What Eye Shadow Looks Good With Fair Skin and Brown Hair?

Emily Browning's dramatic shadow complements her fair coloring at the Nylon Magazine 12th Anniversary party.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The perfect eye shadow lushes up your lids and lights up your entire face -- but if you're just going to slap on the first shade you find, you might as well forget it. Choosing the right shadow for your complexion and hair is key to a wink that wows. If you're a fair-skinned brunette beauty, you need colors and textures that complement your rich tresses while playing up the delicate, cool tones of your skin.

Jeweled Lids

Add some glitz to your gaze with gorgeously gem-inspired shadows – the best way to bejewel an evening look without breaking the bank. Cool, pure jewel tones, such as amethyst and sapphire, bring out the clarity and luminosity of your fair skin. Dusted on the lids and dabbed into the inner corners of the eyes, a shimmering champagne highlighter gives fair-skinned brunettes a soft glow that’s especially sexy in low-lit clubs or restaurants. To give your jewel-toned look some staying power, stick with powder shadows instead of creams.

Earthy Elegance

Channel your inner earth goddess with sexy, nature-inspired neutrals. On fair skin, cooler-toned earth hues look sleek and subtly luminous -- polished enough for work or school, pretty enough for a casual date. Try forest green or slate for a slight smoky effect, or complement your brunette mane with soft silvery-browns such as cool mocha, iced cappuccino or mushroom. Earth-toned shadows look best in rich, velvety textures without any glitter.

Sultry Smoky Eyes

When you need a bombshell beauty look, you can't go wrong with smoky eyes. Sooty black shadow may look to-die-for sexy on the Gucci catwalk, but in real life, black shadow is too harsh for a fair-skinned beauty such as yourself. Instead, opt for deep, velvety shadows in navy blue, dusky violet, deep plum or classic aubergine. With a little blending and smudging, these shades are just as smokin’ hot as black. To give your smoky-eyed look extra depth and dimension, layer matte and shimmer shadows or pair powder shadow with cream eyeliner.

Precious Metals

Smolder and sparkle at the same time with gleaming metallic eye shadow, a party-perfect runway trend you’ve just got to start rocking for yourself. Metallic makeup adds warmth to fair skin and brings out the richness in brown hair. Shades of dark pewter, soft bronze or antiqued gold complement your coloring perfectly. For the sultriest metallic look, opt for a cream shadow instead of powder. Metallic powders tend to crease and can highlight any little imperfections around the eyes – but iridescent cream shadows gives lids a lusciously dewy glow.

Lush Nudes

Opulent metallics and bold brights are all well and good, but sometimes a girl craves a softer, more natural look. Skip the sheer shadows and opt for creamier, opaque shades instead – thanks to your darker tresses, you can pull off more saturated nude hues. Look for nudes with just a hint of sheen or shimmer to brighten your fair skin. Try sparkling shades of cocoa, granite or creamy beige. For a trendy take on the luxed-up natural look, choose a nude shade with a subtle metallic finish, such as silvery taupe or golden pink.

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