Spotted in selfies all over Instagram, retro blue eyeshadow – yes, the kind once adored by Christina Aguilera and Cameron Diaz – is having a resurgence. But does it work in 2019? The Stylist beauty team try it out.
There’s a very prominent theme flowing through many of the pictures saved in my Instagram archive right now and I’ll be honest, it’s a beauty trend I never saw coming: baby blue eyeshadow.
Once the domain of 90s soap icons (shout out to Pat Butcher) and then adopted by 00s popstars (Xtina undoubtedly wore it best), somewhere along the way it fell into disuse. Quickly, it became considered retro or a little bit passé, especially up against the kind of ‘modern’, earthy tones that are still buffed into eyelids up and down the country on a daily basis.
But lately, I’ve found myself saving numerous Insta selfies from celebrities, models and beauty influencers, that feature this underdog of the eyeshadow world.
And I can see why it’s making a comeback. There’s just something about the baby blue that feels light, airy and cloud-like, especially when applied in a wishy-washy veil over the eye socket or even when it’s packed down into a block pastel arc with a dense, short-bristled brush. It looks especially modern when you forgo mascara completely, too.
But could this makeup trend work off social media? How do you wear baby blue eyeshadow in the real world? I was sure as hell going to find out.
I recruited two of my fellow Stylist beauty teammates to give baby blue eyeshadow a go. Below, you’ll find our selfies alongside our honest thoughts on the trend. Could it be time to channel your inner Aguilera? Or Butcher, of course. You do you.
The cerulean blue
Shannon Peter, beauty director
I love an unusual eyeshadow trend – I’ve had dirty khaki green and pastel lilac on rotation all summer. The more insipid, the better, if you ask me. Here, I’m wearing Nars’s Baby Jane shade (£17), which was perhaps a touch too cyan to fit the but I can’t deny, I loved it. It’s way more fun than a safe taupe, right?
The sky blue
Ava Welsing-Kitcher, junior beauty writer
Usually the words “baby blue” in relation to make-up put me right off, and I always ignore the chalky hue that somehow always ends up in most eyeshadow palettes. To my surprise, I’m actually loving this cool airy shade by Dior (£27.50). Paired with inky black mascara, slight spider lashes and nude eyeliner in the waterline, it’s like 2019’s version of Twiggy eyes. I’ll definitely be trying it again.
The cornflower blue
Hanna Ibraheem, beauty writer
A mere mention of this trends prompts memories of Miss Sporty, skirts over hipsters and oversized scrunchies. While the latter has made a recent comeback, I wasn’t too sure whether a dusting of baby blue on my eyelids could stand the test of time. But once I patted on a layer of NYX’s Vivid Brights Crème Colour in Blueprint (£9), I didn’t hate it. The pastel hue looked pretty and ethereal and popped against my dark brown eyes.
Images: Tabatha Fireman/BFC/Getty Images for BFC / courtesy of brands.
These tips originally appeared in Stylist’s weekly Stylist Loves Beauty email. Subscribe for more insider beauty recommendations direct to your inbox.