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12 Colorful Shadow Looks so Good, You’ll Forget All About Your Neutral Palettes

@ericabmccleskey / Instagram

If you’re anything like us, your Instagram bookmarks are a nonstop scroll of colorful eyeshadow looks from red carpets and bedazzled, Euphoria-inspired makeup tutorials. Here’s the dilemma: You love them (you really do!), but have exactly zero clues on where to begin. Well, it’s time to step outside that no-makeup makeup comfort zone and get adventurous with your eyeshadow looks.

In a world where self-expression knows no bounds, colorful eyeshadow has become the go-to weapon in every beauty enthusiast's arsenal. Whether you're looking to add a playful touch to your everyday glam or make a bold statement for a special occasion, the possibilities are endless. Get ready to dive headfirst into a world of vivid pigments, stunning gradients, and eye-catching combinations. We'll guide you through the top colorful eyeshadow looks to ensure your eyes become a canvas for pure magic.

1. Sunset Lids

Close-up of a young woman's glittery pink and orange eyeshadow makeup look
@ericabmccleskey / Instagram

Step into a world where boldness knows no bounds, and vibrant shades take center stage. This vivid pink and orange eyeshadow look from @ericabmccleskey is all about making a statement, unleashing your inner confidence, and having a blast while doing it. This poppy combination is like a party in a color palette and is guaranteed to make heads turn.

2. Abstract Expression

Close-up of a young woman's colorful bold and graphic eye makeup look
@cakedfaceash / Instagram

Are you ready to go bold, bright, and beyond with your eyeshadow game? Then try a graphic colorful eyeshadow look that will take your creativity to the next level! This artistic and edgy style from @cakedfaceash plays with swooping shapes, striking colors, and fearless flair. Think of it as a canvas for your imagination, where the sky's the limit and the possibilities are endless.

3. Lavender Gaze

Close-up of a model posing and rocking a hazy lavender eye makeup look embellished with rhinestones

The soft, ethereal haze of color creates a mesmerizing effect. But it doesn’t stop there! This look goes next-level by adding a touch of sparkle with a row of dazzling rhinestones under the brow bone. It's like a fairytale come to life, where whimsy meets elegance in the most enchanting way possible. With this pastel lilac and rhinestone accent, your eyes will shine like stardust and capture the attention of everyone around you.

4. Purple Reign

Christopher J rocking a purple eyeshadow makeup look and glossy nude lips
@christopherjmua / Instagram

This captivating look from @christopherjmua is the epitome of seduction, with deep, rich purples blending seamlessly to create a mesmerizing gradient of color. With a touch of smokiness and a whole lot of attitude, you'll exude confidence and undeniable magnetism. Ignite the night with this enchanting purple smoky eye and let your eyes speak volumes without uttering a single word. Learn out how to recreate this look here.

5. Verdant Vs

Close-up of a model rocking a bold green eyeliner makeup look and covering half of her face with her hands

It's time to push the boundaries and defy convention with a negative space graphic green eyeliner look that will make you the ultimate trendsetter. Ditch the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary as you create a statement that's as bold and fearless as you are. This edgy style plays with the power of green lines against bare skin, leaving space for imagination and self-expression. Step into the spotlight and let your eyes do the talking with this game-changing green eyeliner look that screams individuality.

6. Shade Stacks

Close-up of a model with metallic teal and pink eye makeup look

This color combo is like a cosmic collision of hues, where the vibrant teal takes center stage on the top lid and the metallic pink creates a captivating contrast along the lower lash line. It's a playfully bold and subtle glamorous style that effortlessly combines the best of both worlds. Picture yourself with eyes that glisten and glow, as the metallic finishes reflect light and create a stunning multi-dimensional effect.

7. Teal Appeal

Close-up of a model rocking a bold metallic teal eye makeup look

Teal eyeshadow is like the edgier cousin to mint green (a spring fave) and the highly saturated effect delivers a major statement. Plus, paired with a perfectly sharp matte black winged eyeliner, it's a match made in makeup heaven. To get the same effect at home, don’t be afraid to pack on the pigmentation. Start with a cream eyeshadow, the layer on a matching power until you get the full intensity.

8. Think Pink

Close-up of a woman showing off her pink eyemakeup look paired with nude lips
@itslexisbeauty / Instagram

This look (from creator @itslexisbeauty) is like a cotton candy dream, where delicate shades of pink blend together to create a smoky haze of irresistible allure. It's the perfect balance between innocence and elevated. With a coordinating pink flush on the cheeks and a glossy pink lip, you’ll embrace the power of pink and create a smoky eye that's oh-so-pretty and oh-so-irresistible.

9. Fuchsia Halo

Close-up of a model posing with her pink and orange eye makeup look

With this colorblocked masterpiece, you'll be the life of the party, the center of attention, and the reason everyone's feeling some serious makeup FOMO. Unlike traditional gradient eyeshadow looks, this pink and orange moment turns the color shift sideways, literally. Focus the hot pink shade on your inner and outer corners, then pat a bold golden yellow shade right in the center of your lids. With a clean shadow brush, (very!) softy blend the edges where the colors meet, but don’t be afraid to keep them sharper than you’re used to. That’s how you get the colorblocked effect.

10. Marble Mania

Close-up of a woman's colorful and graphic marbled eye makeup look
@leidysvmakeup / Instagram

We love a marbled moment, as seen by the Glam Bag designs from February, and @leidysvmakeup is right there with us. She created this colorful swirly makeup inspired by our Glam Bags, and we couldn’t be more flattered. The hazy blend of orange, pink, and red make the perfect canvas for her flourished liner accents and iridescent blue glitter so good, we wish we had thought of it.

11. Rainbow Waves

Close-up of a beautiful woman's rainbow eyeshadow makeup look with graphic white eyeliner
@skia_makeup / Instagram

@skia_makeup created a makeup moment so bright, it can be seen from outer space (seriously, astronauts might mistake these rainbow waves for a celestial body). We’re obsessed with the effortless way she was able to fit the entire ROYGBIV on each lid and blend them into a seamless swatch of color. And the contrast of a stark white cut crease is pure perfection.

12. Harmonizing Hues

Close-up of a beautiful woman with orange and green eye makeup look applying lip gloss on her lips
@mire.beauty / Instagram

We’ll be the first to admit that we typically shy away from an orange and green color combo because it usually leans more trick-or-treat and less trendy, but @mire.beauty has us rethinking everything. Her choice of a coral orange shade over her lids and a minty green along the lower lash lines is the absolute furthest thing from Halloween makeup.

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About the author
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Maddie Aberman
Maddie is the senior manager of editorial at IPSY. She’s been covering beauty and wellness for more than nine years. Her work has appeared in Allure, Cosmopolitan, Popsugar, Women's Health, Good Housekeeping, and Seventeen, among other publications.
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Article Last Updated May 31, 2023 12:00 AM