One of the most versatile makeup basics is the eyeshadow rule of thirds. Essentially, if you have a color gradient of three coordinated shades it will look good.
Having lighter colors toward the center of the face and darker colors toward the outside makes the eyes appear wider and brighter. Also, mascara and false lashes both show up better against a lighter background.
See the instructions here http://facearmor.tumblr.com/post/126850542126/eyeshadow-rule-of-thirds-use-a-bold-shade