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How To Do Natural Eye Makeup for Every Skin Tone

These flattering looks are anything but boring.
  • Beauty Magazine
June 06, 2024

While we love a bright pop of colorful eyeshadow or trendy foiled lids, natural eye makeup is what we find ourselves turning to most days. Earthy shades like taupe, chocolate, and bronze are versatile and can be used to create an array of natural eye makeup looks perfect for daytime. But the colors needed to create your look may vary from person to person: as with any other type of makeup, you’ll get the most flattering results if you opt for hues that complement your skin tone (and undertone).

Once you find the colors that work for you, creating a simple eyeshadow look that highlights your natural beauty takes hardly any time at all. If you need proof, keep scrolling—ahead, we’re sharing three natural eye makeup tutorials to complement every skin tone. Plus, we’ll clue you in on some of our favorite nude eye makeup products worth adding to your collection.

How To Do a Natural Eye Makeup Look

What qualifies as natural-looking eyeshadow depends primarily on your skin tone. For instance, if you have fair skin, you’ll want to use lighter shades like beige or sand for subtle dimension. Those with deeper skin, meanwhile, will get the most natural-looking results with richer chocolate and coffee shades. The finish also plays a role: for a natural look, you’ll typically want to steer clear of anything too glittery or matte and instead opt for products with satiny or soft shimmery finishes.

Once you find the neutral eyeshadow that works best for you, you can pair it with subtle lashes and eyeliner for definition. Ultimately, the goal with natural eye makeup is to use products that add dimension to your eyes without making it super obvious that you’re wearing eye makeup.

Below, we break down the specific colors and techniques to create a natural eye makeup look for every skin tone.

Natural Eye Makeup Tutorial for Light Skin

The best eyeshadows for light skin tend to be softer, neutral shades, like taupe, beige, and rose. Learn how to use these soft hues to create a natural eyeshadow look below.

Step 1. Prime your lids with concealer

Before you reach for your eyeshadow palette, prep your lids with concealer to help create a smooth canvas for the color. Apply a dab of the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Up to 24H Full Coverage onto your lids to help create an even base for your shadow application. If you have oily eyelids, consider using a mattifying eye makeup primer instead.

Step 2. Apply a nude eyeshadow

Grab the L’Oréal Paris Le Shadow Stick in Alluring Rose and rub the matte rosy hue shade all over your lid. Then, darken your crease with a medium brown shadow, like L’Oréal Paris Le Shadow Stick in Brown Bliss, for a hint of definition. To keep your eye makeup natural, avoid blending the shadow beyond the upper curve of your crease.

Step 3. Add a touch of shimmer

One of the easiest ways to create the appearance of wide-open eyes is to apply a shimmery eyeshadow to the center of your lid. You can use the L’Oréal Paris Le Shadow Stick in Twinkly Rose for this. Simply dab a bit of the shimmery champagne shade onto the middle of your lid (directly above your pupil) and blend with your finger to blur any harsh lines.

Step 4. Define your eyes with brown eyeliner

Black eyeliner can sometimes look too harsh if you’re going for a natural look (especially for those with fair skin). To keep things soft, follow up your eyeshadow application with a brown eyeliner like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in Brown Denim. The liner will help make your eyes pop without it looking like you're wearing a lot of makeup. We suggest keeping the eyeliner as close as you can to your upper lash line and leaving your lower lash line bare for a natural-looking finish.

Step 5. Finish with brown mascara

Finally, top off your brown eyeliner and eyeshadows with brown mascara. We recommend using the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Panorama Washable Mascara in Black Brown, as it features a multi-level bristle brush that evenly coats each lash for a voluminous, fanned-out look sans clumping or flaking.

Natural Eye Makeup Tutorial for Medium and Olive Skin

If you have medium or olive skin, follow this natural eye makeup tutorial to learn how to apply eye makeup that complements your skin tone.

Step 1. Start with eye primer

Before using eyeshadow, prime your lids with an eye primer or concealer to help create an even canvas for your shadow application. Try the L’Oréal Paris Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer in Medium/Deep, which allows for a precise application and blends easily without looking cakey.

Step 2. Apply a bronzy eyeshadow

If you’re looking for natural eyeshadow for olive skin, we suggest opting for golden or bronzy shades (the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Amber Rush is among our favorites). Use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to apply it all over the lids from your lash line to the crease, blending slightly past the crease for a natural-looking wash of color.

Step 3. Line your upper and lower lash lines

Once you have a solid base of color, it’s time to use eyeliner for a bit of definition. For medium and olive skin tones, a thin line of bronze eyeliner on the top and bottom lash line can really make your eyes pop. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Bronze to get the look. Again, we suggest keeping the liner as close to your lash line as possible to avoid overpowering your natural eye makeup look.

Step 4. Finish with mascara

While black can look bold on fair skin, those with medium and deeper skin tones can apply black mascara and still have it appear natural. Pick up a tube of the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara in Black and swipe on one coat for denser, fuller-looking lashes.

Natural Eye Makeup Tutorial for Dark to Deep Skin

When natural-looking makeup is your goal, the best eyeshadow for dark skin includes deep shades like chocolate, mahogany, and coffee. Ahead, learn how to use these warm hues to create a subtle (yet stunning) look.

Step 1. Prime your eyelids

Before you reach for your eyeshadow, you’ll want to prime your lids. Concealer works well for this, but you can also use a dark brown eyeliner, such as the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in Brown Denim, to create a base for the rest of your color application. To use, fill in your lid with the liner and use the built-in smudger to smudge the pigment and create a waterproof shadow base.

Step 2. Apply deep brown eyeshadow

Once your lids are primed, it’s time to move onto eyeshadow. A rich, chocolatey shade like the L’Oréal Paris Le Shadow Stick in Brown Bliss pairs beautifully with darker skin tones. Swipe the creamy shadow onto your entire lid, then blend softly with your finger to soften the edges.

Next, add a subtle hint of shimmer with the L’Oréal Paris Le Shadow Stick in Brown Abyss. We suggest applying the luminous hue to the center of your lids and the inner corner of your eye for a bit of brightness—just use a light hand to keep the end result natural.

Step 3. Draw a small wing

After your eyeshadow is complete, grab a liquid eyeliner like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner in Black to create a thin, barely-there wing at the outer corner of your eye. This will help create definition and accentuate your eye shape without distracting from your natural makeup look.

Step 4. Finish with mascara

Reach for your darkest mascara to emphasize your lashes and top off your natural eye makeup look. A few swipes of the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara in Blackest Black will add length and volume without a clumpy finish.

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