Get out your blue eyeshadow: it's trending again

Make-upBright and saturated with a disco vibe or subtle and distinguished for daytime: the look is reinvented in endless versions

By Hannah Coates

Once upon a time, in the late '90s and early '00s, blue eyeshadow was the supreme queen of eye makeup. In all the institutes of the world, the eyes were surrounded by this cold tone in all its forms, in the image and likeness of Cameron Diaz, Christina Aguilera and Christina Ricci in Buffalo '66. Although the fever eventually subsided, today blue is back and is more on trend than ever. So much so that sales of MAC's ice blue Tilt Eyeshadow increased by 2.5 times between March and May this year, according to statistical data from leading British retailer John Lewis.

“There is a clear desire to wear less makeup but more interesting colors, so a fresh, lighter wash of color is more desirable than more heavy, defined neutral shades,” says Terry Barber, director of makeup at MAC Cosmetics. “Blue eyeshadow is one of the shades that is back on the rise, but reinvented with a more chic and flattering air instead of that kitsch, slightly clown aesthetic that it once had.”

Whether it's a subtle sheer veil in matte eyeshadow or a powerful liquid disco shade, the big world of blue eyelids is calling out to us. One of the most spectacular examples of the trend was recently left us by actress Nicola Coughlan, who stunned with a striking cobalt blue look at the BAFTAs. The makeup artist behind the look, Neil Young, had already told us in Vogue how much he likes this shade, according to him "the perfect antidote to black but which also defines the look, highlights all eye colors and works with all skin tones”. He added that it can be worked on both graphic and daring looks or as an alternative to the classic black eyeliner.

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Bring out your blue eyeshadow: come back to be a trend

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And how is he doing now? Barber believes that it is best to give it a more artistic and spontaneous touch instead of highly structured or technical makeup. “Blue immediately takes us back to a retro 80s look,” he warns. "It's also important that when you use blue, you don't have more color on the rest of the face, because it can be exaggerated or doll-like." He recommends combining it with a touch of tan on the cheekbones and nude or transparent gloss lips –in the image of the most discreet muses of the 70s– and adding several layers of mascara.

As for which color to choose, go for liquid eyeshadows with shimmery finishes or delicate ones with less pigment (which work best for any skin tone and eye color). While stronger hues like cobalt are ideal for glitzy red carpet looks, Barber champions subtler, more distinguished colors like duck egg blue, bluebell blue, Wedgewood and teal for daytime makeup or minimalist vocation.

Here is a selection of the best blue eyeshadows to get you started on the trend.

BUY: navy blue eyeshadow with shimmer, by Victoria Beckham (€34).

BUY: metallic eyeshadow stick, by Byredo (€29).

BUY: NARS Electric Blue Matte Eyeshadow Single (€22).

SHOP: M A C Pale Blue Single Eye Shadows (was €21, now €14.70).

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