We’re always coming across tips for how to play up blue and brown eyes — but not so much for green eyes. There might be a good reason for that: Some stats say that only 2 percent of the world’s population actually have green eyes. But just because green eyes are the rarest doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a little attention. We dug up some makeup tips and tricks that will bring out that beautiful color.
1. Work with some purples
Purple and green are on the opposite sides of the color wheel, so when you smoke out your lids with some purple shadow, the green part of your eye really pops in contrast.
“Purple is one of my favorites for green eyes,” celeb makeup artist Renee Garnes told Glamour. “I love to smudge a purple pencil around the eyes, then top it with a [purple] shadow that is in the same color range and blend it for a bit of drama.”
2. Go warm
Purple isn’t the only color you should layer on for green eyes. Warm colors in general will also help bring out your best feature according to SheKnows beauty expert Nina Sutton.
“Gold and copper are great for highlighting green eyes,” Sutton advises. “A general rule of thumb for green eyes is to choose warm shades vs. cooler shades.”
3. Play up your cheeks
Just like warm eye shadow hues will bring attention to your eyes, a pop of blush can have the same impact — and a nice warm peach or pink is your best bet.
Nars actually has a whole Orgasm collection that has the perfect peach to bring out the green in your eyes.
4. Line those puppies
Red is another color on the wheel that complements green nicely, so choose a liner that has a bit of a red undertone. Just like with shadow, purples work here too!
“Garnet, amethyst, and bronze are particularly dazzling on green eyes,” Charlotte Tilbury, creator of Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencils, told Allure.
But those colors can also make you look tired, Allure notes, especially if they are too pink. Lining the lid in black first helps.
Speaking of black liner, we’ve seen a lot of tips which suggest that black liner is too overpowering and can wash out green eyes — but we find a hard black line just brings them out even more! For a softer look, try a warm brown pencil.
Experiment and find what works best for you.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.
Originally published February 2011. Updated March 2017.