dark, and Bobbi Brown Warm Ivory, which might be too dark/yellow especially in winter. This has all left me very confused. What am I? I’m pretty much convinced at this point that I’m neutral.

Anyway, this brings me to my problem with purple. Regardless of whether I’m pink or yellow, cool or warm, the skin of my eyelids and under my eyes is purple-ish, so when I wear purple eye makeup I sometimes look like I’ve been punched in the face and have bruises. I also feel like I sometimes look like I’ve been crying for hours.

I’m starting to think that if I’m going to wear purple, it needs to be toned down with some brown or something. I’ve only realized this after years of wearing the unfortunate bruised/crying look. And I realized this only recently after literally searching for hours in my local drugstore for the right colors.

I’ve also already mentioned that one of my peeves about eye makeup is how liberal companies are with sheen. I can’t stand looking like my eyes have been tin-foiled. I like some shimmer, so that the eyes look slightly dewy, but NOT shiny. After years of wearing L’Oreal, Cover Girl and such brands, I wanted to splurge on something great. So I got some Lancome.

This is the Ombre Absolue Due Radiant Smoothing Eye Shadow Duo in Golden Grandeur.

This duo features a gold base colour and a brown-ish plum shade for the crease. I can’t seem to find this on their site, so I’m thinking it might be discontinued. That would be bad because I really love it!

The gold shade is shimmery, but not incredibly so. It imparts a dewy glow as opposed to tin-man sheen. And the plum shade is purple-ish to my eye, but that’s toned down with some brown. This brings out the green in my eyes without making me look like I’ve been crying for hours, and it isn’t teenager shiny either. This was a pricey duo (I think around $30 range), but I wear it frequently since I got it and I love it. I use Bobbi Brown eyeliner in Espresso 32 as usual, but I’m thinking a different liner is soon in order. Got any recommendations?

Other eye shadows I like include: anything peachy and matte (Meow Cosmetics Virgin, Bobbi Brown Shell), neutral gray/browns (Bobbi Brown Heather Mauve), chocolates, warm lighter browns (L’Oreal 820 Golden Sunset, Bobbi Brown Copper Sand and Sable), and shimmery pinks (Bobbi Brown Metallic Longwear Pink Oyster, Lise Watier Les Taupes palette, Quo Fawn).

Anyone else tried any of these? What do you think?


5 responses to “Eye Makeup for Green Eyes and Fair Skin/Hair

  1. I have the same problem with purple eyeshadows. Use a good concealer under your eyes or your eyeshadow will match the dark circles. 🙂 Otherwise use dark purple in the crease for a smoky eye or as an eyeliner instead of on the lid. Sometimes I use darker purple on the outer third of my eyes for a smoky effect. I also prefer shimmer or satin eyeshadows to matte because matte purple seems to leave the “bruised” look you describe. I also use ivory shadow from lash to brow and apply a light wash of dark purple over top to lighten the purple a little. Dark purples are nice as an accent color. Clinique has an eyeshadow duo called Lilac Truffle that’s a bit soft and greyish but gives a good neutral look, especially with a forest green eyeliner and a little mascara. A green eyeliner is a must-have in my makeup kit, like Clinique’s Quickliner in Moss or Egyptian. I also like ivory shadows with shimmer and light beige with a colored eyeliner for an everyday look.

    Thanks for the article!

    • Thanks so much for reading and for your helpful tips! You’re definitely right about using purple shadows with shimmer/satin texture; they don’t look bruised at all in the same way. I’ll check out Clinique’s Lilac Truffle, too. I didn’t think to try shadows that are greyish purple but it turns out they’re quite nice. I just bought TheBalm’s Shady Lady (vol. 2 I think) and there’s a similar sounding shade in that palette called “Just This Once Jamie”. It’s really nice and neutral and sounds similar to the Clinique on you mention. I’ll try the green eyeliner trick too. Thanks for your helpful tips! Hope to see you back soon 🙂

  2. I have trouble with my coloring, too. I also have pale skin but I have light brown hair. The makeup artists want to put me in neutral tones and plums because of my olive green eyes and I can wear them, but I think I respond better to warm tones which brighten me up more than the neutral ones do. Check out copper, ivory and peach tones to see if this works for you. But don’t ignore the cool/neutral tones, either. For instance, I love what white eyeshadow does for my eye color. Maybe we’re the lucky ones who can go either way. All the best!

    • I will try some coppers and ivories for sure! I tend to like warm colours better for whatever reason…dunno why. But thank you for reminding be about white! I used to wear white all the time when I was younger and I loved how it looked then. Will definitely give it another go now. Thanks!

  3. I know this article is older but I have the same situation – fair, dark blonde, green eyes and neutral skintone. (I have pale skin with some redness but my the veins are blue-green.) I enjoy doing this look sometimes: bare escentuals peach surprise on whole lid up to brow bone. Using the fine tip side of a double-sided brush, use bare escentuals marquise (a light-to-medium charcoal) in crease and most of lid with bare escentuals. Add a small amount of the peach near lash line. Use a charcoal grey liner. Nars Orgasm for blush. Btw, I also use Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in 12 Rose Beige (it’s both rose and beige = cool & warm) with a foundation brush – a little goes a pretty long way and the bottle lasts me about 3-4 months. I use a soft black mascara color and Aveda lychee splash lipstick to top off this look.
    Thought you might like this. My husband noticed this look and he doesn’t really notice my makeup so I take it as a good sign. 🙂

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