8 ways to add more color to your makeup looks

Are you afraid of bright colorful makeup looks? Never know what to do with that one blue shade in your neutral eyeshadow palette? Want to step away from your brown eyeshadows but not sure how? You’ve come to the right place! I LOVE colorful makeup, but I know not everyone wants to look like a tropical bird when they’re doing their makeup each day. So in today’s blog post, I wanted to share some of my tips for adding color into your makeup looks, even if the idea makes you a little nervous.

1. Choose a neutral palette with a little spice

This is the easiest way for a beginner to start adding some more colorful eyeshadow into your looks.

If you’re a neutral lover, you probably have a palette that looks something like this:

nude mood colourpop palette

These neutral browns are pretty and easy to work with, but they’re really safe. If you still want your shadows to be pretty and easy to work with, but you’re ready to start venturing away from the browns juuuuust a little, try find a palette that’s still pretty neutral, but maybe pulls a bit toward another color family.

The looks and palettes pictured above I still consider “neutral,” but they’re a pretty far cry from those true neutral browns. Colourpop’s California Love palette is a very warm neutral palette that tends to look pretty orangey and rusty on my eyes. And the Blush Crush palette is a soft pink neutral palette.

You can also find palettes that are still neutral-adjacent but lean more red, gray, or golden. I love palettes like these because they’re still just as easy to use as the neutrals you’re used to, but they can really spice up your look.

If you want to see a full video tutorial on creating this kind of look, I made one using the California Love palette on my YouTube channel!

2. Try a pop of color on the lower lash line

One of the most common ways people dabble in color is by doing your normal neutral eye but adding a pop of color on the lower lashline. I see beauty gurus on YouTube do this all the time when they’re testing out one of those neutral palettes that has a few pops of color in it. This is a great technique if you want to add some fun color, but you’re not super comfortable working with colorful shadows yet. Colorful shadows are sometimes more difficult to blend and usually call for slightly different techniques than neutral eyeshadow, so this discomfort is totally understandable! Adding your color on the lower lashline (or even on the inner corner) can help you avoid that difficulty altogether but still getting some color into your look.

Emily is wearing a brown eyeshadow look that features a pop of green on the lower lashline. Her hair is wet and she's wearing a light pink lip balm.

3. Do a neutral crease with a subtle colorful shimmer on the lid

This is my favorite way to subtly feature color in my makeup looks. Just do your crease and outer corner like you normally would. (I use a light brown on a big fluffy brush through my whole crease, a medium brown on a smaller but still fluffy brush a bit lower in my crease, and then a deeper brown on a small tapered brush in my outer corner.) Then, on a flat shader brush, pick up a colored shimmer and pack it onto the lid.

In the look pictured below, I used a golden green shimmer, which I think is great for people who are still a bit nervous about adding too much color because it can look either colorful or neutral depending on the lighting. But, I’ve also used this same technique with shimmers in every color and every level of boldness/opacity/shine. Just pick out the shimmer you want to feature and you’ve got a foolproof eye look!

Emily is taking a selfie in her makeup mirror to show off the greenish gold shimmery eyeshadow on her eyelid. She's wearing a button up shirt covered in turtles and her phone has a case covered in lemons.

4. Try a neutral eye with a bold lip

This is another classic way to add color to your makeup look. This is perfect if you’re not really an eyeshadow person and you want to stick to your simple eye looks. This kind of look is sported by all sorts of people, but you might associate it most with Marilyn Monroe and Taylor Swift.

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to mess with eyeshadow at all and you’d rather just use eyeliner and/or mascara, try adding a bold colored lip to your look and I’m sure you’ll get instant compliments! I like a nice orangey red lip, but based on your own preferences and undertone, you might prefer a blue-based red, a berry, or even a black or green!

Emily is wearing a soft brown eyeshadow look with a bold orangey red lip. She looks tan and is wearing earrings in the shape of strawberries.

5. Use a colorful eyeliner

This is another option for those of you who aren’t crazy about eyeshadow. Even though eyeshadow is my absolute favorite part of my makeup routine, sometimes I don’t have time to spend on a look or I just want to go for something different. If you’re always wearing black liquid liner, check out your favorite liner formula: it might come in blue or another fun color.

You could also invest in a colorful liner. I love the Colourpop Creme Gel Liners because of how easy they are to work with and how many color options they have! If you’re more skilled with a liner brush and don’t need the ease of a retractable liner, the graphic liner trend that’s going on right now means lots of companies are releasing cake liners or potted gel liners. Again, check out any formulas you love and see if they have any colorful options!

But if you’re not sure you’ll like a colorful liner, you can always use eyeshadow as liner! Just grab a small detailed brush and put line your eyes. Using a colorful eyeshadow as a liner is also great if you want a more diffused look because you can smoke it out pretty easily using a fluffy brush.

Emily is wearing a bare face and bright turquoise eyeliner.

6. Bring your blush up onto your eyelid

Here’s my tip for those of you who like that natural, no-makeup-makeup look that’s super on trend now. When you’re applying your blush, just bring some of it up onto the outer part of your eyelid. That will instantly add some interest and color to your look, while still looking effortless and natural overall.

Emily is wearing minimal makeup with a focus on blush that sweeps up her cheeks and onto her outer eyelid.

7. Experiment with one colorful shadow with a one color smoky eye

If you’re ready to dive into color, but maybe you don’t have too many colorful shades, try out a one color smoky eye! There are TONS of videos on YouTube about how to do a smoky eye with just one eyeshadow. Just follow one of those tutorials but sub in your colorful eyeshadow shade for the brown or black they’re suggesting you use.

(If you want me to make a YouTube tutorial on a one color colorful smoky eye, definitely let me know! I’d love to film one if you’re interested.)

Emily is wearing a red smoky eye.

8. Just go for it

My last suggestion for how to start adding color to your makeup looks is to just go for it! If you want tutorials from people who are not afraid to go wild with color, check out Angelica Nyqvist, Annette’s Makeup Corner, Amy Loves Makeup, and Lauren Mae Beauty on YouTube, just to name a few.

At the end of the day, it’s just makeup, and if you don’t like it, you can always wash it off! Colorful eye looks bring me so much joy to create and I love wearing them out too. I say just dive in and try something new. You might end up loving it!

Do you like to wear color in your makeup looks? What’s your favorite way to rock color on your face? Leave a comment down below and let’s chat about it!

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