Color Theory for Makeup: Eyeshadows | Mira Metzler | Skillshare

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Color Theory for Makeup: Eyeshadows

teacher avatar Mira Metzler, Mixed Media Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Color Theory Basics

    • 3. How to Use the Color Wheel

    • 4. Examples

    • 5. Eyeshadow Color Wheel

    • 6. Class Project

    • 7. EXTRAS: Hand Drawing RYB Color Wheel

    • 8. EXTRAS: Eyeshadow Swatches

    • 9. What's Next?

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About This Class

I think the classic representation of the color wheel doesn’t exactly speak to makeup. Let me show you another way to use your eyeshadows.


My name is Mira Metzler and I’m a professional makeup artist with a passion for art. When I decide a color treatment for my clients I always trust color theory and my eye to get the best result with little effort.

So I’m going to explain the color wheel to you first and then I will show you how to make it more makeup friendly so you can use color theory principles with makeup.

The color wheel is a simple and powerful tool for understanding how colors relate to each other. We’re going to create our own color wheel with eyeshadows by using basic principles of color theory and we are also going to use our eyesight to help analyze what we actually see when we look at a color, making it easier to arrange the eyeshadows in a colorful circle.

I’ll explain some terms we need to understand before we start, relevant for eyeshadows in particular and show you plenty of examples to illustrate key concepts.

This class will break some myths and build some bridges so you can comfortably decide on a makeup look to complement your natural eye color. Plus, your shopping sprees are going to be more focused and effective when you know what exactly to look for.

I hope you’ll join me in this journey to learn how to take control over your eyeshadows and learn how color theory affects your makeup choices in this step-by-step lesson and tutorial.

If you want more makeup talk, check out my other classes

Getting Started with Makeup

Complete Guide to Eyebrow Makeup

Paint With Makeup: Basic Face Chart Tutorial

Sanitize Your Makeup Tools and Products

Meet Your Teacher

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Mira Metzler

Mixed Media Artist


I am a professional Makeup Artist passionate about sharing my knowledge of makeup and love of illustrations. I love teaching women how to make themselves more naturally beautiful with strategically placed makeup to flatter and sculpt natural features.



Watch my beginner's makeup class class using this link !

