The popularity of highly saturated eyeshadow in the '80s and '90s gave violet-painted lids a bad rap for a long while. Five years ago, the concept of purple makeup might have incited widespread scoffing due to its cringey history; now, no trend-abiding makeup wearer is without a plum-inspired palette. Gabrielle Union's recent encounter with the controversial color is a masterclass in how to wear purple eyeshadow.
The actor paused her usual #WCWs and Wade family Instagram content to promote a new partnership with fashion designer (of Project Runway fame) Samantha Black. In the photos, Union wears a geometric-printed turtleneck dress with hair slicked back into a chic low bun, eyes radiating purple majesty.
Paired with a glossy pout and subtly bronzed cheeks, the actor's violet eyeshadow was a departure from her usual radically natural beauty. It stretched to her brow bone and crept into her inner corners, willfully clashing with her printed maxi, prompting husband Dwyane Wade to comment an expletive and Kerry Washington to ask, "What in the WURLD?!?!"
An Instagram Story confirmed that it was her usual makeup artist, Sir John — shared by Union, Beyoncé, and Naomi Campbell — who was behind the look.
Although purple eyeshadow has been rightfully shunned in recent decades (following one too many mishaps in the '80s and '90s), Instagram influencers, TikTokers, and YouTube tutorialists have successfully integrated the polarizing shade into 21st-century beauty trends. That Huda Kattan can casually rack up a million views on a purple eyeshadow tutorial is proof.
Kattan's Huda Beauty Haze Obsessions Palette is one of many putting violet shades at the forefront. While it isn't clear exactly which shade Sir John used to create Gabrielle Union's look, you should have no problem recreating it with the products below.
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