Blue eye make-up is making a big comeback. Here’s what you need to know about the trend…
I’ve always been scared of blue. I have blue eyes so it should be a good match, but I’m a child of the 90s, when blue fell out of favour.
Having been THE liner, shadow and mascara shade of choice the decade before, by 1997 it was very much in the ‘parent palette’ as us youngsters sought a simpler, minimalist vibe. I couldn’t shake the associations with Princess Diana, Barbie and my Mum’s friends, who might pair a royal blue liner with a frosted pink lip, or Bourjois’ sky-blue shadow with big earrings and a perm. My generation was all about muted colours, natural eyes - Revlon Heather Shimmer Lipstick, MAC’s bestselling Spice, Bobbi Brown neutrals – blue just didn’t fit.
For me, it’s a tricky colour because it always feels either too young or too old. Too young when it’s baby blue shadow daubed on like a child’s experiment with a Girl’s World palette, and too old when it recalls the blue rinse brigade and their lifelong commitment to a look that began in 1961. Blue does well in drag, befits a cartoon super villain and Jessica Rabbit, but it’s not for me.
Which is annoying because it suits all skin tones, sitting comfortably on cool skin, and really popping on warm. But, still… naff, right?
Perhaps not anymore.
The AW18 shows have me rethinking my ban on blue, thanks to some persuasive riffs on texture and positioning that feel modern. And in a season where we saw a vivid palette of fuchsia, scarlet, yellow and lime green on eyes, blue is the gateway to these poster paint shades, but without the possible mis-diagnosis of pink eye or liver disease. Within this spectrum of colour, blue’s practically a neutral. So why not enjoy a slice of the big blue yourself? Here’s how…
At Dries van Noten, make-up artist Peter Phillips dosed the lashes with thick layers of Dior’s new Diorshow Pump’n’Volume mascara in Blue Pump 260, £27, which thankfully comes out a little darker off the runway. The chunkiness of the lashes, and the fact that the face was otherwise bare lent a fresh feel to the shade, and is the first pointer to making blue work – ditch lipstick and blush, make the eyes the sole statement. And FYI – it’s the easiest of the blue looks, and an instant face-changer: I have never received so many compliments for my standard black mascara. Simply layer up the mascara, combing out between layers, no pro skills required.
At Ferragamo, make-up artist Lucia Pieroni used MAC Chromaline in Hi-Def Cyan, £17, to cover the lid, following the shape of the eye. She then painted MAC Chromacake in Cyan, £22.50, onto the lashes, instead of mascara. It takes a little more skill and isn’t your average day-at-the-office look, but you can swap the Chromacake with black mascara and keep the colour close to the lashline for an easy nod to the trend.
Equally painterly, the look at Prada by Pat McGrath was an elaborate slash of parallel cat-eye flicks, topped with Swarovski crystals. It’s a showpiece for her upcoming Mothership Eye Palettes, but take away the sparkly bits and the blue lines are mesmerizing.
Elsewhere, less intense (but still impactful) was the icy pastel blue shadow at Marni, blended as a cool wash over the lids with a slice of bare skin below the eyebrow to stop it looking dated. All three looks work better with a crayon - like Crayola Face Crayon in Periwinkle, £9 – than a shadow, for a cleaner shape.
If liner is more your vibe, Elie Saab updated Princess Di’s signature look by keeping it to the lower lashline, under a burnt-copper lid. It’s sophisticated and the two colours together make for a popping pair. On olive skin especially, this would soften even the most ardent blue-phobic.
At Dior, Peter Phillips used negative space to freshen up a navy liner - Diorshow On Stage Liner in 296 Matte Blue, £26 – drawing thick, round lines along the lashline but leaving the waterline and corners free to stop it looking too old Hollywood. It’s so cool, and annoyingly, it’s a struggle to pull it off. But a compromise of following the lower lashline with the navy liner and a coat of mascara on top works better IRL.