There are no rules when it comes to makeup. Anyone can (and should) wear whatever they like. With that being said, there are a few guidelines—let's call them best practices—for ensuring a satisfactory result. This is especially true when it comes to eye makeup. Ask any makeup artist, and they'll tell you that, depending on the color of your irises, some shades will accentuate your eyes better than others. This, of course, rings true for green eyes just like it does for blue, brown, and hazel.
So what is that specific and magical color that makes green eyes pop? Well, after searching Instagram far and wide, we know there's more than just one.
Meet the Expert
Sandy Linter is an iconic makeup artist. Her long list of celebrity clients includes Elizabeth Hurley and Christie Brinkley.
Click Play to Watch MUA Sandy Linter's Makeup Tutorial For Green Eyes
From Linter's video, learn the tips and tricks below on how to apply the perfect shadow to make green eyes stand out.
- Start with Eyeshadow Base: Linter applies MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly ($23) all over the lid. "Use a brush to apply the base only directly on the eyelid," she says. "This is just to make sure that your eyeliner and your eyeshadow stay on smoothly all day."
- Line the Eye with Pencil: Using a black or brown eye pencil like Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil ($20), Linter lines the eye, beginning from the inner corner and working out in small, controlled strokes. "When you get to the outer corner of your eye, take a pointed Q-tip and just give it a fleck up."
- Outline the Lid: Next, Linter takes Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in Total Taupe ($20) and outlines the lid. "You start in your eye hollow and the outer corner of your eye. You make this V shape on its side, but you're thicker in the outer corner of the eye."
- Blend with Matching Shadow: "I always layer," says Linter. "I'll take a little complementary shadow, maybe light brown or another taupe color." With a medium-sized brush, she blends over the liner pencil with the matching shadow. "What this does is create a larger lid," she adds. Blend inward toward the inner corner of the lid.
- Apply Light Shadow: "Wipe off your brush and go to a pale shade. Today I'm using a pale beige," Linter says. "Pop that onto the eyelid, so you get a little contrast." This gives the appearance of a wider, more open eye.
- Double Line the Eye: Linter then goes over the pencil with Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen ($59). You can also use a gel formula if you prefer. She mirrors the shape of the original pencil liner. "It's really hard for me to do those pointed ends, so I fake it" with a Q-tip.
- Apply Individual Falsies: To make eyes appear larger, Linter applies Kiss I-envy Flare Individual Lashes ($6) and then curls her natural lashes together with the falsies. "When you pick up these little flares, go as far down to the root as you can so you're not going to destroy the lash. And don't put too much glue on."
- Brighten with Concealer: Finally, Linter applies a liquid concealer (she uses Armani Beauty High Precision Retouch, $40, but any similar formula will work) on the inner part of the eye. "This will help lighten up the inside area of the eye and make your eyes look further apart and wider set."
Keep scrolling for some gorgeous, celebrity-inspired makeup looks for green eyes.
Green Eye Makeup Inspiration
Warm, matte neutrals with a subtle, glowy inner corner highlight is a great everyday look for green eyes. Ayesha Curry's perfectly blended shadow is the work of makeup artist Patrick Ta. We especially love how her feathery lashes make her eyes appear even larger.
This bold, editorial cat eye by @nikki_makeup instantly draws attention to the eyes. Black goes with anything, and liquid liner should be a staple in your makeup collection if you want to create dramatic looks.
Makeup artist Ashley Rebecca once told Byrdie, "Pink really brightens green eyes and can sometimes bring out hidden tones of gold." The eyeshadow's pinky-brown tone is the perfect juxtaposition to the bright green of the model's eyes—especially when the shadow is taken right up to the brow bone. If you want to play with color without resorting to bold brights, take heed and use a subdued taupe-brown type of pink.
Green and yellow pair like cheese and fine wine. Here, makeup artist Charity Leigh uses all matte shades from the Melt Cosmetics Rust Palette ($58) to create a brown and mustard smoky eye that brings out the green in her eyes.
Do as @tobimakeup does and use a true petal pink shadow like the one she applied on actress Kat McNamara. The specific product in question is Charlotte Tilbury's Rose Gold Cream Shadow ($32). Glossier Lidstar in Cub ($18) has a similar effect but is slightly more sheer and natural.
Mega-watt lashes and a subtle blush-toned shadow combine for a natural vibe appropriate for both work and play. Ta created a "monochrome moment" by applying his brand's Velvet Blush in She's Seductive ($32) to the cheeks and layering Lip Creme in She's Confident ($24) with a little bit of She's Unapologetic ($24) popped in the center.
Ta enhanced Rihanna's hazel and green with a bold pink shadow concentrated on the outer corner and then blended into her high-fashion, totally '80s blush. Try using a shadow, like "Flirt" from the Colourpop Too Haute Pink Pressed Powder Shadow Palette ($10).
Coppery bronze shades are an easy pick for accentuating green eyes since they pick up flecks of gold in the irises and warm tones in the skin. Here, Emma Roberts's green eyes are emblazoned with a shimmery copper color, courtesy of makeup artist Nikki DeRoest.
Ta used pink eye makeup to highlight Olivia Munn's green eyes. We like the monochromatic effect resulting from her matching shadow, blush, and lipstick. Huda Beauty New Nude Eyeshadow Palette ($65) is a great option for achieving this look.
Makeup artist Claudia Neacsu proves that any orangey-brown shade will highlight the beauty of green eyes. This matte copper color looks soft and sun-kissed, like the dirt roads that criss-cross the Italian countryside.
Silver and Gold
Emma Stone's makeup artist, Rachel Goodwin, shared this post to her Instagram, which shows Stone's jade green eyes emblazoned against a unique silver-copper combo. Most of the coppery gold color is concentrated on her eyelids, while the silver sheen is brought along the inner corners, almost as a highlight.
This cool white shadow paired with @nikki_makeup's Sweed Lashes Nikki No Lash- Lashes ($28) gives off a totally mod '60s appearance that manages to be thoroughly modern at the same time.
Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes is a master at combining color in a chic and editorial way (in fact, she's kind of a pioneer of the pink eyeshadow and red lipstick combo that's so popular on Instagram). We're crushing on this copper eye look, which makes her eyes gleam. The soft brown wing that accentuates her eye shape can be achieved with a pencil liner.
Bold Brow Highlight
Robin Black, makeup artist and photographer behind the always-chic Instagram account and website, Beauty Is Boring, shows us how copper eyeshadow picks up green tones in the iris and draws them out for all to admire. A gold brow highlight adds extra pop.
Glossy Liquid Liner
Sometimes, simple is key. A swoop of thick liquid liner and a glossy lid allow the eye color to take center stage.
Fiery Single Shadow
Black used a liquid eyeshadow, specifically Kosas 10-Second Eyeshadow in Fahrenheit ($28), to create this fiery look. Sweep the shadow across the lid and pat with a finger, or gently run a fluffy brush through the crease to blend.
Makeup artist Andreea Ali used shadows from Mario Dedivanovic's makeup line for this shimmer electric lavender hue halo eye. It just goes to show the truth in what makeup artist Kristine Cruz from Antonio Prieto Salon told us: "Purple hues bring out the yellow in golden green eyes and the same for bringing out the flecks of green in hazel eyes."
Classic Smoky Eye
A classic smoky eye works on every eye color and complexion. Tyra Banks' makeup artist, Valente Frazier, accentuates her big green eyes with dark gray shadow and black liner.
A no-makeup makeup eye look lets vibrant green eyes stand out—no distractions. Wispy lashes, glowy cheeks, and glossy lips create a stunning natural canvas.
Take it a step further and do a full monochrome eye in a striking shade of grape purple, like @tobimakeup did for model Nicole Harrison. It's a bold, eye-catching look, that's for sure. Plus, we like how it's almost the perfect shade of magenta.
We love the juxtaposition of the lilac shadow with high-shine gloss, once again by Katie Jane Hughes. It accentuates her eyes in a unique and colorful way.
A soft mauve, like this one from the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette ($54), is a great option to play off green eyes. We love how Black shaped the shadow into a sharp wing and paired it with a glossy red lip.
This bold shadow also comes courtesy of Black. To achieve this level of purple perfection, she layered two shadows and created a soft, dramatic wing shape, carrying the color onto the lower lash line.
Dewy skin complements any eye color, as does a sheer champagne shadow. MUA Ashley Rebecca swept a shimmery shade across the lid, with a slightly deeper taupe contouring the crease.
Taupe Smoky Eye
Terrell Mullin gave Eva Marcille a softer, taupey smoky eye that draws attention to her eye color. Dark shades can make the eye area appear smaller, but fluffy lashes can help open things back up.