Once the girls of Chanel’s spring 2016 collection marched out as pastel bandits it had been decided. Blue eyeshadow is back, and there is no getting round it. You may have already heard several complaints about this trend. It’s understandable. It is a tricky thing to pull off a colour mostly seen in children’s play makeup-sets. But somehow, we can’t get enough. From its frequent use in the form of pastel lids with perfect liner on chirpy women in the 50s, on quirky girls in the 60s, and on natural but funky ladies of the 70s, it features even more hardcore in the decade we shall not mention (80s). Note that this is when most people who I have heard declare this trend “dead to them” grew up. And yet still, it crops up again in the 90s (
I was a lilac-lidded 11 year old back then) before finally seeming to lay to rest for the noughties.
Blue eyeshadow has been around the block more than a few times. It’s no wonder people find it hard to swallow, but clearly we can’t let go. One make up artist on the news recommended the more daring to try the full on bandit look, and while I am all for experimenting I couldn’t help but think there must be a way to make this shade “wearable” today. I had to investigate!
I hadn’t really set out to buy a blue eyeshadow, but I happened to have a voucher for Swedish shop Lindex. I spotted this iridescent blue shade (28 Tropical Blue) while looking at their newly released make up line which I had wanted to try out. Two birds one stone, plus it was basically free so if it turned out to be horrendously unwearable there would be no major loss.
Tropical Blue is a light denim shade with a lovely metallic sheen which can be blended out nicely. Here I have applied it wet and dry.
First of all I wanted to focus solely on a stroke of blue, rather than the full-lid experience of previous decades. I built up the colour softly over a light layer of Too Face Shadow Insurance for stability, creating an opaque base with a blended crease to avoid harsh cartoony lines.
Blue is opposite orange on the colour wheel, so the shade really warmed up my brown eyes. I kept my brows defined but natural with some tinted brow gel, added a touch of mascara, a neutral toned lipgloss and a slightly rosy blush. My foundation is my favourite Bourjouis Healthy Mix Serum in the shade Vanilla Claire.
I ended up removing the gloss as it felt like it was veering towards the 90s in a bad way and I definitely prefer it with natural lips. So far so good, although it still felt like a look for a special occasion. Could I make this colour work for say, an office environment?
Cue mattifying neutrals! I am a basic bitch and love my Urban Decay Naked Basic Palette. It’s great if you want a range of these types of matte nudes. Here I have used the shade Naked 2 around the crease line and from the edge towards the middle of the lid to tone down the blue. I really love how this turned out, creating a really subtle shimmer. (I could admittedly have blended a bit better though)
But enough blue to make my eye colour pop!
I think I achieved the impossible. An actually modern yet wearable day time look using the dreaded blue eyeshadow. Last summer I did an electric blue cat eye if you are interested in a brighter take on blue. Now I don’t think there is one recipe for everybody, and I definitely am not claiming that day time looks have to be subtle. I see this as an approachable look for most people, especially those not willing to go full-on Chanel bandit for their commute. That said, I may have to try it someday…
What is your take on blue eyeshadow?
Yay or nay?