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Skin Deep: How to wear blue eyeshadow without looking like a guest at your mam's Tupperware party

Blue eyeshadow gets a bad rap but you can wear it and look modern.


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.

Let’s be honest, blue eyeshadow gets a bad rap. It’s hard to talk about it without conjuring up images of women wearing terrible clothes with it plastered from their lash line to their eyebrows. The eighties has a lot to answer for.

The thing is, the eighties was a long time ago, and blue eyeshadow really deserves better than to be relegated to the past.

When I saw that Kim Kardashian and her longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic had included a bold blue shade in their new eyeshadow palette, I nearly punched the air. There is a way to wear blue eyeshadow which isn’t reminiscent of your mam’s Tupperware parties, and today we’re going to get into it.

First, if you’re going to go blue, go blue and be bold about it.

If you’re wishy washy with this colour you are in danger of edging into dated territory. In my opinion, it’s best to avoid pastel shades and go for bold cobalts or ceruleans instead. (That’s not to say that it’s not possible to wear baby blue eyeshadow and look contemporary, it’s just more difficult. I certainly haven’t managed it, but if you can, do you baby!) Personally, I like to create a slightly graphic shape, so this look isn’t really about blending (for once) and it’s not about loads of different products. It’s about using one product and one shade carefully to create drama.

A rich blue colour can look great on any eye colour, but it’s especially good on warm brown eyes. Remember I told you that warm browns will bring out blue eyes? Well the reverse is also true. Blue and orange are opposite each other on the colour wheel, so will always accentuate each other. As with all bold colours, this look is fantastic on women with dark skin.


I use a powder eyeshadow to achieve this look (in this case 5.0 from the Urban Decay Distortion Palette), but I always dampen my eyeshadow brush to ensure the intensity of the colour. I spray my brush with setting spray (I’m using Urban Decay All Nighter Pollution Protection at the moment, but Mac Fix+ or any one you prefer would do, and of course, some water will also do in a pinch).

Whenever I use a wet brush, I choose one corner or edge of the shadow to use so that I’m not making the entire thing wet. I load the brush with product (a flat one is best, something like this or similar would work well) and then dab it onto my eyelid, rather than brushing it across. This allows you to pack the colour on with control, while building the intensity and ensuring you get consistent coverage across the lid. I cover the entire eyelid to the socket line, and then use the edge of the brush to create and edge which coordinates with the shape of my eye, creating a sort of flick.

If this sounds stressful to you, no problem. Just cover your lid up to the crease and leave it at that. This alone creates a cool, modern look, so if you want you can just add mascara and be done. If you’d like to though, you can also smudge the shadow along your bottom lashes, joining it up with the edge of the blue on your upper lid.


A bold blue eye will attract a lot of attention, so when wearing one it’s not a bad idea to keep the rest of your face simple.

I like to apply a slightly warm contour under the cheekbones and along the hairline and a peachy blush because I think it compliments the eye. I stay in the peach family when it comes to my lips too, erring on the side of nude, because I don’t want the lips to be fighting with the eyes for attention.

You can, of course, use pinky tones instead (especially if you are very fair), but I think it looks more modern if you avoid them. The 80s was all about blue eyes with pink cheeks and red lips, and it was a lot. I love a lot, but I prefer to look 2018 a lot.

In truth, this is a look which isn’t about rules. It’s about having fun and playing with bold colour, so if you try it and it doesn’t work for you, try something different. Maybe you prefer to draw a blue flick across your lashline. Perhaps you like to add a little blue along your lower lashline while keeping the rest of your eye makeup more neatral. No problem. You’ll figure out what you’re comfortable with and what works for you. The point is, blue eyeshadow is not to be feared. It is a lot, but it can be 2018 a lot too.

New Product


This week Shiseido launches a new Essential Energy skincare range, at the centre of which is, would you believe it, Neuroscience. According to the brand, these new products will improve the dialogue between the skin and the brain to ensure you get the most benefit from them. I’m no scientist, but rumour has it this is the next frontier in skincare. I’m going to have to do some serious study to get my head around it all. This range includes a moisturising cream, a day cream with SPF20 and a moisturising gel, each priced at €59.

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