Beauty news flash: Colour is cool again. When it comes to my wardrobe, I’m already a huge fan of embracing the rainbow (show me a brightly striped jumper or a boldly patterned midi dress, and I’ll love it), and when it comes to lipstick, I’m not one to shy away from more experimental hues. I’ve been known to sport a lilac pout in the summer, and you’d struggle to find a handbag of mine that doesn’t have a red lippie or two inside.
This latest colour trend, however, is worn on the eyes. I’ll be honest: At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. While I’d spotted some of the coolest girls on Instagram foraying into the world of bright monochromatic eye shadow earlier this year, I chose to scroll on by and stay safe inside my neutral comfort zone. However, when the likes of Lupita Nyong’o and Lili Reinhart showed up to last month’s Golden Globe Awards sporting bright eyelids, I realized that the rainbow-coloured eye shadow trend was sticking around.
At first glance, applying a race car–red eye shadow or an electric-blue eyeliner might seem like one step too far outside of your beauty comfort zone. However, I firmly believe that this look can work for every day with just a few simple tweaks. It’s also a great way to experiment with colour if you’re not ready to compromise on your all-black outfit. Scroll on to see my favourite ways fashion girls have been wearing these seven eye shadow colours in 2019 so far, and then see tips on how to make the look work for you.
Red doesn’t have to mean tomato. This brick shade works for every day when lips are left bare.
The subtle metallic sheen of this red means it works beautifully on both eyelids and cheekbones.
The key to making this pillar box–red eye gloss work is to take a laidback approach to application. Press it onto your eyelids with your fingertips, keeping the colour below the crease of your eyelid; then blend out the edges with a clean finger. This also works on cheeks and lips if you want a full monochromatic makeup look.
Start with brown-toned reds if you aren’t quite ready to kick your neutral eye-shadow habit yet. Urban Decay’s iconic palettes always contain a mix of everyday and editorial shades. The shade En Fuego is a warm, earthy red that can be worn sheer and layered up when you’re feeling a little braver.
Pairing a coloured eyeliner with a white shade at the edges helps to brighten the eye area while dialling down the colour.
Colour doesn’t have to be intense. Use a fluffy blending brush and apply just a thin layer of powder shadow for a subtle take on the trend.
If you’re nervous about embracing canary yellow for fear of looking like Big Bird, an eyeliner is a great place to start. This one from Dior features a hybrid tip that combines the precision of a pen with the flexibility of a brush, so you can draw the finest of lines with ease.
It might look intense in the pot, but this shadow is surprisingly wearable and looks particularly beautiful on deeper skin tones. For extra cool-girl points, press some clear lip balm over the top for a glossy finish.
A wash of green on the eyelid is surprisingly subtle when worn with a skirt-and-socks combo in highlighter hues.
Contrast a neon-green eyeliner with a softer shade beneath the lashes for a fresh approach to colour.
Don’t feel that you have to jump straight into fluorescent green when wearing this trend. Olive, moss or forest green are all great, wearable places to start.
Who knew that green could look so fancy? Mattes, metallics and glitters lend a seriously special-occasion vibe to this jade palette.
Powder-blue is best smudged haphazardly over your eyelids for a laid-back look.
For the evening, up the ante with shades worn with a heavy dose of mascara.
This is a royally good blue. Imbued with a subtle sparkle, it looks pretty when pressed into the centre of your eyelid for a modern take on a smoky eye.
Apply this electric blue just along the lash line with an angled eye shadow brush for a playful twist on classic black liner.
Let your teenage love for lilac shine. Pastels are a great entry point to wearing colour and will be even lovelier once summer arrives.
I’m not sure if magenta technically counts as purple, but there’s no denying that this ’80s-inspired hue brings a strong eye shadow game.
At first glance, this is a product that’s made for festival season. It’s unusual in colour, intensely glittery and has a holographic finish. However, the beauty of this is that you can apply just one swipe for a fairly subtle sheen or build it up if you want something that’s party-ready.
A little of this goes a long, long way. Apply the smallest of dots to the back of your hands then blend it straight onto your eyelids using your fingers for a painterly approach.
Tangerine dreams. Keeping skin makeup pared-back and glowy means that orange has never looked so good.
Bright orange on lips and the nails pop against a casual all-black outfit.
If you’re not ready to go all-out orange, then this palette moves from pastel pinks to burnt oranges to warm coppers for a sunset-inspired smoky eye.
Apply with a heavy hand and you’re at serious risk of looking tangoed with this shade. However, when brushed sparingly onto eyelids, it has a gorgeous warming effect.
Press this pretty cream into the inner corners of your eyes, leaving the rest of your eyelids bare for a modern look.
Whether you want to go for a soft smoky eye or a monochromatic swoosh of colour, you’ll be seriously pretty in pink with this palette.