• Belinda Bennett

Brilliant Blue Eyeshadow Looks For All Eye Colours

blue eyeshadow
Photo: Getty Images

Slabs of mono blue eyeshadow once harked back to the 1970s. Think of Abba and Ziggy Stardust. The likes of Maybelline and Max Factor had laid foundations for the trend a decade earlier. Dramatic, outdated and definitely not a popular every-day look since then, it has been tightly confined to the mindset of bold fashion designers and drag queens. Pre-pandemic, you were most likely to only see it used on the catwalk or for magazine shoots. How things have changed!

Like flares, it is a makeup colour that blows in and out of fashion. Now, half a century after it was last truly in vogue, it's back.

From sapphire and ultramarine to deep midnight and cobalt shades - blue is this summer's must-have eyeshadow colour.

It has swept aside over-used nudes and daring, hot reds to take centre stage - right ahead of the festival season.

So, whether you are a fan of makeup trends or like to experiment with creative looks, this is an exciting time for original, adventurous styles.

blue eyeshadow
Worn with yellow and green. Black eyeliner and false lashes finish off the look. Photo: Getty Images

Who Can Wear Blue Eyeshadow?

The time-honoured rule that people with brown eyes are best-suited to blue eyeshadow still rings true. However, when blended with hues that compliment other eye shades, it can be used by anyone. If you like breaking makeup rules, this is definitely your season. The bottom line, if you don't have brown eyes, is to use blue sparingly and, preferably, subtly.

I've got hazel eyes and the only way I can make blue 'work' for me is by using a pale ice or Regency shade on the outer section of the lid, blended with a light, neutral matte. It is not a colour I can live with above the crease. I went a bit overboard with peacock blues before heading out for a recent pub lunch and have to admit I felt truly uncomfortable. It was way too bold for a day look.

Having said that, any colour of blue eyeshadow can be used as an eyeliner - top, bottom or both. Light to medium shades, particularly in matte, work well with most eye colours. So, if blue eyeshadow on the lid is a complete no-no for you, applying it as an eyeliner is a good alternative.

Primary colours are really hot this year. And, just like in the1970s, they are often used alone. Even yellow!

Because blue is so commonly associated with nature, it is often regarded as peaceful, conservative and serene. But, when used as makeup, you have to remember that it is rightly perceived as daring. That is why it is a great choice for creative, fearless looks.

blue eyeliner
Shimmering blue eyeshadow used under a blue eyeliner. Want to replicate this look? Use a matte shade if you have mature skin. Photo: Kris Cole, Getty Images

Fancy giving it a go?

Subtle Blue Eyeshadow Looks

You know what they say... Less is more. If you don't want your eyeshadow to turn you into a pantomime dame, here are some less in-your-face ideas. I've gone for styles that I would feel comfortable wearing myself.

As a rule, I recommend avoiding the use of block colour - unless you have bronzed or dark skin.

blue eyeshadow
This look uses a medium blue matte shadow to create a wing. It has been paired with yellow, pink and grey, together with black eyeliner. Photo: Sergey Tay, Getty Images

smoky blue eyeshadow
Beautifully simple. Most people can get away with this smoky blue eyeshadow look. See how the makeup artist has limited the colour on the lid and casually brought the shade down below the eye? Photo: Sergey Tay, Getty Images

blue eyeliner
This is a great example of how blue can be used as a liner and below the eye. Perfect summer look. Photo: Getty Images

Dramatic Blue Eyeshadow Ideas

Bold is beautiful, particularly if you have a creative streak. The ideas below are largely simple to achieve. I have chosen them to illustrate the kind of looks you may want to adopt for a party, festival or to go clubbing.

Before wearing an adventurous style out, play around with it at home first. Check the look complements not just your eye colour but your skin tone too. And you may want to re-think what you plan to wear.

A pop of blue can work well with single colour outfits, paired with some blue accessories.

mono eyeshadow
This look uses a single blue eyeshadow with false lashes. It has been created to deliver a dramatic flash of colour when the eyes blink. Note: the colour has not been taken too far above the crease. A real flutter look. Dramatic but also weirdly subtle. Photo: Getty Images

blue eyeshadow
At first glance, this eyeshadow look smacks of sophistication. However, only a few will be able to pull it off. Definitely avoid if you have mature skin. It has been created with two shades of blue and highlighter. The darker shade has been used on the lid and as a liner. The lighter blue shade has been blended above the crease to the brow. Full on blue! Photo: Oleg Gekman, Getty Images

Here's an example of how a single colour can be used to create a dramatic look. This blue has been blended above the crease and at the corners of the eyes. It is used with black eyeliner. Photo: Getty Images

blue eyeshadow
This look mirrors the one above with just two exceptions. Firstly, the shadow has been taken up higher at the outer corners. Secondly, it stops short of the inner corners where highlighter has been used. Photo: Daniel Dash

True Blue Makeup Looks

I think of blue as a youthful, vibrant colour. Outside of fashion, however, it can often symbolise sadness or feeling low. In the workplace, it is commonly used to increase productivity. There's so much more to this colour than one theme.

Top takeaway: While it is true that blue eyeshadow can be tricky to work with, there are ways to embrace the latest fashion trend without ending up looking like a drag queen.

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