Why is it that some people’s blue eyes are so mesmerizing? When circumstances are right, or people know how to apply eye makeup, blue eye color can really pop and grab your attention in a pleasing, natural way. Conversely, blue eyes seem to inspire some of the worst adventures in eye makeup—color explosions with eyeshadow and liner that completely overpower the wearer’s gentle and unique iris color are often used. And in other cases, when no attempt at eye makeup application has been made, blue eyes can appear slightly “off” and unhealthy—as if the person’s proper eye color were fading or draining away. If you have a hard time creating eye makeup looks appropriate for your features, you may be wondering what color of eyeshadow to use. Learning how to apply eye make is only half the battle. You first need to choose the best eye makeup for blue eyes.
The key to boosting the beauty of one’s blue eyes is not hard if you know how to put it on well and what color to use. Getting your blue eye color to pop is more of a matter of making sure your eyes are framed properly and not obscured by aggressive shadow color. You’ll need to choose and apply the correct brow, liner and shadow. Consider how our most recognized blue-eyed celebrities—like Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra—are often male. You know they weren’t out there purchasing and applying gobs of product.
The trick to finding the best eye makeup for blue eyes that all sophisticated makeup artists understand is that a strong eyebrow, an enhanced lash line and a subtle color palette is all that’s really needed in order to bring out the magic. There is no one-size-fits-all kit that will serve the color range of blue hues, nor do the classic rules for blues (no black mascara, for example) bear much weight with the pros. Depending on your skin tone and texture, plus the shape of your eye, you’re going to have different products that complement you. (Blue eyes, though most frequently found in people with Western and Northern European ancestry, also appear in Asia, India and parts of Africa.) When finding the best makeup for blue eyes, make sure you consider all the other elements that affect your eye color.
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll have to gain some awareness of the undertones in your skin color before choosing eye make up for blue eyes. (Your skin color can vary from red to yellow to blue.) The effects of your eye shadows will vary depending on these tones. It’s also important to know if your skin tends to be dry or oily and adjust your makeup products accordingly. You can buy the best eyeshadow in the world but it won’t serve you well if it’s caking up as a result of dry skin or smearing away because you have oily skin. As the ancient Greek aphorism famously proclaims: “Know Thyself.”
When learning how to make blue eyes stand out, there are many ingredients to consider. You can use these eye make up tips to make your baby blues pop.
Consider the Eyebrow
One of your first concerns when hoping to strengthen the appearance of blue eyes should be the curve and tint of your eyebrows. Veteran Seattle makeup artist Stacya Silverman, who has tended to the faces of such luminaries as Bill Gates and Kevin Bacon, says a well-shaped, well-colored eyebrow “almost eliminates the need for makeup.” Yet too often, she says, many light-haired light-eyed women will make sure their eyelashes have added color but neglect their eyebrows. “I see so many people with really blue eyes and no eyebrow color at all!” Silverman says.
In her work, Silverman likes to apply a rich brown semi-permanent tint so that her clients’ eyebrows are firmly visible at all times. For those women who may not have access to professional tinting services, Silverman recommends that women purchase eyebrow powder and make applying a brow color a daily practice. For eyebrow color, Silverman insists on brown. “Sharon Stone is the only woman who can successfully pull off that blond hair-black eyebrow look,” she says. “When most other people try it, black eyebrows look terrible.”
Mascara and Liner - Brown or Black?
For decades, one of the popular makeup tips for blue-eyed women has been to stay away from black mascara and use brown instead. Silverman doesn’t agree with this rule for mascara color; she thinks brown mascara is unsatisfying. “Black mascara is so much more powerful than brown,” she says. “Even if you’re blond, I say if you like black, wear black,” she says. “You can tell [that blonds] have something on their eyelashes anyhow, so why not wear the best?” Silverman’s decadent mascara choice is the Armani brand.
Lashes get a further boost from good eyeliners. (Silverman likes the liquid gels.) For daytime wear, Silverman thinks it’s best for light-eyed folks to stick to eyeliner color that isn’t pure black. “There are so many beautiful deep browns and charcoal browns on the market right now,” she says. “Things like ‘Caviar’ color by Bobbi Brown. It’s so rich and beautiful—it’s stunning.” Learning how to apply make up around the eyes can be difficult—especially when it comes to liquid eyeliner. She advocates a thin application of liner for a natural look and a thicker, winged line for something more dramatic.
If you’re like many women, you may be lost when it comes to knowing what color of eyeshadow complements your features best. Finding magical, unique eyeshadow colors can be satisfying, but it’s the natural colors that generally serve blue-eyed people the best. Much has been made in recent years of the fact that blue’s complementary color is orange, and you’ll find that even the proponents of a “natural” look will rave about the miracles of the orange-brown hues (peach, gold, light copper, etc.) These can be some of the best colors of eyeshadow for blue eyes.
However, there’s no magic recipe when finding the perfect color of eye shadow makeup for blue eyes. You’re going to have to sample shadows against your own baby blues to find the best makeup for your skin tone and eyes. Few people have pure blue eyes. Many people have blue-green or blue-gray eyes. If you veer towards a green color, then consider applying eye makeup in pinker tones to boost the blue aspect. One stylist whose eyes are a deep blue-grey swears that a color such as a dark green shadow boosts the blue in her eyes.
Stacya Silverman offers some tips when women ask her what color of eyeshadow to use. She reminds them to take a look at the color of the flecks in their eyes when choosing make-up for blue eyes. Some blue-eyed folks have a lot of gold in their irises, which can be played up by applying eye make up with shimmery gold highlights. (Older women should beware of applying eye makeup colors that shimmer because according to Silverman, the glimmers can end up lodging in wrinkles and playing them up!)
Silverman’s eye makeup application regimen is the same regardless of color choices. When applying make up for blue eyes, start with a neutral light base color (vanilla, slightly pink, slightly coppery) and then use a darker natural color for contouring. Silverman says a color such as warm brown is a safe bet for all manners of blue-eyed women, but she’s also seen wonderful effects with dark charcoal and deep eggplant colored makeup.
When learning how to put on makeup, make sure you pay attention to your eye shape. It predicts the success of all shadow contouring, so be sure to look at application techniques that take into account whether your eyes are small, protruding or wide set. How you apply the color varies depending on eye shape and you want to highlight your eyes appropriately.
In addition to the eye make up, you should also pay attention to clothes and accessories worn close to your face. Don’t forget to play with your wardrobe colors. Any time that people compliment you on your eye color, make a note of the clothing colors you were wearing (hats, tops, jackets, etc). Although the color of eyeshadows and liners are important, also take into consideration the colors you’re wearing close to the face. Clothing color has the power to pop and influence eye color very strongly.
What About Drama?
Although the best eye makeup for blue eyes is something natural looking, you may be wondering what to do when you’ve got an itch to try a bevy of brightly colored shadows and lash colors. How does one override that seminal little girl’s notion that the essence of all eye makeup is a bright and sparkly blue eye shadow? Must one always keep things like eye shadow on the down low?
The answer is no, absolutely not. There is a time and place for all things wild—including crazy colors and styles of eye makeup. You don’t want to cloak your natural beauty in the process. The eye makeup tips in this article will help you dress the color of your blue eyes in something beautiful. When combining blue eyes and makeup, go for broke with some fabulous false eyelashes, glittery cheek powder and a rich red color of lipstick. You’ll look great, and your blue eyes will thank you.