Makeup Color-Blocking: Shadow and Liner Pairs That Are a Match Made In Heaven

Victoria Moorhouse

Nude shadow might be an easy quick-fix, but there’s no reason to ignore all those vibrant colors in your palette. With everyone from Emma Stone to Kendall Jenner wearing bright eye shadow and liner, there’s no doubt that punchy makeup colors are in this season. But to really get ahead of the trend, you’ll want to conquer wearing colorful shadows and liners together, to ensure that your eyes truly pop. There’s no faster way to look wide awake than with bright liner – as long as you know how to pair it.

MORE: All the Different Ways to Rock Purple Eyeshadow

BLUEBest Shades for Blue Shadow
Once you’ve got you blending down, blue shadow will be one of the most useful colors in your palette. There’s actually quite a few complementary liner options, too. “I love an iridescent color,” says Jessica Scantlin, Blushington, Lead Celebrity Makeup Artist. “There is something very aquamarine about it, completely cool, but still safe. The shimmer of Aqua or a peacock-type color makes the blue stand out.”

If you really want to funk it up, celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg suggests going for a hunter green or a lime green, but notes navy will bring the look back down to earth.

PURPLEBest Shades for Purple Shadow
There’s no doubt purple eyeshadow is trending, so you should pair it with a liner hue that will make it stand out even more. “I personally love navy with purple,” says Scantlin of the berry-toned look. “They complement each other so well.”

The Lakers colors came to mind for Greenberg. She suggests a fun gold cat-eye over the purple shadow, a look you don’t have to wait until basketball season to try out.

MORE: Beyonce’s Makeup Artist Teaches Us the Trick to a Flawless Metallic Eye


Best Shades for Pink Shadow
Black liner can sometimes seem too severe for such a feminine, soft shadow. Greenberg says silver and white are options, and if your pink is pastel, the right shade of blue liner can be really pretty. “I would love periwinkle—just think back to ‘it’s a boy,’ ‘it’s a girl.'”

For more of a sultry look, try for a color with less contrast. “Deep Burgundy with pink shadow compliments each other, making it edgy and smokey,” says Scantlin.


Best Shades for Green Shadow
When we asked Greenberg about this color-blocking combo, there was no question in her mind. “Purple all the way. It works so well because if you look at the color wheel it’s not quite, but almost complimentary,” she says.

But you can keep the liner in the same color family, too. Scantlin suggests going for a two-toned look with green eyeliner and lining the waterline with brown liner to get a camo effect.

REDBest Shades for Red Shadow
If you’re still warming up to red shadow, these liners will make wearing it way less intimidating. “Purple liner in the deeper tones works well with red shadow,” notes Scantlin. “By adding the purple, you are taking away from the red that can sometimes be too harsh for the eye.”

A more neutral option from Greenberg is using brown liner that has gold flecks in it or going for a deeper red liner. “I would lay down the powder and not go full crazy as far as intensity and maybe wet the eye shadow to give it a darker look,” she says.