A bright pop of color is a trend that transcends seasons and mediums — it's one that's utilized in fashion, beauty, and even home decor. There’s no wrong way to incorporate the look into your life: a yellow winter coat breaks up the monotony of neutral down puffers any day, and a classic bright red lip never goes out of style once paired with a little black dress. It's the same notion attached to one of this season's top colors: pink. Once reserved for middle school dances or possibly for Sunday brunch with your parents (floral dress included), today's pink eyeshadow looks are surprisingly fresh and fashion forward.
“Pink eyeshadow is one of those surprising makeup trends that is universally flattering,” says Michael Ashton, a makeup artist who works with Adele. “There are so many ways you can wear it and really make it your own.”
Today’s pink eyeshadow isn’t the aggressive pink eyeshadow of the ‘80s (unless, of course, you're into that), and you don’t have to worry about it looking too precious. The modern way to wear the hue is with a subversive wink. “It can be feminine and tough at the same same,” Molly R. Stern, Maya Rudolph’s go-to makeup artist, notes. “It feels sort of right in sync with how so many women feel right now — empowered to be all of it.”
That attitude is reflected on runways, as well. From the soft wash of color on the lid at Oscar de la Renta’s latest presentation to the bright blush-meets-shadow application at Valentino, there’s a way for everyone to wear pink eyeshadow — no matter your style or skin tone. Ahead, 12 inspirational beauty looks and how to pull them off on your own, according to experts.
Soft Pink and Plums
Fair skin tones will do well with shades of soft pink and plum, says Chanel Temple, the Global Makeup Artist for Hourglass. Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Duo Eyeshadow Blender Beyond Easy Eyeshadow Duo in Provocative Plum, which includes a soft shade of blush and a neutral plum, is really all you need to achieve the look.
Neutral, Peachy Pink
Temple says peachy-pink colors, like Make Up For Ever Artist Color Eye Shadow in Antique Pink or the rosy-hued shades in Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette, look great on medium skin tones.
“My go-to options for deeper complexions are brighter, bold pinks,” Temple tells us. Consider Tom Ford Shadow Extrême in Fuschia a must have for in-your-face color, or keep things muted with the dark cherry tones in Urban Decay Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette. These tones make even more of a statement when mixed with pops of bright purple, as seen on the Anna Sui runway.
Layered With Taupe
“I definitely think pink eyeshadow is wearable everyday,” Stern tells us. “I like to base the lid with a taupe first and then layer the pink, so it has some earthiness to it. I love MAC Groundwork and Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Lilac as good bases. Then pop whatever pink eyeshadow or blush you like on top.” Kaja Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio includes a blush pink, dusty rose, and deep cherry to suit whatever mood you're in.
“One of my favorite ways to apply pink is to use a waterproof gel liner pencil, like Marc Jacobs Beauty in Lollipop, as a base across the lid and blend out,” Ashton says. “Or if you want to keep it more graphic, use the liner in a more traditional way along the lash line teamed with black volumizing mascara."
“Something like a bright fuchsia might feel intimidating for everyday wear, but a soft blush tone or light pink glitter is an easy way to add a soft wash of pink on the lids,” Temple tells us. “Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Aura, a subtle sparkling pink, has been my recent go-to.”
Use Your Blush
“For a subtle look, just take a bit of the pink blush you use on your cheeks and apply that on the lid,” Temple says of her favorite pink eyeshadow hack. “This will tie your whole look together.” Try the monochrome approach with NARS Blush in Orgasm — a crowd pleaser for a reason.
“I love a sheer wash of color on the upper eyelid that just blends straight into the skin,” makeup artist Georgina Graham tells The Zoe Report. “I sweep it onto the eyelid with a blending eyeshadow brush, and then use my finger to gently push it in to the skin, blurring out any lines.” To take the look to the next level, she suggests adding a pop of shimmery pink on the center of the lid for some “va-va-voom.” RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Embrace looks incredible paired with a touch of Glossier Lidstar in Slip.
Defined with Dark Liner
Want to play with a bright pop of pink, like Rose Risqué from Pat McGrath Labs MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose Eyeshadow Palette? “Keep the color away from the lash line and use a neutral shade like black or brown to define the eye,” Stern advises. “That way, you have more freedom to play with color, because your shape is clearly defined.”
To find the right pink for your undertones, “A good rule of thumb is those with fairer skin and more blue undertones should look for cooler tone shades of pink, like watermelon or salmon,” Ashton says, both of which can be found in the Lime Crime Venus XL Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette.
“If you have a warmer, darker complexion then more vibrant shades of fuchsia, magenta, and cerise will be incredibly flattering,” Ashton says. Look for a highly pigmented product to make a bold statement, like the pigment-packed pinks in Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette Precious Stone Collection in Ruby.
“The pink that will suit you the best is the same color as your tongue,” Graham tells us. “I know that sounds silly, but it’s the color that will make your eye color pop.”
With A Red Lip
“I always like to make sure the skin is flawless with a fresh and dewy finish to keep everything feeling modern and not too overdone,” Ashton tells us. “If you’re feeling adventurous, teaming pink eyeshadow with a contrasting red lip can be a beautiful combo!” Make Up For Ever Artist Color Eye Shadow in Neon Pink was practically made to be paired with a true red, like MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo.