Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Blue Eye Shadows (and how to apply them)

My teal Laura Mercier eye shadow was only the beginning. Apparently, an obsession was born.

Deep blue, azure, sea blue, sea glass, sea green, indigo... These eye shadow colors say summer, vacation, the French Riviera. They make brown eyes pop and can almost guarantee a good mood when wearing them. Most brands have something to offer, some are new (Lancome Declaring Indigo has just launched), others have been around for a while (Sue Devitt had actually released her sea-themed palettes last fall).

Palettes that include a neutral color or two are the most practical to carry in your makeup bag, but since most of us own enough cream, taupe and sand eye shadows, a single in a rich, stunning blue might be the best choice (Nars Tropic and Urban Decay Electric Blue are prime candidates) for the "if you only get one" category.

When it comes to application of blue (or any bright colored eye shadow, really), good brushes are the key, because it's all about blending. Sure, the models in those pictures look stunning, but unless your name is Daria Werbowy, you're not supposed to show up to work like that. Here are the basic steps for a wearable blue eye shadow look:

1. Apply a light, neutral base color all over, from lid to brow (ivory, cream, beige, whatever. Bobbi Brown Navajo is a good option).

2. Using a crease brush, apply a taupe/ light brown/any other neutral that's just a bit darker than your natural skin tone to the lid and crease. Now blend them together (a blending brush is an essential tool) until everything is seamless.

3. Apply the blue shadow close to the lash line from the inner part outwards. Use a bit more in the outer corner and draw the line upwards, if desired. It all depends on the shape of your eye and lid.

4. The blending brush is your best friend. Blend a little more. Tip: I sometimes use a little more of the taupe or cream at this point to take some of the edge off. Be more daring at night, but for a daytime look you only need a little, just a pop of color that makes things interesting.

5. Have you blended enough?

Eyeliner tip: a very thin not-quite-black looks best here (applied as close to the lash line as humanly possible). Lancome Artliner in Smoke, Julie Hewett cream liner in Newsprint Bleu and Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel in Indigo Ink are my favorites. For a more subtle line you can also use a blue-black eye shadow applied dry or wet with the thinnest eyeliner brush.


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. Not enough people know how to put on blue shadow without it running too 80's etc. The real question is, turquoise? Any opinions?

  2. Mela, I like turquoise and it works just as well as blue or green. It makes a great summer look. As always, it's all about how you wear it- either well blended or just the tiniest amount on the lash line, while everything else is as neutral as can be.

  3. Awesome post. I love blue eye shadow but can never seem to put it on without looking like a clown. I'm going to have to try this tonight.


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