Bright Lids, Big City: How to Wear Jewel-Toned Eyes

by Mary Avant ; Updated September 28, 2017

Go bold or go home with jewel-toned eyes.

Martin Mistretta/The Image Bank/Getty Images


One of the quickest ways to make a statement is to let your makeup do the talking. Say it loud and proud by rocking one of the boldest trends in beauty right now: jewel-toned eye makeup. From shades of fuchsia and emerald green to hues of cobalt blue and deep purple, these colors will make your dramatic eyes the center of attention in any room you enter.

The Perfect Match

To get the most impact out of jewel-toned eyes, it’s essential to pick colors that complement your skin tone. Blue eyes look great in teal and cobalt blue, while greens pop in shades of emerald. Brown and hazel eyes can also pull off emerald shadows, while deep pinks -- like the shade seen here on actress Miranda Cosgrove at the 2012 Young Hollywood Awards -- look great against dark brown eyes. And if you love purple, you’re in luck: It works on all skin tones.

Smooth Sailing

For a flawless jewel-toned eye that lasts -- like the one singer Keri Hilson rocks here at the 2010 Grammy Awards -- the first step is to prep your lids for a smooth, even application. Blend an eye shadow primer, which prevents creasing and fading, across the entire lid before applying eye makeup, as this will help guarantee that your bold, bright color stays put all day.

Center of Attention

Keep every bit of the attention on your stunning eyes -- and avoid looking too overwhelming -- by keeping your face and lips minimal while rocking a jewel-toned eye. A simple peach blush or light coat of bronzer paired with a sheer, glossy lip -- like the look seen here on model Joan Smalls at the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards -- should do the trick.

All-Over Color

Pack a real punch with your eye makeup by wearing jewel-toned shades over the entire eye, or at least the majority of it, like stylist June Ambrose does here at the 2012 ACE Awards. Go for a slight ombre effect by keeping pigment heavy on the lid and lightening toward the brow bone. Finish the look with a few coats of black mascara on both top and bottom lashes to keep them from getting lost in a sea of color.

Bright and Smoky

Think a smoky eye is just meant for shades of dark brown and gray? Think again. Pull off the dramatic eye look by sticking with one color palette (all blues or all purples, for example). Apply a medium-toned shade over the entire lid, and then blend the darkest tone into your crease. Complete the look by sweeping the lightest shade across your brow bone, as actress Scarlett Johansson does here at the 2010 Tony Awards.

Tone on Tone

Two-faced, not so great, but two-toned eyes: always a winner. The key for acing the look using jewel tones is to pick shades that are complementary, like emerald and violet or royal blue and teal, and then blending smoothly and seamlessly, like singer-songwriter NoNe does here at an event in New York City. You can also try the look by using a shadow and liner in different jewel-toned colors.

Easy Does It

Though an all-over, look-at-me jewel-toned eye is best saved for a night out on the town or a special occasion, you can pull it off during the day, too. Instead of covering the entire lid with color, add just a layer of your shade of choice to the base of your eyelid, then top it off with a simple coat of mascara, like actress Emmy Rossum does here at an event in New York City.

The Bottom Line

Not ready to go full force with the jewel-toned eye trend? Instead of sporting a lid full of teal or emerald color, opt for an eyeliner in your favorite shade to define your top lash line. Feeling brave? Go one step further and add the color to your bottom lash line, too, like singer Rihanna does here at the 2009 American Music Awards.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv