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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019

Skin Deep: How to make your blue eyes bluer with very few products

I’m blue, da-ba-dee, da-ba-di…


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

With makeup, it truly is the eyes that have it when it comes to creativity. Yes, you can express yourself via a bold lip, but if you want to really do something special, you’re going to do it with your eye makeup. There are thousands of options, and a literal rainbow of colours to choose from.

There are cream shadows, eye pigments, eye crayons, eyeliner pencils, liquid eyeliner, gel eyeliner, eye palettes, eye bloody everything. It’s a joy if you like to experiment, but what about if you just want to keep it simple and bring out the natural colour in your eyes? Over the next little while, I’m going to explore the best options for each eye colour.

Today, I’m starting with blue.

giphy (3) Source: Giphy

According to research, until the Bronze age, Irish people looked more Middle Eastern than Celtic, with dark eyes and complexions. Then, about 4,000 years ago, a genetic mutation spread across the island resulting in a higher than average proportion of blue eyes. Now more than half of us have blue eyes, and we spend a fortune on fake tan. You win some, you lose some, I guess, depending on personal taste!

The good news about blue eyes, is that it’s actually relatively easy to accentuate their colour. Simply have a good cry, and your eyes will be brighter than ever. The bad news is, it’s not practical to bawl every time you want your eyes to take centre stage. Fortunately, a bit of orange makeup will do a decent job instead.

Orange is probably my favourite eyeshadow colour to wear. It really enhances blue eyes 👀

A post shared by Poppy Owen (@makeupwithpoppy) on

Basic colour theory indicates that opposite colours pop when placed beside each other, which meant that I was about twenty when I first sought out some wearable orange eyeshadow. At the time it wasn’t really a thing. I ended up using a lot of peachy blush and looking a little bit sick. The thing is, you don’t actually need to match your eye makeup to an actual orange, but you do want to work around orange based shades.

Fortunately, orange shades of eyeshadow are like, totally hot right now, so there are loads of options for blue eyed people.

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Wearing Mac’s Groundwork under Bobbi Brown’s Camel (and no mascara, forgive me)

My number one dream product for blue eyed people is BobbiBrown’s Camel eyeshadow. It is the perfect terracotta shade, and is very finely milled, resulting in a shadow which blends beautifully. I often wear it on it’s own with some mascara for a quick and basic daytime look. At €24, it’s expensive for a single eyeshadow but I have been using mine for three years and it’s still at least a third full. There are other, cheaper options, but I really think this is the best.

If I’m doing something a little more elaborate, I start with Mac’s Groundwork Paint Pot, which is a warm earthy colour and functions perfectly as a primer (and can also works on its own – don’t forget to blend the edges). I then apply camel over the lid, before accentuating the crease and smoking out the corners with some darker shades (staying in the orange family via warm browns or reds).

Irish brand Kohl’s Moccasin shade is like a darker version of Camel, a lovely brown with orange undertones, which will add depth when applied to the crease.

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Groundwork on its own is subtle, and quick and easy!

If you prefer to keep your eye products in one palette, you’re in luck, because there are lots of options in this colour family. Charlotte Tilbury’s Dolce Vita palette is the one I find myself going to time and time again, but Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Modern Renaissance palette is also dreamy. Morphe’s 350 pallettes are great value for money (also allowing you to choose between matte and shimmer), but only available online. Irish brand Fuschia’s Tribal palette offers some good options too.

If you want something more personalised, Inglot’s Freedom pallettes allow you to choose each colour yourself. A makeup artist recently told me that she thinks they are just as good as Mac’s in terms of pigment and product, but in more practical magnetic packaging. I have to say, I agree.

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Groundwork, with Camel and a touch of the dark red ‘Enhance’ colour from the Dolce Vita pallette (and some life-changing mascara, Maybelline Lash Sensational)

If all of that seems like a bit of faff to you, an eye crayon may be the way to go. Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon eyeshadow pencils are designed to be used with specific eye colours, with blue eyes being given a creamy champagney colour and sparkly slate colour. They’re nice, but I prefer Bronzed Garnet and Amber Haze for us. The key to using these is to blend them immediately. They set very quickly, so lash it on your lid and in your socket and then get straight in there with a blending brush until your happy. They are very simple to use if you know the trick. Kiko Milano’s Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick‘s do a similar job for significantly less. I like Golden Brown, Golden Chocolate and Passionfruit.

New Product

unnamed (4) Source: Urban Decay/Twitter

How apt that this week’s new product section should be an eyeshadow palette, perfect for blue eyes! Urban Decay’s Naked palettes have become a beauty phenomenon, and the next one to drop is call Naked Heat which includes a range of sunset colours from oranges to warm browns to reds. This is gonna be big, pals. It launches June 30th.

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Catch up on Louise McSharry’s previous Skin Deep columns > 

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