Blue eyeshadow is like the hairspray of makeup—both are surprisingly versatile, and can totally elevate a look, but over the years have garnered an unfair bad reputation thanks to their connection to beauty pageants, the ’80s as a whole, and country music videos. But for at least one of these products, it appears the tides may be turning.
Blue shadow had a major moment in the ‘60s with creamy Twiggy-inspired pastels, while in the ’80s, deeper shades were worn up to the brows. And of course, in the early 2000s frosted baby blue shades reigned supreme. But then, it seemed to disappear from the map, and in the 2010s, it was traded for warmer tones as both Instagram makeup and no-makeup-makeup looks soared. This year, following the 20 year pattern, it looks like it’s coming back, and makeup artists, celebrities, and cool-girls are ready to give the shade another shot.
The shade has popped up on legit A-listers like J. Lo and TikTok mega stars like Mikayla Nogueira, and as a limited shade offering in Violette_FR’s ultra-cool line. It also features prominently in this season of Euphoria, which, as we know from last season, has the power to set makeup trends for years to come.
So why are people suddenly flocking to blue eyeshadow? The answer, as it turns out, is the same as most major beauty trends we’ve been seeing pop over the past few years: Nostalgia. “There’s a huge nod in fashion back to Y2K with a touch of the 60’s vibe and a dash of psychedelic,” says Make Up Forver’s Senior Manager of Pro Education, Eddie Duyos. “The late 60’s aesthetic inspires that vintage look of blue color wash across the lids that created a bold statement on the eyes while downplaying the other features. Color is exciting and eyes continue to be the focal point for the season as people are looking to the past for creative ways to play up their makeup.”
When it comes to actually wearing the shade, there are tons of ways to wear the trend in a modern way. Ease into it by swapping your black liner for a rich navy or cobalt shade. A sheer wash of matte baby blue looks surprisingly fresh, as does a pop of teal in the inner corner paired with a jet black mascara. Or, try a deep blue shade all around your eye for a cool take on a classic smokey eye.