MY GEEKY WAY TO CHOOSE EYESHADOW COLOR
"How do I choose an eyeshadow color?"
If I had a quarter for every time I heard that I would be living in an apartment in Rome.
Today, I want to teach you how I personally choose eyeshadow colors for all my clients. Get ready, it's rather geeky.
Class is in session. Are you ready?
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
1. GOOD LIGHT
First of all, you are gonna need good light. Whether it's God's light or The Makeup Light, you gotta have this before you can do ANYTHING. Super important.
2. GOOD MIRROR
A good magnifying mirror is great (They have these on www.themakeuplight.com) I suggest the most magnification you can get.
3. A Wide Selection of Eyeshadows
You will need a wide selection of eyeshadows to really study. I know, you think this isn't hard, right?
Hopefully this experiment will get your mind to thinking a tad bit differently than what you see on the surface.
WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR EYES? NO. REALLY.
When I am choosing eye makeup for my clients, I take 3 things into consideration.
1. Eye Color (I mean the REAL eye color. Most folks have many colors in them.)
2. Skin Tone
3. The "particles" that are in my actual eyeshadow. This concept works with that I call the "Photon Philosophy"
(more on that later)
LOOK AT YOURSELF. REALLY LOOK.
1. Get your mirror really close to your light source. The temperature of light is key so be sure it's good light. This is going to be important to really see your true eye color and help you choose your eyeshadow colors.
2. Stare at your eyes really closely. What colors do you see?
Write them down.
Next step is to look at your skin tone. Are you a porcelain and fair with a varying degree of pink, lavender and light blue in your skin? Or are you more olive skin tone with yellow and greens running thru your skin? There can be different variations of olive from light to dark.
Write it down.
PARTICLES & PHOTONS
The "Photon Philosophy" is something Vivian Baker and I made up when we were doing a webinar on color theory.
A PHOTON is a "particle" of light. Photons bounces off your skin, eyes and makeup, even clothes to allow your eyes to see what you see.
Have you ever noticed why wearing certain colors seem to brighten up your complexion more than others? That's the Photon Philosophy at work.
Particles are small little light reflective pieces that have a high reflective quality and give a shimmer to cosmetic products....eyeshadows, blushes are perfect case in point but sometimes they are added to foundations and concealers. I'll cover that in a future post.
I could write an entire post on particles, they are truly fascinating in the world of cosmetics! (Did you know there are companies that specialize in particle sizes for cosmetic companies!? Crazy.)
What do I mean? Let's have a look.
Here you see a coppery brown gold in this eyeshadow. But if you look closely, can you see the difference? On first look it looks copper and gold. But when you look close you see purple and pink. It also has champagne, gold and small specs of red.
Particles can give an "undertone" to a base color to alter the overall color. Some "particles are refined" and some are chunky.
PARTICLES FOR BLUSH TONES
Here is another example of particles in action. This is blush. You think, wow, this is a pink blush and a coral blush. Some pink blushes have different particles in them and will look better on different skin. Cooler skin tones look great in "silver tones" so choosing a blush color with a silver particle may be a great fit! :) Pinks with "champagne" particles will compliment almost any skin tone. Darker skin tones may want to move more in the red and gold category instead of anything silver. It's all about Photons and Particles. Pretty cool, huh?
Now here is a blush I am working on for our line. I added gold, yellow and light olive GREEN particles to this color. Why? It works with the olive undertones in the skin. So think of your eyeshadow the same way! :)
So the next time you are out shopping for eyeshadow, look at the "particle" size of your eyeshadow and look to find the undertones in it. Will those undertones compliment your skin? Will the particles compliment the eyeshadow colors you see in your eyes? Only you can decide.
LIQUIDS, POWDERS & PARTICLE SIZES
Textures also determine how a particle will look too.
For example: Urban Decay's Naked palette have LARGER particles. Other brands may have a smaller particles and textures (liquids and powders) can change the way a particle lays on the skin.
While this isn't an eyeshadow, it's a great reference when explaining particle "size" and texture to people.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter has a smaller, more "refined" particle in her liquid shimmers. Between the particle "size" and the liquid texture, this gives a very radiant look that looks sexy and modern. You can see it, but it's not highly noticeable until light (photons) reflect off of it. Eyeshadow is the same way.
As a makeup artist, I tend to choose eyeshadows with a more refined particle personally because I like to paint faces that look "believable", even if it's dramatic. Depending on how you like to paint your face and the look you're going for, size does matter. (Doesn't it always? :P)
When I think of "Red Carpet" looks, I think small, gorgeous particles in a shimmer product. Smaller particles will look high end, sophisticated and sexy. Chunky particles don't have quiet that same effect. Not to me anyway. It's really a matter of taste.
So...Is it starting to make sense now?
Another good reason a smaller sized particle is nice:
1. In my experience, smaller particles tend to last longer on the skin. Refined, smaller particles tend to become an extension of your skin and wear better overall. That's probably one of the best ways I can describe it.
So now that you know the "theory" of the Photon Philiosphy, particle size and the color of the iris of your eyes, let's discover what you see! :)
WHAT COLOR DO YOU SEE IN YOUR EYES?
I'm going to use this brown eye color as an example. Here you see the up close look of a brown eye iris.
If you look in bad light or from a distance this eye may just look like a regular ol' brown. There are varying shades of brown and your eyes never lie.
In our example photo, if you look really close, you see that this brown eye has a lot of red and golds and almost a goldy green. The overall color is a gold copper but looking close you discover a entire universe just like the big bang itself. I love science. LOL!
When I am looking at someone's skin tone and eye color, I take all of these things into consideration. I then pull shadow colors that compliment the persons overall skin tone and "undertone" of the eyes.
As you see the first color isn't wrong at all. It could work because it does have the red brown in the particles. However, the other colors may be a better choice and compliment and flatter the eyes as well as work with the overall skin tone.
Since I have been doing makeup this way for the last 10 years, I also find that the tones of the iris tend to match the tones in the skin. For example, if this person has warm undertones in the skin their iris tends to pull that same color. The health of the eye is also critical, so your mileage may vary. Poor health can cause a shift in the eyes as well as the skin.
When it comes to cool tones and warm tones there are so many factors to deciding. This is just one of the ways I look at my clients to decide. I think this is why sometimes folks get confused on color theory and makeup. Particles, light and how it reads on the skin can all play a role in how we paint our faces. A shadow, foundation or blush could be a "cool" tone but if you add a champagne or gold particle too it, it will "warm it up" and will look good on a wide variety of skin tones.
While this is my very own "geeky" way to explain how I choose eye color (or hell any color to apply to the skin) I will say this works about 95% of the time. It's actually one of the A-Ha- moments as you discover things on your own.
Since makeup is literally a "play on light", if you think of the "Photon Philosphy" and how particles work in makeup, it will truly change how you paint as an artist and how you apply your own makeup to your face. Always have good light, great mirrors and the correct particles in your makeup. When you do, photons will forever be your friend.
Happy Face painting!