Choosing the right colors are not always easy. There are also no rules anymore, but for most, it's easier to stick with a neutral palette.
Let's talk eyeshadow for eg. Always use phace eye and lip primer first, as your shadow will stay on longer and your colors will be more true to what you see in the palette.
Start with a neutral cream or beige all over the lid and then pick colors that are a shade darker each time. So, if you start with beige or cream, your next choice could be a light brown, or even a very light gold or light grey. You could place the second color all over again or just in the corners and possibly the crease. The key is to blend, blend, blend.
The third color, once again, goes a shade darker, could even be a different color choice like a bronze, but each time you add to the other colors, as long as you blend well, it will show a beautiful effect of layering, and they will show through each other.
Placement is dependent on the eye shape, size, wrinkles and technique, but for any eye look, blending and starting from light to dark is key.
And lastly, don't use a heavy hand when placing and blending a darker color, it will look muddy. Hold the brush almost at the tip, not close to the bristles, this prevents pushing hard on the lid. This is also why you don't just place a dark color first. It needs a layer or two (or three) underneath so it blends better.
Hope this was a helpful.
phace - The only makeup you will ever want.