Yes, you can – and should – wear bright blue, green, purple or pink eyeliner, whatever your age. Our MUAs pick the best and show how to rock a bright line
Call it the Euphoria makeup effect but bright, bold, beauty looks are everywhere right now. From adding gems to your face to wearing glitter to work, the 2022 makeup trends are all about having fun, and frankly, we’re here for it.
Coloured eyeliner is bang on the 'maximalist makeup' trend, highlighted by Boots as one of its five key beauty trends for 2022 this week. Forget perfectionism, it's all about unapologetic joy, fluidity and expression using neon pops and foils and 'artistic eyes', they say.
Now, we know it may be a hard sell to get you to give up your trusty black or charcoal eyeliner habit. We get it, a smudge of kohl equals instant grown-up glamour vibes. And yes, we know, you’ve spent years perfecting your liquid liner cat-eye . But let us persuade you that coloured eyeliner is the makeup item you need right now.
One word should do it. Zendaya . The star of Euphoria rocked blue metallic eyeliner paired with graphic black and white lines at the Los Angeles Premiere of Spider-Man: No Way Home. So good did she make it look that it had us Googling ‘ how to wear blue eyeliner ' in seconds. She clearly knows her way around a pencil and took Instagram this week to say that her 2022 Oscars' makeup - a gunmetal grey/green statement eye - was all her own work. "Now and then I do my own beat," she said, tagging in Lancome, for whom she is an ambassador.
Over on e-tailer Net-a-Porter, they’re calling this desire to brighten up our makeup bags,' dopamine beauty'. The idea is that when you wear cheerful colours it boosts your mood too. The site has reported an increase in shoppers choosing rainbow eyeliner colours, think pinks and purples and even orange over more traditional liner shades of black and brown. If you’re still not convinced and think that rainbow shades should be left to the experimental Gen Zs, makeup artist Alex Reader suggests trying a navy or a blue to ease yourself in. Read on to find which colour to pair with your eye colour.
We love this simple look created by Nathalie Eleni on 39-year-old actress Jodie Whitaker using KVD Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow & Brow Pigment , £20 in Roxy.
Image: Instagram @nathalieeleni_beauty
Why not take inspiration from Hailey Bieber’s grown-up green look (below left). Makeup artist Nikki Wolf created the party look by using an iridescent eyeshadow on the model’s lids before lining her eyes with a deep green liner, such as Nars High Pigment Longwear Eyeliner in Grafton Street £18. The result? Super sophisticated shimmer. Tiktok megastar Addison Rae (below, right) went a cut (crease) above the rest, wearing sky blue liquid liner just above the crease of her eye.
Images: Instagram @nikki_makeup & @addisonraee
So, now that you’re a colour convert, how do you know what suits you? We asked top makeup artists to share their tips
Which colour eyeliner suits your eye colour?
When it comes to makeup the only hard and fast rule is to have fun and express yourself. However, if you want to make your eyes pop, there are some colour pairings that really do look great together.
Remember those colour wheels at school where you learned that the opposite colour on the wheel is the most complimentary? Alex Reader recommends using the same approach for choosing a coloured eyeliner. “It’s a brilliant and safe way to start playing with colour knowing you’re using tones that work,” she says. But you don't have to stick religiously to the opposites attract idea. Here are the colours to conjure with for your eye colour.
Which is the best eyeliner for blue eyes? Choose a liner that sits in the orange family. Reds, rusts, copper and peaches will bring out that blue-eyed twinkle. However, if you want to throw caution to the colour wheel then Reader says that one of her favourite colours to use on blue eyes is actually bright blue itself, or navy eyeliner. Why? “It’s a brilliant contrast and adds depth since it belongs to the same family of colours,” she says.
Best eyeliner for green eyes: go for a contrasting colour such as purple to really make your eyes pop. Bronzes and golds also make for a gorgeous colour combo.
Best eyeliner for brown eyes: warm tones are your best friend. Think yellowy golds, olive greens and sunset pinks. For something really out there, then cobalt blue really compliments brown eyes.
Want to go one step further? Makeup artist Nathalie Eleni suggests choosing a liner that has a bit of shimmer to it. “A metallic hint running through any colour looks super flattering as it creates highlights and dimension above the eyes,” she says.
Reader suggests, placing the liner in the water line or even going for a cat eye and applying it to the inner and outer corners.
How to wear coloured eyeliner whatever your age
Eleni tells us that nailing coloured eyeliner comes down to choosing the right texture. “For older skins, a more creamy smudgy texture works well - like a pencil,” she says. "Oily skins work well with long-lasting liquid formulations.” She’s a fan of the Huda Beauty liners £16 for staying put all day long.
“For wild graphic liner, make sure your pencil is super sharp to get nice precise lines,” says makeup artist Vicky Henry, who recommends the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners £16. These are conditioned with vitamin E, jojoba oil, and cottonseed oil, making them super soft so that they glide across the eye for the precise liner every time.
How to apply eyeliner for hooded eyes
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, anyone can wear eyeliner. “It’s just about adapting to your eye shape,” says Reader. “If you have hooded eyes concentrate on the outer part of the eye and avoid any harsh lines, instead add the intensity of the colour on the lash line and blend out.
Alternatively, if you don’t yet feel comfortable with eyeliner on the top, just add a pop of colour along the bottom lash line,” recommends Reader. Henry agrees and says that her go-to look on hooded eyes is to paint the lid with neutral eyeshadow and then pop coloured eyeliner on the waterline under the eye.
