Can an eyeshadow really make your eye colour more intense? Stylist investigate

Charlotte Tilbury’s newest launch reckons it can make blue eyes bluer, green eyes greener, brown eyes… well, you get the picture. But, does it actually stand true to its promise? The Stylist beauty desk puts it to the test.

I usually take big, bold beauty claims with a pinch of salt. Read between the lines, and you’ll soon realise that the mind-blowing promise plastered over the bottle isn’t so solid after all, featuring caveats like you need to use it five times a day for the rest of eternity to see results, or it’ll make skin LOOK smoother, more even etc, but on closer inspection, nothing will have changed at all.

But when Charlotte Tilbury’s latest launch hit my desk — a collection of eyeshadow palettes and eyeliners named Eye Colour Magic — its accompanying claim was so simple and straightforward, that it really piqued my interest.

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So, I bet you’re wondering just what this miraculous make-up can do, right? Well — and please don’t expect anything earth-shatteringly life-changing here — it can quite simply make your eye colour look more intense. Nice. Easy. Realistic. Yep, I’m into it. 


There are four colourways that rely on simplistic colour science to work, and each comes in a four-shade eyeshadow palette and dual-ended eyeliner pencil. 

Mesmerising Maroon features plummy, burgundy shades to make green eyes greener. Copper Charge contains golden and bronze hues to make blue eyes bluer. Super Blue builds the intensity of brown eyes, and Green Lights is full of khaki and forest green shades to make hazel eyes… no, not more hazel… GOLD, apparently. Each palette costs £40, and each pencil costs £21.

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The best part is, this is one claim we don’t need months and months to put to the test. So I tasked two fellow Stylist beauty desk-ers to try out their appropriate shade. Will it turn beauty editor Lucy’s brown eyes the shade of shiny conkers? Will it tint beauty intern Eloise’s blue eyes into the colour of a crystal clear Mexican cenote? Will I emerge from the bathroom with eyes the colour of a Cotswold meadow? Let’s find out. 

Can an eyeshadow make green eyes pop?


The tester: Shannon Peter, beauty director
The eye colour: Green
The palette and pencil: Mesmerising Maroon

I say: “What kind of make-up sorcery is this? Although I have green eyes, they never look that green. If I were to liken the shade to a herb (and why wouldn’t I?) they’re more sage than the punchy basil green I’d like.

“I lined the upper water line with the matte end of the Mesmerising Maroon pencil, and used the metallic end (which is a rose gold colour) on the bottom. Then I twizzled my brush into two of the shimmery eye shadow shade and swished this over my eyelids — I’ve never been particularly good at cut-creases and meticulous blending.

“Of course it helps that I’m framed by a disobedient cheese plant and half-green walls, but I’ve got to say — it really, really works. My eyes look way greener and a bit more sparkly too. I’m sold.”


Can an eyeshadow make blue eyes pop?


The tester: Eloise Hall, beauty intern
The eye colour: Blue
The palette and pencil: Copper Charge

Eloise says: “At first glance I was hesitant that these colours would make my eye colour more intense. I’m used to using gold shadows, but had never thought before about whether these have an effect on my eye colour.

“After applying the eyeshadow, in the order directed by the palette, I began to notice my eyes slowly becoming brighter. I think the burgundy shades compliment the golds so beautifully, the combination working like a powerful duo.

“The real difference came from the eyeliner, as I created a small wing with the matte end and lined the water line with the metallic end. This definitely made my blue eyes more intense, and instantly other people noticed how bright my eyes appeared, too.

“My only criticism is that, I wish there was a lighter transition shade, like a light brown colour, to apply to the crease of the eye to make it easier to blend the shimmer shades.”


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Can an eyeshadow make brown eyes pop?


The tester: Lucy Partington, beauty editor
The eye colour: Brown
The palette and pencil: Super Blue

Lucy says: “My brown eyes aren’t something that ever really get compliments — I feel like they’re an alright-kind-of-colour but they don’t especially stand out as much as blue or green eyes so I was excited about the prospect of amping them up. 

“I followed the video on Charlotte Tilbury’s website and started by lining my upper lid with the bright metallic blue crayon, and then I used all four shades in the palette. I blended both gold shades all over my lids and then smoked the matte blue shade — which was much darker than I thought it would be — up and out. I finished with a pop of metallic blue in the middle. 

“I won’t lie, I don’t think my eyes looked any brighter or more intense than before, but my make-up-obsessed friend did notice a slight difference, which I’ll take as a win. If nothing else this is the perfect excuse to play with colour and for that alone, I’m into it.”


So, the verdict is in. Turns out, switching your eyeshadow shade really can amp up your eye colour, although seemingly, it works better the lighter your natural eye colour is. Bravo, Charlotte Tilbury.

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Images: courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury