Bold Eye Makeup Can Be Wearable—Here’s How

Some style goals just seem plain old unattainable. Whether it’s finding the courage to chop off your luscious locks in favor of a sassy bob, mixing two prints together to create a runway-esque ensemble or even wearing brightly colored eyeshadow while you’re out and about. We feel especially strongly about that last point. While many of us have admired a vibrant eye look, typically from that of an A-lister, figuring out how to make it happen IRL (without the help of a glam squad) is a common a challenge. Some of our favorite icons like Cher, Madonna and Kate Moss are famous for playing with colorful, bright hues when it comes to their makeup. And, these days, we’re actually seeing bold looks on some of our fave street-style-heroes, donning the daring trend on a day-to-day basis.

Ok, we know what you’re thinking, Can a bright blue smoky eye or purple winged look work for me? The answer is a big, huge “yes!” Also, it’s easier than you think. All it really takes is some guts and a few tried-and-true tricks. Los Angeles-based makeup artist, Marygene, shared her golden rule of eye makeup with us: “Rule 1: There are no rules! A bold eye is meant to be fun and expressive. Do what you feel!” Emily Oliver, another Los Angeles-based makeup guru adds, “Confidence is key—when trying out a new bold style, rather than going in tentatively, give it a full-on embrace.” Eye makeup can be one of the most expressive (and fun) components of beauty, and there are countless looks to be tried. So use this colorful season to channel your inner Picasso. Scroll down for some bold eye makeup secrets, straight from the pros.


Be Bold!

Don't forget to prime

Every great eyeshadow look starts with a hydrated, primed lid. Eyeshadow primer helps pigments stick to the skin and stay all day (or night) long. Emily shared, "I'm really into Urban Decay's Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion. An eye shadow primer is crucial for pulling off a bold eye look because it holds everything in place, keeping you fresh and ready to go from day into night." Pro Tip: A little of this product goes a long way and makes a big difference. "Dot the product on your eyelid and either use your ring finger or a flat brush to apply from the lash line all the way into the eyebrows," instructs Emily. "That way, when you apply your brow product, it will stay in place, too."

Start out subtle (but only if you want to!)

"While I encourage confidence and fully committing to the bold look, I realize some may need to ease into it," says Emily. "So I always recommend dipping your toe in and playing with bold-colored mascara. Apply a couple of coats to the top or bottom lashes. YSL's Vinyl Couture in Blue is a great option!"

Try ultraviolet

Bright purple eyeshadow flatters all eye colors, and creates the perfect dose of drama. "Oftentimes I'll apply it up to the crease and blend outward," Emily says. "For a more dense application, use a flatter brush, apply a couple coats and blend. It takes time, but it's totally worth it." Pro Tip: For someone venturing into playing with color for the first time, grab an angled brush and apply your purple shadow as an eyeliner: "A little color below or on top of the lash line does wonders!"

Experiment with bold blues

While violet may be the bold shade of choice for some, Marygene says blue is her go-to. "My favorite bold eyeshadow color is Blitz Blue from Pat McGrath Labs," she says, "This blue is so vibrant and easy to blend, it makes your eyes pop and feels effortlessly bold and sexy." (Follow the above eyeshadow application tips to master your own blue eye look.)

Try a daring wing

Colored eye makeup doesn't have to stop with shadows. Try out a neutral or bare eye paired with a swipe of a sleek white liner. If Rihanna thinks it looks good, it definitely looks good. If you're feeling really brave, experiment with a lime green or electric blue liner. We get it, applying the perfect wing can seem impossible. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful tips that make it a breeze!