With high-end brands and drugstore favorites launching vibrantly colored mascaras in droves, it’s clear the trend is making a major comeback. Lancôme recently introduced its metallic-hued gold and purple options, while Yves Saint Laurent’s mascara now comes in a bevy of neon colors. Then, there are drugstore staples such as NYX that sell extremely bright mascaras in several envelope-pushing tones.
Wearing the look is easier than you’d think, too. Some may think the style is not for the faint of heart, but it’s all in how you choose your color. According to celebrity makeup artist Rae Morris, who has worked with mega-models Miranda Kerr and Shanina Shaik, the secret is using a black mascara as a base coat before applying anything else. “It helps with depth,” she explains.
Brushing a vibrant color over just the tips of lashes is a great way to test the waters, but the best way to dip your toe into the trend is to start with one key hue: “Universally, navy blue looks great on all eyes,” notes Morris.
Above all else, Morris suggests that if you want to wear colored mascara, it’s important to conceal the under eyes really well, so that no other color is happening or interfering—and it’s the same with the rest of your makeup. It’s best to keep it minimal and make your lashes the main attraction.
And while it may seem overwhelming to choose the perfect mascara hue for your eye color, Morris’s newly released (sixth!) book, Makeup Masterclass, has individual charts to help guide you. “It’s best to either match your eye in shades, or go in the exact opposite direction,” says Morris.
To get you started, read on for her advice on which mascara hue is best for your eye color, then shop 10 great options above.
If you have BLUE eyes
It may sound less exciting than neon purple, but browns and warm oranges will intensify the cool shades in blue eyes. Gold is also a go-to. To make a standout shade like gold even stronger, Morris suggests mixing powder pigments in the formula and painting a few coats on lashes with a brush.
If you have GREEN eyes
A paler green mascara complements green eyes that are warmer in shade. For green eyes that have a blue undertone, try deep forest-green shades. A deep violet, lilac, or purple mascara will really intensify the look of any shade of green eyes.
If you have HAZEL eyes
Go for a deep purple shade with lots of red overtones—almost like the color of brick. But Morris cautions against some mascaras that are too red-toned. “They can bring out the redness in your eyes,” she says. People with hazel-colored eyes can also experiment with very dark greens and sandy browns as complementary colors.
If you have BROWN eyes
To really make brown eyes pop, opt for blue mascaras. Choose your shade based on the depth of your natural eye color. For example, those with light brown eyes look amazing with light washes of turquoise mascara. Shades of navy and almost-charcoal mascaras look incredible with deep and dark-brown eyes. “Blue shades are great,” says Morris. “Because they make brown eyes look really golden.”
If you have GRAY eyes
Since gray eyes are considered more neutral than other shades, a bigger range of complementary and intensifying colors work, according to Morris. Try an inky charcoal mascara to complement a gray eye, or go for a lavender, sea blue, mint green, or apricot shade. A chocolate brown always makes gray eyes pop, too.