Eyeshadow and Dress Color Guide

It’s Saturday night. You’ve been invited to a big event or asked on a date by that guy you’ve been eyeing up at work for months. You’ve been using the same kohl eyeliner pencil for the last five years. No one’s ever seen you in anything but your work clothes. You’ve found a new dress, especially for tonight, but now what? 

Dress Color

Eyeshadow Colors


Green, silver, gold


Brown, green, purple


Brown, purple, green, black


Brown, gold, silver


Grey, silver, brown, purple, green


Brown, gold, copper, blue


Brown, silver, blue, green


Silver, purple, brown, gold


Gold, brown, blue, purple

Now that you know the basics let’s delve into the details on how to put these looks together and how they work.

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lipstick and dress code

The Eyeshadow and Dress Color Guide

So, you have your outfit picked out, and now you’re wondering if your go-to makeup look will match. Do you match your outfit and your eyeshadow colors, do you pair your outfit with complementary colors, do you do something crazy? 

Black Dresses

A black outfit is the most versatile option when combining with a makeup look. Greens, browns, silvers, burgundies - almost anything goes. You can really experiment with eyeshadow looks when choosing an outfit like a little black dress. And each makeup look can totally transform your look into a different style. 

Desired Look

Eyeshadow Colors


Browns and golds




Black and smokey



Edgy and out there


Gold Dresses

Browns, greens, and purples are a great option when wearing something gold or with gold hints. Browns add a subtle look that is in the same color range as gold, without matching or making you look too glittery.

Darker greens and purples are colors that will timelessly compliment gold outfits. They are both bold, but pair well gold tones and are not too intense or excessive. These colors are both capable of mixing with darker shades to create a subtle smokey eye if you’re looking for something not too ‘in your face’.

Silver Dresses

Eyeshadow choices for silver outfits are very similar to those for gold outfits. However, pairing these colors can give off a very different look. Silver portrays a classy and sophisticated style, and the best eye look with this color is something smokey.

Browns can be a great neutral color to pair with a silver dress or top. This will give you a simple, natural, fresher look. But if you’re looking for something a bit bolder, why not give deep purples or greens a go? Purples and greens add something extra to a silver outfit, without giving it a cluttered feel.

If you’re not fond of purples and greens but are still looking for something bold, we have one phrase for you: Black smokes. A dark smokey eye can really add allure and give a mysterious edge to that sophisticated silver ensemble. Give it a try!

Red Dresses

So, you’ve decided to be daring and bought yourself a red dress. Now what? It can already be daunting wearing such a striking color, let’s give you a hand with your eye look.

When you’re choosing such an adventurous color, the rule of thumb is not to play up your makeup too much. Red is known for it’s sex appeal, but we don’t want to overdo it. Your best bets for eyeshadow with a red outfit are more neutral colors, such as browns, golds, or silvers.

Brown is an excellent base for any makeup look and looks great on its own. Try using a lighter and darker brown color to create some depth to your eyes without looking too full on. When you’re choosing such a daring outfit, browns are a great way to emphasize your eyes in a more natural and subtle way.

Golds and silvers can add something a little more playful if you’re looking for something a little more than brown. Adding a gold or silver sheen to the eye can add something extra to your look, without clashing or overemphasizing. 

Blue Dresses

Greys and silvers are your best bet when choosing a blue outfit for an event - or for an everyday look. Greys and silvers are simple and pair well with most shades of blue. You could even use them together to create something multidimensional and a little smokey.

Browns - of course - are also a great option. Again, if you’re looking for something more on the natural side, browns are a great way to keep you looking subtle and a little more fresh-faced. If you struggle with eyeshadow looks,and could do with a little more practice, browns are always a great start! They’re easy to blend together, and you can create many looks from just one neutral brown eyeshadow palette.

Gold eyeshadow can be paired with brown eyeshadow to create a more shimmery look. Or, it can be used alone for a more subtle shimmer.

Purples and greens are also a safe bet when it comes to blue outfits, as neighbors on the color wheel. They generally complement each other fantastically and add a little extra pop to your look. 

The shade of purple or green you use depends on how bold you want to be, and the shade of blue you are wearing. Darker colors tend to match darker colors, whereas lighter shades will pair well with lighter shades.

Green Dresses

Green outfits scream neutral colors! Think earthy tones, such as browns, golds and coppers when trying out a green dress or top. Use these colors alone or blend them together for a more multi-tonal look to make your eyes stand out.

If you’re looking for something a little different from the norm, why not try out some silver or blue shades? Silver keeps the look neutral, whilst creating something a little more noticeable. Blues pair well with greens, as neighbors on the color wheel, but they are sure to give a bit more of an edge to your style.

Purple Dresses

Purple and silver are a match made in heaven.

As discussed earlier, purples and silvers go hand in hand when it comes to fashion. Try blending silvers and greys to create a smokey and sophisticated look. Or if you’re feeling a little more daring, try blending silver with black to make the look a little darker.

Blues and greens also pair well with purple. However, remember to use similar tones and shades. Darker colors with darker colors, and lighter shades with lighter shades. This will create something a little more daring from the basic neutral colors and will definitely make you stand out!

Browns are also perfect to match with purples, if you’re wanting to go with a natural feel.

Pink Dresses

Try using silvers and purples, or browns and golds. Pairing silver and purple together can create a shimmery, more daring look. These colors can also be used alone to strip it back to basics if you feel two colors are too much for you.

Browns and golds are perfect to compliment pinks, as they continue the warmth that pink brings to the table. Browns compliment all skin tones, and give you a neutral, fresh look if you feel that you want your dress to do the talking.

Yellow Dresses

Golds and browns are an all-time favorite when wearing yellow. They add something neutral and earthy to bring the yellow down a tad. Pairing yellow with other bright makeup can sometimes look a bit brash and overdone.

However, if you’re looking to add something more than brown, blues and purples are close on the color wheel. These complimentary colors can be extremely flattering when used together.

Some Things to Remember

  • Browns are a safe bet - they complement every color. If you’re not ready to delve into the realms of eyeshadow shades, stick to the basics.

  • Don’t match your eyeshadow to your outfit color. As a rule of thumb, using the same eyeshadow color as your dress or top doesn’t generally look great. Try to use neighboring colors on the color wheel.

    • Consider your eye color and skin tone when choosing colors. Certain eye colors and skin tones work well with certain colors and shades. To enhance your style, try using colors that compliment yours. Check out this video guide by ‘Geek Out of Water’ for help: Choosing Eyeshadow Colors: The Color Wheel

    Final Thoughts

    Remember, fashion is not set in stone. This is just a guide to help those who need it. And that’s all it is - a guide! You don’t have to follow the fashion ‘rules’, in any way, shape or form. If you want to break the mold and do your own thing, go for it! Wear whatever makes you feel good and forget about everyone else!

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