I bet you never really thought you'd ever use a color wheel. They seemed like pointless little graphs in school. In makeup it's basically defined by the color wheel. So much relies on in. I didn't think much about this until I was watching Samantha from Batalash's eye shadow basics video, where she talks about using a color wheel to get inspiration for eye looks. Then as I thought about it I realized how much I used a color wheel without even thinking about it. You need to know what compliments other colors or cancels other colors out.
So in terms of eye shadow the colors that are opposite each other are the ones that will "compliment" each other or "make the other stand out more". The ones beside each other are those that will blend better.
In short there are two ways I use a color wheel: to correct things like dark circles, and redness. The other way is to see what colors are going to make others "pop" and what colors will blend easily into each other with eye shadows.
So lets talk shadow. All the looks above are looks that use colors that are on the opposite side of each other, and one that is colors that are beside each other or in the same color family. So the top left is a yellow green with blue, and orange in the crease. Which are all on the opposite sides of each other. The top right is using two colors to blend that are beside each other which were purple and pink and then a pop of really bright orange-ish yellow which is across from those. So the crease is easy to blend because the colors are close to one another in tone but you still get that pop of color in the center where you used your opposite shade. The bottom left is colors that blend easily. Which gives you a "gradient effect" with eye shadow. That one fades from orange to a pink, like an ombre effect. The last one, bottom right, is one of my all time favorite combinations. I love doing it. It's beautiful. A cool toned purple with a soft peach. You can go as soft or as bright as you want, this in particular is a very light shiny peach color on the inner corner so it looks extra pale. The purple goes from lighter to dark. The crease is a darker peach to really make that purple stand out. This is one of the prettiest combinations I think there is actually.
Next is "color correcting". Which I'm sure you've heard of. I actually use this every day. I use a peach corrector under my eyes to cancel out purple tones. You can also use peach shades to correct veins or sunspots. I use a yellow toned concealer to help cancel out the blue under my eyes. Yellow concealer will blend in easier with my foundation as well. I use yellow based foundations to cancel out pink in my skin (not redness just a pink undertone). Even though it's not directly opposite on the chart, I find that pink (lighter pinks) are better canceled out with yellow tones and yellow is very brightening. If you have redness, like full blown redness, then green correctors are your friend. You don't have to use tons of colored concealer though. Smashbox has color correcting primers in green and peach colors. Blue correctors brightens light skin, Pink and Yellow brightens light to medium skin (depending on your undertone in your skin), Peach brightens medium to tan skin, and Caramel brightens darker complexions. Makeup Forever also has a good selection of primers as well and I think NYX does as well. I'm sure there are color correcting bb creams but I've never used any color correcting bb creams though. LA Girl and NYX have nice color correcting concealers that are affordable and work really well.
So that's it. I hope I explained it in a way that you could understand it. Even while I was typing this out I was thinking "how do I put this into words and make sense?" lol. Anyway, inspect your skin and if you have some issues like uneven skin tone, dark areas, or redness, perhaps try a concealer or primer to see if that helps you. Keep in mind your foundation is going to cover any corrector you put on your face so you're not going to have a "green" cast or look "orange" from a primer or correcting concealer. Feel free to experiment, it's just makeup and it washes off.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.