I am scared to wear blue eye shadow.
When I was 12, I wore blue eye shadow all the time. My preferred color was a chalky pale blue in a palette of selectable colors from Old Navy. Considering my other choices were bright white, pastel green, and glittery lavender, I'm not even surprised this was my favorite. My family's Christmas card picture for that year features me in a lime green spandex-y shirt with Bath and Body Works glitter rolled across my cheeks and a healthy coating of blue eye shadow packed onto my lid and crease. I'm not even going to discuss my hair, as the English language fails to provide me with words to describe the mess it was. As my mom has the picture on prominent display in her living room, it gets commented on every time an aunt or grandparent stops by. (Why is this time-warped photo still on display? My brothers were never allowed to make such humiliating style decisions at young ages, so they both look like classic examples of young gentlemen in their khakis and red and green plaid button downs. I look like Mimi from the Drew Carey show and a stripper raised a child together.)
So every time I reach for one of the truly beautiful blue eye shadows I own, I shudder a little. I am convinced that despite how my skill with makeup has evolved over the past decade or how much better quality my products are, the second I apply anything with the remotest hint of blue to my eyes I will be immediately transformed into that awkward 6th grader.
I've found that the easiest way for me to sometimes get around my blue eye shadow block is to play with navy. I got one of the MAC holiday palettes from Christmas 2010, which includes some really gorgeous and unique colors, including a matte navy. Every once in a while I will get really bold and try to use navy as the color in the outer crease. Usually I spend the whole evening feeling silly about what's on my face; I'm convinced it looks terrible and that everyone thinks I look crazy with navy on my eyes.
However, my boyfriend loves it when I do crazy makeup looks. I usually wear very little to no makeup when we're together, so I think it represents me being "glamorous" for a big night out. He came to visit me from medical school this past weekend. (I had surgery last week and he was taking care of me while my parents went to a wedding.) Even though I'm in pain, I've been playing with makeup a lot to distract myself. I decided to do a full face look to surprise him when he showed up Friday night, and challenged myself to include some color - yes, including blue.
Mac 6 Twists of Tartan Palette - I used High Spirits (top right), Set to Dance (bottom middle), and Bows & Curtseys (bottom right).
Top: Light Brown, Mylar, Honey Lust (all MAC)
Bottom: L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Iced Latte, Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Espresso Ink
1. First, I applied a small dab of Urban Decay Primer Potion to both lids. I patted a bright avocado green on the outer 3/4 of my lid using a flat shader brush (MAC 242, but 252 would work just as well). I used a frosty golden highlight (L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Iced Latte) on the inner corner (the shade I used actually applies best to the inner corner with a finger).
2. I then took a light brown shade and using a fluffy crease brush (MAC 217) ran it through and slightly above my crease to define it and to also make it easier to blend other colors up towards my brow later. (No harsh lines between blue and my skin!)
3. I took the shimmery teal color from the MAC palette and using the 217 applied it most heavily to my outer corner and crease and took it up into the very deepest part of the crease just until where the avocado stopped.
4. I dipped a pencil brush (MAC 219) into the navy. I drew a V shape from the outer bit of my lash line, up towards my brow, and then over into my crease. (I tried to draw it along the imaginary line from the corner of my lid to the edge of my brow.) I kept this color heavy and "filled in the V" so that I had a darker outer corner that blended into the teal color forming a gradient. I also used a bit of residual color on the brush to smudge it on the outer part of my lower lash line.
5. To soften up the very bright green (and to add a bit of glow to the eye), I spot cleaned the shader brush and used it to pat on Honey Lust over the green and teal part of the lid. Make sure to pat and not rub to prevent your colors from smudging and also to prevent the glittery fallout mess you'll get from this MAC lustre.
6. I used a dense dome brush with a satin highlight shade (MAC Mylar) to highlight my brow bone and to soften any edges.
7. I lined my eyes with Bobbi Brown's gel liner in Espresso Ink, making it fairly thick and angled at the outer corners to help emphasize the outer v. If I had had a navy gel liner, I would have used this instead, but I worked with what I had. I finished the eyes with a coat of DiorShow mascara in black.
8. I finished the look off with a little of MAC's Gingerly blush along my cheek bones, and then just tapped the apples of my cheeks with Clinique's Honey Blush to add a bit more glow. I kept the lips simple with a few swipes of Maybelline's Baby Lips in Peach Kiss.
Here are a couple of close ups of the finished look:
I was so pleased with how it turned out. While I'm not sure I'll be wearing something like this to work anytime soon, it's the kind of eye I would feel confident wearing out to dinner with my boyfriend or at a party. Apparently I had no reason to fear trying blue!!
What color are you most afraid to wear? Do you simply think you can't pull it off or does it bring back bad memories of makeup looks past? Let me know in the comments below!!
Peace, love and lots of mascara!