See full profile

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1. Intro: how this color theory applied to make up. My name is Mira Metzler, and I'm a professional makeup artist with a passion for art. I think the classic representation off the color wheel doesn't exactly speak to makeup. When I decide color treatment for my clients, I always trust color theory and my eye to get the best results. With little effort, I'll explain some terms we need to understand before we start relevant for the eye shadows in particular, and I will show you plenty off examples to illustrate key concepts. So I'm going to explain the color will to you first, and then I will show you how to make it more makeup friendly so you can use color theory principles with makeup. The color wheel is a simple and powerful tool for understanding how colors relate to each other. We're going to create our own color wheel with eye shadows by using basic principles off color theory, and we are also going to use our eyesight to help analyze what we actually see when we look at the color. I hope you join me in this journey to learn how to take control over your eye shadows 2. Color Theory Basics: When we are looking at the color wheel, we actually see three different things. Primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors. The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. They are the main colors on this obstructive color system and cannot be obtained by mixing any other colors the secondary colors or a mixture off the two primary colors. If you mix red and yellow, you get orange. If you mix red and blue, you get violet, and if you mix yellow and blue, you get green. The tertiary colors are a mixture off a primary with a secondary color tertiary colors or pretty simple to figure out based on their names. For example, red and orange will make red, orange, blue, and violet will make blue violet. Yellow and green will make yellow green, and we most likely no colors by their conventional name, like Scarlett indigo, cobalt, fuchsia, lime green and, as a side note the colors that we see or actually the Hughes, the pure state of color. After applying tonal values to the color wheel, we have something like this with shades and things. Now let's talk about color temperature red, orange and yellow or known as warm colors. Whilst green, blue and violet are considered to be cool colors. For makeup purpose, you need to know that any color can be warm or cool. A warm shade is a yellow based shape. The cool shade is a blue. At the closer inspection on the color wheel, you can see that any color can have a cool or a warm version. For example, if you add yellow to violet, you get warm violet like purple. And if you add blue to violet, you have a cool violet like indigo for dreams at yellow, and you get olive tones, but at blue and you have emerald green. Next, let's see how to use the color wheel in makeup. 3. How to Use the Color Wheel: harmonies or color schemes or groups off color that work well together. There are many theories for harmony, and I will only talk about the ones that have most impact and use in makeup. First, I want to take a moment to say that the images I'm using in this video or not samples off my makeup work and I have chosen them from stock photography sites to brother illustrate the concepts that I'm teaching. The first harmony is the monochromatic color scheme. It involves variations from light to dark off. A single huge monochromatic schemes are highly unified but may lack variety. These schemes are a safe bet for intense makeup looks like a smoky eye, even when the chosen color is bright and saturated. These blue shades we can see how they transition from pearly white in the inner corner toe almost black on the outer edge with the blue Grady Int. The most used monochromatic scheme is made off brown shades and similar skin color hues, because those are the colors we used to achieve a natural looking makeup, these colors can very internal value from a light cream, too dark chocolate and also in temperature from a warm vanilla toe, a cool eggshell analogous colors or any three colors, which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel. They are also unified but have more variety than monochromatic schemes in makeup. This makes for a fashionable look rather than a Preta party and is often reserved for statement evening looks. The pair blue, purple, blue and blue green to get this peacock feather look are green, yellow, green and yellow for a bright pop of color. A complementary color scheme is created with colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel. This is the most exciting Harmon in makeup, because when two compliments are placed next to each other, they increase each other's intensity. You can see from the color wheel. We have a variety of compliments as it shade has a corresponding Hugh on the exact opposite side off the wheel in makeup, the color choice is more focused because we always want to flatter the color of the iris by using on opposite complementary color for the eye shadow or any other I treat. Still, we are not going to put red eyeshadow on green eyes and leave it at that. So how would the color will in makeup look like something like this? It's much more realistic to look at here. I've put in a circle all the eye shadows that I use for making my face charts so I can have an overall idea of my options. When I look at this, I can see there is no yellow, but I have plenty off yellow based colors to work with. Also, the violent family has a beautiful range of cool and warms. So do the oranges. Next, let's look at some examples. 4. Examples: Now let's break it down for each iris color. My approach is combining two harmonies by using eye shadow colors next to each other on the color wheel that are also all compliments to the eye color. If you have blue eyes, you want to make them pop even more with the color like orange. But rather than putting pure orange on your eyelids, you will have better results with an analog color scheme based on that organ shoe. But more wearable copper, bronze, chocolate and all browns will work well to bring the blue in your eyes with little effort. Blue eyes are most offered in a cool color, so any warm color will work well, even this apricot color with red hues. On the other hand, a blue eye shadow would only detract from the iris because it's the same color and nothing stands out. Same with purple. There's no contrast. No play, no interest, just the color that sits on the eyelids. If you have green eyes, look for colors that have read bias like purples, burgundy, pink or even copper. You can see how this colors bring the green into focus. If you would use green eye shadow again. You wouldn't know what to look at the IRS or the eye shadow, so it's not flattering for the I. If you have brown eyes, you can play with color with more flexibility because no color will compete with your iris color. Brown is basically a darker shade of orange, so you will benefit from cool blues more than anything. Brown eyes could also be a very warm brown, and a green color treatment will bring the red hues in your iris, making it look even warmer. Quite often, brown eyes have some other colors in them. If you have hazel eyes with a golden inflection, you will use your golden colors and the violent family to enhance them. Hazel eyes often appear to shifting color from a brown toe green. If you have green and brown, you will want to enhance your green flecks because that's the most interesting by using red based colors, gray eyes or a very cool blue, which different flecks in them, and they may appear to change color from gray toe blue to green, depending on clothing, lighting and mood. If you want to bring the blue more, you will apply the same color treatment. As for blue wise, the yellow based colors will bring out the blue in your eyes. If you have golden flex, your golden eye shadows will bring that out even more. The purples, pinks and border will bring out the green because they have read bias. Now let's make our own color wheel. 5. Eyeshadow Color Wheel: In this tutorial, I will show you how I made a custom eye shadow color wheel using a palette from my personal makeup kit. The palate I'm using has 12 colors varying from Matt, too sparkly. First I drew a circle, divided it in 12 slices and labeled them, then iced watched all my eye shadows on a separate piece of paper, using isopropyl alcohol to get a better pay off and transferred to paper. This way I get a similar result to apply the colors on skin. I also gave them names based on the color I saw on paper and not the names given by the cosmetic brand. This helps a lot arranging them on the color wheel. I start with the purples and dark blue and moved towards the Reds, which are represented by the pinks. I also have several browns, and I will finish off with dark green. I hope you find this helpful, and you will try the same with your eye shadows. - Okay , 6. Class Project: your class project is to make a color wheel with your own eye shadows. You will need at least three eye shadows, and you don't have to actually put them in a circle. Just swatch them and get to know them. Get to know their color, their bias and how they work for you. One quick note. You can choose any eye shadow color you like. These are just guides for enhancing your makeup. Look with little effort and guaranteed results. As always, have fun with your makeup and find new ways to express yourself. 7. EXTRAS: Hand Drawing RYB Color Wheel : If you need some guidance, this video will help patrol a 12 parts color wheel by hand. Each part has a 30 degrees angle. Hope you find it useful. 8. EXTRAS: Eyeshadow Swatches: This video shows my approach to swatch ing eye shadow colors on paper using isopropyl alcohol. The paper I'm using is designed for face charts, and it holds makeup. Well. You can get the same results by using watercolor paper. Copy paper for drawing paper will require some works to build up color. Towards the end of the video, you will see side by side my eye shadow swatches with and without using alcohol, you'll notice there's a big difference. I hope you find it useful. 9. What's Next?: Thank you for taking this class. If you enjoy this class, please give it a thumbs up and leave me few words in the review section. I'd love to hear from you. Also, don't forget to check out my other classes here on skill share where we talk about cleaning makeup tools and brushes, how to make your eyebrows look good and also how to paint with makeup to make a face chart , see your son.