Nathalie Eleni is a fan of pale grey eyeliner on the waterline, which although neutral, adds more interest than a classic brown or black. In her video, she uses Nude By Nature's Contour Eye Pencil in Anthractice, £9."It's a softer look than putting black in the eyes. Just add lots of mascara. Leave it for a couple of minutes and apply it again for a stronger look. It's really flattering on all skin tones. It's also really great smudged along the lower lash line. If you wanted to make the look a bit more dramatic, but keep it soft, rather than use the brown eyeliner that I have used in the video you could use the grey along the lower lash line."
@nathalie_eleni Easy Party Eyes. Kohl applied along lashes and blended across socket. A fine black line along lashes and pewter or grey liner in water line for contrast. Metallic copper in centre to make eyes pop. #makeupbirthdayparty #makeupmagic #makeupwork #makeupportfolio #glamstyle #makeupinspirations #makeuptutorialvideo #brownsmokeyeyes #smokeybrowneyes #softsmokeyeyes #makeupsmokeyeyes #smokeyeyeslook #smokeyeyestutorial #makeupismyart #fyp ♬ Friday - Freak Slug & Niquo
Those of us with hooded eyes (I’m in that category) might be a little concerned about smudging or colour transfer. The key to a long-lasting liner, that stays where you want it to, is all in the prep. Try using an eye base such as the Nars Pro Prime Smudge Proof Base £18 or eye primer before you go in with any colour to help keep eyeliner in place. The same applies if you have oily skin.
And, when it comes to choosing a formula, a liquid liner is probably your safest bet. “Gel or cream eyeliner can move and smudge with hooded eyes,” notes Reader.
How to apply eyeliner if you have fine lines and wrinkles
We all have creases around our eyes, and that should absolutely not be a deterrent to creating the coloured liner look you desire. If you have creases around the eyes and want to wear eyeliner, Reader suggests adjusting the shape and avoiding harsh lines. “A liquid winged liner may be hard to achieve if there is texture around the eye,” she says, “instead use the eyeliner to create a buffed-out wing, pulling the product upwards and avoiding going downwards.” This way, you’ll define the eye without drawing attention to the creases, she says.
What makeup to wear with coloured eyeliner
Whatever you want! Addison Rae, paired her sky blue liner with a pink glossy lip, fluffy brows and a whole lot of blush.
For Eleni, it’s all about the lashes. “An inky black mascara will really set off whichever coloured liner you’re wearing,” she says. And then, once you’re feeling comfortable in the coloured eyeliner game Reader urges you to double up on the colour, “when you’re feeling braver navy eyeliner with blue mascara is a fab statement look,” she says. Watch this space…
The best coloured eyeliners according to makeup artists
Alex Reader loves:
Shiseido Kajal InkArtist Liner £23 for the ultimate winged eyeliner
"This eyeliner kajal pencil comes in the most beautiful and striking colours, it's very easy to use and evenly glides along your eye. It is dual ended, on one side the product and on the other a sharpener and sponge. It claims to have 12-hour waterproof wear, it is definitely long-lasting and multi-use. I love to apply the colour along the lash line, using the sponge blender, smudge it out for a defused eyeliner. Using the sharpener, making the pencil into a point lends precision and can create a gorgeous winged shape."
Diorshow On Stage Felt Tip Liner £28 for a statement colour
"This felt tip liner comes in a variety of shades to make a wow factor statement. It has an ultra-flexible tip which helps the ease of application. In one effortless stroke, you have amazing colour payoff as the product is so pigmented. It is a waterproof long-lasting formula that is great for hooded eyes or greasy eyelids. This product would be amazing for those graphic lines and shapes."
Inglot Matte Eyeliner Gel £14 for colour that lasts all-day
"I absolutely love eyeliner gel. They are super pigmented, easy to use and I find they are one of the most long-lasting formulas available. Inglot Gel Liner is an incredible product that really is waterproof and stays put for hours. It has a claim of smudge, crease and waterproof that I can definitely agree with.
"Applying with a skinny liner brush or an angled brush, you only need a small amount of product and one swipe really does give you some serious rich pigment and coverage. I would highly recommend this to anyone with hooded eyes, greasy eyelids or texture around the eye as you can use this for both graphic lines that will stay in place or using a buffing pencil brush to defuse the colour without worrying that it's about to travel elsewhere."
Nathalie Eleni Loves:
Rude Cosmetics Palettes £24.99 for great colour pay off
“These palettes have such amazing pigment. My top tip is to wet your eyeshadow brush and then use these as an alternative to an actual eyeliner. Also, choosing something with excellent colour payoff is one way of ensuring that it will work against all skin tones, anything wishy-washy will just make you look flat, whether you have very fair or very dark skin.”
Val Garland loves:
L’Oreal Paris Perfect Slim Eyeliner £6.99 for a graphic eye
“This creates the most confident, fierce flick. Start on the outer wing and map out your flick, then start on the inner corners of your eyes and gradually connect your eyeliner shape so that they meet at the centre. At the moment I’m obsessed with the teal shade.”
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Grip 36h Gel Automatic Eyeliner £7.99 for a coloured smokey eye
“This liner is life-proof, so work fast if you want to smudge this. A quick hack for the perfect flick? Have a small angle brush ready to turn the ends of your stroke into a precise flick.”
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