Sorry if that was a slightly frightening salutation (she does "look like a yeti in this getup"), but I've got a fresh, new post I'm really excited to share with you.
So here's to all my blue-eyed babes. Blues are gorgeously hypnotic, and you get to do some pretty sweet makeup to play 'em up, ya lucky ducks.
I lured my sister Rachel over to my place on Friday and Sunday to experiment with a couple of eye-popping looks on her bright baby blues, and we demonstrated a couple of different routes for bringing them out so, first off, I'm going to revisit the color wheel for a quick sec.
So, like I said in the original "Bright Eyes" post, the color wheel is useful in finding your complementary tones, but no need to take it too literally. I don't believe rules have any business in makeup, but at the same time, I personally believe that bright orange makeup should be reserved for Broncos games and people who still dress like pumpkins on Halloween.
When you're shopping for eyeshadow, just keep your complementary colors IN MIND, and look for shades with those undertones. For instance, instead of just straight orange, blue eyes look PHENOMENAL with warm bronze or gold tones.
Alright, daily collage time. Feast your big, blue eyes on this visual ode to women who know (or whose makeup artists know) how to use makeup colors to bring out natural colors.
I realize that this collage shows a lot of different blues—Jen Aniston has some slate blues, "Xtina" Aguilera rocks some light blues, and the beautiful Julianne Hough was blessed with some magnificently BRIGHT blues—so because of that, you can't really compare them to see which makeup look works best at brightening your eyes.
In other words, Ms. Hough's eyes look like the most highly saturated blue eyes, but that can potentially be attributed to the fact that her eyes are naturally bluer than the other celebs to begin with, so I can't necessarily say it's all because of her makeup.
Therefore, much like my Kristen Stewart example in the green-eye "Bright Eyes" post, I'm using one celebrity with three different eyeshadow looks for this color-ology theory so there are no biases.
Cue angelic hymn: Charlize Theron.
With Rachel, I chose to mix it up a bit, using Julianne-Hough-inspired metallic purple in the first look and then combining the warmth of an orange-y bronze with an electric blue eyeliner in the second look.
I realize it's going to be difficult to compare these two looks because the lighting is drastically different. We did the purple look late last night so we didn't have the benefit of natural lighting like we did with the bronze look, but I hope you can still take away the fact that both purple and orange tones make her eyes look even bluer.
The first look was stolen from Julianne because A) I was curious about it—typically, when I'm doing makeup in a professional setting, I have to take into account the client's wishes, and it's not a common occurrence for someone to say "I'm thinking a 'My Little Pony'-esque bright purple), and B) though not technically a complementary tone on the color wheel, blue eyes have creative wiggle room (I'll get into that in just a smidge), and purple is within the wiggle.
Without natural light, the pictures don't do justice to how INTENSE the purple was, but I wanted to throw a kind of wild-but-workable look in there for days when you're listening to a lot of Beyonce and feeling especially feisty. We used it all over the lid and along the bottom lash line, and I used a darker purple in her outer V to contour and black liquid liner to give her a cat eye.
We finished it off with a magenta lip (a MAC lipstick that she gave me actually :) ) that perfectly complemented her natural coloring (skin, hair, eyes).
The second look is a little more subdued but still poppy and absolutely gorgeous. I decided to two-birds-one-stone it, and use makeup in both her complementary color and her eye color. We did her lids in a very warm almost rust-colored gold (her complementary color) with bronze in the outer V, and I applied an electric blue gel liner (her eye color) to her water line (the inner rim of her lower lash line). The combination made her eyes pop like a bag of these bad boys.
For her mouth, I applied a rosy nude lip liner all over her lips and ended with a the Vitality Lip Flush for a natural but "dewy" finish.
You can check out the exact products I used below.
Earlier I mentioned that you have some creative freedom with blue eyes, and I meant that there are multiple color options you have at your disposal to accentuate blue. In addition to golds, bronzes, and purples, you can also opt for pinks, tans, and oranges. I know some of those colors sound gaudy, scary, and very, very 80s-exercise-video-y, but keep in mind: undertones.
To curb the scariness, I created a little list of colors you could go with. I chose to feature ULTA shadows because they have a pretty impressive inventory of colors, but also because they're having a 2 for $6 sale right now so you can experiment without breaking the bank.
I have to warn you that a drastic change to your makeup look is going to be a bit of a shock. In my experience, if I do anything to a client that's significantly different from what they're used to / what they do, their initial response is to reject it because it feels too foreign to them so they don't think it looks good. And then a few hours later, they'll text me and be like, "Actually what colors / brands / products did you use? I think I really like it."
Keep in mind that most of us are very conservative with our own faces; and by that, I mean we kind of stop evolving our beauty routines because we're comfortable with what we're doing and resist anything new. We love it on someone else, but we think "I can't pull that off."
Case in point: I used to DESPISE anything even remotely brown on my eyes (I used only silver every day, which is no bueno for green eyes), but I challenged myself to give it a try for a few days and let myself get used to it and THEN make a decision, and now natural neutrals are my go-to's.
The reason I bring this up is because I don't want you to give up on it. When you try shades that are "good for" your coloring, odds are you look like a stone cold fox, and you just need some time to get used to it. So instead of shaking your head and scrubbing it off right away, go find your bestie-for-the-restie or your significant other or someone you trust, and ask them what they think. Sometimes we need just unapologetic, brutal honesty.
Also, since I realize these colors seem somewhat out there, I'm not going to leave you high and dry with crazy eyes. I've got a couple of bonus tips if you want to start off easy.
If you're nervous about cannonball-ing right into vivid new colors, you can just dip your toes in the water by using vibrant eyeliners in your complementary tones. NYX has a nice line of creme eye pencils in some shades that would work really well with blue eyes, and they're only $4.50 AND Buy One Get One Half Off!
You can line just the centers of your top and bottom lids and use a black liner on the outer edges, you can line just the top, you can line both the top and bottom, or you can use black on top and the color on bottom (though i wouldn't do vice versa—black liner on only the bottom can look really harsh and drag your eyes down, and the reason we use eyeliner is to give the illusion of more lashes, and nobody only wants bottom lashes, right?).
When it comes to blue makeup, honestly, the ONLY thing I would recommend doing is applying it inside the water line, like what I did with Rachel in the bronze look and like what Cara Delevigne did below. It's hardly noticeable, but it really makes your eyes pop.
This might just be a personal preference, but I'm not a fan of blue eyeshadow at all unless it's navy in the outer V or if it's very, very soft and subtle and hardly looks blue at all.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that bright blue eyeshadow brings out the blue in their eyes. Untrue. In fact, it usually just makes them look duller in comparison. Remember this from my first "Bright Eyes" post? Look how much brighter Katy Perry's eyes look when she uses gold versus when she does the Drew Carey Show Mimi look.
The other non-cannonball-y thing you can do to subtly try new shades is just use the hue as a contour. In other words, use a skin-colored base all over your lid, and just use the new color in your crease and make it a little darker in the outer V.
Just like with the other "Bright Eyes" post, I'm ending this feeling like I forgot a lot of things, so don't be surprised if I touch more on "making blue eyes pop" in a subsequent post. And on that same note, please leave me comments if you want to hear about something specific or if you have questions or if I didn't address something very well (or didn't address it at all)! I love hearing from you, and I'm always looking for suggestions.