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How Do I Match Eyeliner and Eyeshadow?

By Amanda R. Bell
Updated May 21, 2024
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Matching eyeliner and eyeshadow can be a good way to create a natural and more dramatic look without seeming overdone. In many instances, you can apply the same eyeshadow shade on the lids as eyeliner. To avoid going overboard, use neutral shadows and bright eyeliner or vice versa. The type of eyeliner used will also ensure your eye makeup look is cohesive. Keep in mind that you can line the top and bottom of your eyes while still making sure the eyeliner and eyeshadow match.

For a soft, more natural look, try using shades as eyeliner and eyeshadow. If you are only using one color on your lid, wet a small, angled brush and line your eyes with the same color. This will deepen the original shade while still making sure everything matches. If you are using a crease color, use the same shade as eyeliner, with or without wetting the brush. To line very close to the lash line, use a flat, stiff eyeliner brush and gently press the color in between the lashes.

If you love to play with color but still want to keep things simple, try using bright eyeliner with neutral eyeshadow, preferably with a satin or matte finish. Soft brown and skin tone shades of eyeshadow often pair well with purple, blue, or green eyeshadow. If you like a metallic look, glittery orange or gold eyeliner would also match well. Gray or taupe eyeshadow tends to look best with darker colored eyeliner such as a deep emerald green or mauve.

Neutral eyeliner and eyeshadow in bright shades also pair well together. Warmer eyeshadow colors, such as orange, certain pinks, and gold, tend to look best with medium to dark brown eyeliner. Cooler eyeshadow colors such as purple, blue, and green often pair best with dark grey or black eyeliner.

Outside of color, it can be helpful to apply the appropriate type of liner to ensure that your eyeliner and eyeshadow match. More dramatic looks, such as smoky eyes or bright colors, can often handle gel or liquid liner in dark colors; this helps to balance out the eye without overshadowing the look of the eyeshadow. More natural looks, especially neutral colored eyeshadow, tend to look best with a soft pencil liner or eyeshadow used as liner.

To create a balanced eye look, it can be helpful to use two eyeliner colors with your eyeshadow. For a soft look, especially with neutral colored eyeshadow, line the top lid with a darker brown or gray color and the bottom lash line with a shade similar to the eyeshadow used on your lid. With bright eyeshadow, it can be good to line the top lid with a neutral shade, such as brown, gray, or black, and your bottom lash line with a subdued version of the colors on your lid.

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