How To Pair Your Eyeshadows Like a Pro

How to Pair Like A Pro

Today I am going to show you how to pair eyeshadows together to create tons of looks. For many of us, it can be confusing when we are looking at a palette of colors to try and figure out which ones work best together and which ones won’t. This tutorial will help you to learn which colors, finishes and combination work best together and hopefull help aid you in picking which shades to choose from.

Three Basic Rules of Pairing Eyeshadows Together

  1. Always include a neutral –  Using a neutral eyeshadow along any brighter shades you may use will keep the look more wearable and tone down the overall look.
  2. Always mix your finishes – Eyeshadows come in finishes, shimmer and matte. Using all shimmer on your eyes will make you look like a disco ball while using just matte finish eyeshadows will look to flat. Using a combination of both with give depth and detail to the look.
  3. Use a light, medium and dark color – A mixture of these three, regardless of the color scheme, will give you a well rounded look with a lot of dimension.

Skin Tone Shades

Now we can move on to blending shades. You always need to have a couple of shades that can be used for blending that are close to your skin color. One a matte finish and one with a shimmer finish. The matte one you will use under the browbone to blend out any harsh lines, the shimmer will be used to highlight under the browbone or in the inner corner to open the eye and make it appear lighter.

Below is a guide that gives you different kinds of color combinations that you all can put together. There are two ways of doing this Monochromatic Looks and Polychromatic Looks.

Monochromatic Looks

These are where you take one color in varying shades and do a look based on just that color.

This look incorporates a light, medium and dark pink. The dark goes on the outer part of the eye, the medium pink on the middle of the eye and the light pink goes in the inner portion of the eye. Blend together this gives you an overall pink look.

This is a traditional dark brown smokey eye. This is where you take a dark brown and place it on the lid, a medium brown in the crease, and a light brown or tan color right above the crease to blend the colors out.



This stunning green eye is easy to do. Place a light green all over the lid and wing up the end with a medium green shade and right along the lashline you smudge a darker green color.

Examples of Monochromatic Quades




Polychromatic Looks

Polychromatic looks is where you pair shades together based on light, medium and dark. It doesn’t matter if the shades are different colors as long as you follow the light, medium and dark rule.

This is reminiscent of a purple smokey eye where you place a dark purple over the lid and blend with a light pink in the crease and then go around the eye with an orange shade.

This is a fun tropical look. This is where you place the lightest color on the inner part of the eye and then move the the medium shade and finish with the darkest shade. Here I have a light yellow, medium green and a dark blue on the outer part of the eye.

Here I have used a blue, purple and a pink. The medium blue shade is on the outer part of the eye and the purple is used to darken the outer corner to add depth to the look. Use the lighter pink to blend the colors out.

Examples of Polychromatic Quads


Find these eyeshadows in the Makeup Geek store here!

I hope you all found this information helpful. Just remember, it doesn’t matter what colors you use as long as you follow the 3 basic rules. Use a neutral shade, mix your finishes and have a light, medium and dark color in your palette.

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CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


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finally! been waiting for a vid like this, very helpful ty :D what lip products are you wearing here? xx

I know you must be waaaay to busy to think about it right now but do you think in the future you might do an online makeup artist school? Robert Jones has one but I don’t like him much (sorry Robert) :))

I didn’t like Mr. Jones either, and it was hard when I was with Mary Kay, my unit worshiped him, and I find him close minded and out of date. I think the birth of Kevyn Aucoin slipped by him.

Thank you for putting this tutorial together. It was very helpful when choosing eye shadow colors. I already played with the Brown Smokey eye.

Love this site. I am 44 yrs old and wear makeup every day and have all of my life and I always seem to learn something new on this site!!!!! Thank You Marlena!!!! Keep it coming!