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Question: How can I wear colored makeup?

Answer: We know it can be scary—one too many strokes of blue eye shadow and you might end up looking like you just came from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Actually, throwing a few strokes of color into your usual palette can do wonders to brighten up your face and draw attention to the eyes. You can incorporate moderate color by adding a swipe of the right eyeliner, mascara, or eye shadow.

Primer: When trying out a colored eyeliner or shadow, the first step should always be to apply a neutral base that blends in with your skin tone, which can be as simple as blending concealer onto lids and around the lash line. That gives the color a solid base to hold onto, and it evens out the skin tone.

Smokey (vibrant) eye: The smoky eye is a tried and true friend of any and every evening look. To amp it up and standout from the crowd, choose a colorful base shadow for your eyelid, so it’ll accentuate your eye color. Start by applying a primer, then swipe white eyeliner along the inner corners of your eyes. Regardless of skin tone, white eyeliner makes the whites of your eyes look bright and the color pops even more against it. Choose the right color of shadow for your eye color, and swipe it lightly over the entire lid—but add an extra swipe on the outside corner. Continue the smokey eye process as usual, swiping a dark grey or black into the crease of your eye. Finish off with sharp, winged eyeliner.

Eyeliner: You could simply substitute a colored liner for your usual brown or black, or you could get creative. For a kiss of color without feeling as though your look is completely overdone, apply the colored liner under your lash line, or on the rim of your eyelid. Liquid eyeliner goes on smoother and stays longer when applied to the rim of your lids, so try some of the bright liquid liner options from NYX.

Mascara: Using colored mascara doesn’t mean it has to take up all of your lashes—only half. After choosing your color, (Butter London has amazing, bright colors) swipe the mascara wand onto the bottom portion of your lashes, very close to the lash line, and stop there. Apply your usual mascara from mid-lash to ends. By keeping the color close to the eye, it’s still doing its job of intensifying your eye color. Blending with your usual lash color makes it much more versatile for a day-to-night look.

Best shades for your eye color:

For brown eyes: Deep purples or metallics like gold and bronze

For blue eyes: Bright turquoise, navy, or bronze shades

For green eyes: Eggplant purple, pinks, or dusty greens

For hazel eyes: Mocha brown, golden yellow, or silvery greys