Racing stripes: eyeshadow-colour pops for muted, soft hair

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Not all of us are daring enough to take the plunge and dye our hair a bold colour, but that doesn't mean that we aren't daring at all.  Whilst coloured eye shadow may remind you of your early teens, colour should make its way back into your makeup bag as a way to brighten up your look, and most importantly, for a bit of fun.

Whether you're a smoky-eye fan, or winged-liner is more your thing, we have some colour suggestions that those of you with soft, subtle hair colours should try to up your makeup game.

Copper and orange eye shadow

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This is a good start for those of us a little hesitant to stray from the usual soft, smoky-eye made up of natural tones. It won't induce flashbacks of you getting ready for your first high-school social, but it will update your current makeup look. Switch your base colour from a brown to a copper, and go for a metallic, or satin formula that will help play up the colour of your eyes and your hair. Brown eyes and mousey hair create the perfect canvas for a copper eye shadow look, and strong brows and lashings of mascara will make sure your eyes are the centre of attention.

For a more dramatic look, play up the look with winged liner. Not only will it make the look

stand out, it'll ensure that brown eyes don't get lost in the copper and orange tones.


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Dmitro Mykhailov

Purple eye shadow is another option for the base colour of a smoky eye, and looks super striking for green-eyed brunettes. Apply a deep purple all over: use a dark grey for the crease, and blend out. A shimmery purple liner in the inner corners will add dimension, and really make the whole makeup look pop. Use a white or nude eyeliner on the bottom waterline to brighten and define your eyes.


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Green shadow looks amazing with soft hair colours like honey blonde and mousey brown. Whether you go for an aqua or forest green shade, stick to a satin or shimmery formula to ensure it looks more 'glam', and less 'kid playing with mum's makeup'.

If you're not into all-over colour, use a shimmery green cream liner, or eye shadow on a wet brush on the lower lash line for a striking colour pop.

Tips and tricks for applying eye shadow


Invest in high-quality eye shadows. Makeup has come a long way when it comes to eye shadow formulas, and for the most part, you really do get what you pay for. Invest in a few high quality eye shadows in a range of colours so that you can mix them to create custom shades that help make the most of your hair and eye colour.

Highlight and contour

Highlighting and contouring isn't just for your makeup base. Use a dark shade of eye shadow to deepen the colour of the crease of your eyelid, and use a light shade to highlight the inner corner and your brow bone. This will create dimension and help your eyes stand out.


A primer specifically made for the eyelids will not only prevent your eye shadow creasing and extend the wear time, it will provide a blank canvas for your colour, which will make your eye shadow look a lot more opaque, and strengthen the colour.


To get the most out of your coloured shadow, lightly wet your brush with a bit of water or a setting spray. This will help the colour stick on to your eyelid better, and allow for a denser application. It works best to pat the colour on with your brush when you have moistened the bristles, and it works particularly well with metallic of satin finish eye shadows as it ups the shimmer.

Preventing fallout

Always tap off excess shadow before applying it to your eye to prevent any from falling under your eyes, which can result in dark smudges. If you're still finding that you get fallout under your eye, apply your eye shadow before your base/foundation: that way you can clean up under your eye, and apply your foundation for a flawless finish.

Got an itch to experiment with makeup to match your 'do? Get inspired by our bold makeup ideas to boost your colour, or find your nearest salon to chat to us in person about the kind of new look you're after.

Featured article image: AntonMaltsev /

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