Using Eyeshadow and Eyeliner to Enhance Your Eye Color - Does Cover Girl Get It Right?

BlogHer Original Post

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Cover Girl.

I was skeptical when Cover Girl offered to let me to try their new Exact Eyelights Shadow and liner collection - it’s an eye makeup kit that promises to brighten your eyes. “Eye-brightening” is quite a claim to make, so just I had to try it out on my very very brown eyes. Did the product deliver?

First impression: The eyeshadow comes with a real, honest-to-goodness brush. I’m not a fan of those sponge applicators (though the package also includes one) and I thought that including the brush was a nice touch.

Application: The colors in the brown palette are very neutral and tasteful - a  light base for the lid, a coppery gold for the inside of the eye (I’ve said it before, gold is a neutral for brown-eyed girls), a grey for the crease and a darker grey to outline the eye. I was a little confused by the grey - I never would have thought to use grey shadow to enhance my brown eyes, since most magazines recommend using blue or some other obviously contrasting color.

The application instructions were easy to follow and I applied a generous amount of grey to the crease of my eyes. I skipped using the darker grey as a liner for two reasons: One, I had a perfectly good eyeliner pencil to try and, two, black-grey powder would just accentuate the dark circles under my eyes.

(The liner is nice - basically a black liner, not much to say there.)

The verdict: The result is perfectly pretty and tasteful. I was surprised at how pretty the grey shadow looked with my brown eyes. It’s not a dramatic effect at all - but since I don’t spend my days getting photographed for the cover of Allure, a pretty, subtle look fits my needs perfectly. I don’t think the product lives up to the eye-brightening claim, but I think it’s perfect for brown-eyed women looking for fool-proof color.

Now, I became curious about the other kits, so I asked other bloggers to try out the kits on their blue, green and hazel eyes. Here’s what they thought:


Blue-eyed beauty Kristen, from Jeez-o-petes, reports:

My first thought was, "Wow, these colors are really bright. Also really pretty, but subtle? Not at all." My compact has a bright teal green for the crease and a bright dark blue for the lash line. I applied as suggested, and it looks good, although, honestly, my eyes don't really look any more blue than normal -- I have better luck in that area when I go with bronze and brown. My eyes are kind of a bluish green to begin with, and eyeshadow can push them either way, but if anything, they seemed darker and more greenish after this.

However, I truly like the colors and will keep using them, just maybe not exactly as they recommend.


Jeanne from Periodic Style tried the Hazel eyes kit and had this to say:

I'd say my hazel eyes are on the tawny side -- sort of a golden
olive-green. So when I tend to choose eyeshadows, I tend to play up the
green more than the actual hazel quality, thus I have a lot of pinks and
purples and golds in my eyeshadow arsenal. It was a little refreshing to
see that the Hazel eye shadow palette didn't have a pink or a purple in
there (I've had to ask make-up counter girls to please not instinctively
reach for the purple, and could we try something else please?). I'm not
sure that the cool mint green, the one non-neutral color in the palette,
is a color I would have picked up on my own.

I believe that any eyeshadow works with a good brush and a good primer;
the CoverGirl eyeshadow is a little lighter on the pigment than I'm used
to using, so I felt like I had to really pack it on to make it show up to
my liking. I tried using the brush that was included with the palette, but
ultimately found I had to give up and use a higher-quality brush. Still, I
like that they did include a bristle-brush instead of just the little
eyeshadow sponge-wand (which was also included).

I used the color suggestion they had on the packaging -- the lightest
shade as highlight, mint green for most of the lid, the medium brown shade
for the crease, and the dark brown as liner. While it looked all right, I
liked it best when I added the green eye pencil over the brown liner. I'm
not sure if it really brought out my eye color, since I like eyeshadows
that make my eyes greener (versus more gold), but it was a nice
nearly-neutral look that wouldn't be out of place in the office. I wore it
out to dinner and drinks, so it was a little tame for me there, but for
someone who wants something she can easily wear to work, it would be fine.

The eye pencil in Majestic Jade is my favorite piece of the set -- it's a
little bit greener than my eyes, but almost the same color. I really like
the soft consistency, the fact that it's a twist-up crayon liner versus a
pencil I have to sharpen, and the longevity. I wore it alone (no primer,
no shadow, not even mascara) through a long Saturday of ballet class,
shopping, the movies, and stomping all over the city, and it lasted all
day with minimal smudging or smearing. I'd definitely be interested in
taking a look at the other colors besides Majestic Jade (is there a plum?
Because that would be awesome).


Kelly of Mocha Momma tried the Exact Eyelights on her green eyes. Here’s her report:

The eyeliner is nice because it doesn't require a sharpener, but I have to go over the lid several times to get it as dark as I want (and I'm not usually heavy handed with the stuff) so that's a bit of a drawback. I like the shadow but NOT the way the package suggests. I tried it according to the instructions on the back and it looked like I had pink-eye. TOO much pink especially where they say to put it in the corner of your eye. It's just not a look I'd ever try again. Instead, I use the pinks as an above the brow bone color and it works. Clearly, the mixing of this shadow doesn't work well. This, by the way, is coming from a woman who has worked for YEARS on accentuating her eyes. They're my best feature and I've tried a lot of colors, brushes, application styles, etc...

Hmm, it seems that the answer to "does Cover Girl get it right?" is ... it depends. You have to play around with the colors in the kit to make them work for you. Of course, that's hardly surprising - the number one rule of makeup application is play with and experiment. 

What about you? What color are your eyes, and what color shadow works for you? I'd love to hear from you!

Roxanna loves being a brown-eyed girl. She blogs at Miguelina.


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