The Modern Guide to Wearing Coloured Eyeliner

Fun, opulent and achievable

To swipe on the joy this spring, experiment with feel-good colour and playful eye make-up against a backdrop of barely there base, perfectly offset by exquisite Bulgari jewels.

The trick to having fun with colour is to pick a star player and go for it, then make it wearable by pairing bright eyes with a glowing base. From there, shelve safe neutrals for bolder shades like ruby, emerald and sapphire jewel tones that catch the eye.

Blue eyeliner
(Credit: Eddie New)

Zoe wears Bulgari rose-gold hoop earrings, $4420, white-gold hoop earrings with diamonds, $7500, white-gold necklace with diamonds, $178,000,

Flick of Fancy

For day, draw a bright line along your upper lashes and finish with a teeny flick. Then at night, allow your eyes to take flight by adding colour beneath the lower lashes and extending the wing up towards your temple. Opt for a hydrating base and finish with glossy lips.

DO Reach for a precise, felt-tip liquid eyeliner and a micellar-soaked q-tip to keep your handiwork sharp, clean and even. 

DON’T Be heavy-handed with your complexion. Keep skin and lips looking fresh and understated with a soft nude glow.

Marc Jacobs Blue Eyeliner

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Highliner Liquid-Gel Eyeliner in Tw(Ink)Le, $39;

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Concealer

GIORGIO ARMANI Luminous Silk Lightweight Liquid Concealer, $66;

KOSAS Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Jellyfish

KOSAS Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Jellyfish, $43;

Blue Eyeliner
(Credit: Eddie New)

Vi wears Bulgari rose-gold watch with diamonds, $48,900,

Sunny Outlook

With make-up, sometimes opposites attract. Etch a bold pencil along your lower lashes, and then blend a contrasting shade on the inner section of the eyelid. We’ve chosen a sunny yellow, but start with a metallic neutral and work towards something brighter.

DO Make the time to blend. Use a blending brush in sweeping motions to buff powder eyeshadows across your eyelid and gently run of a smudge brush along your lower lashes to smooth and diffuse bright colour into skin.

DON’T Load up on ultra-black mascara. To open your eyes and let these soft colours do the talking, curl lashes and leave them bare or with a single swipe of lengthening mascara on your top lashes. 

Fenty Snap Shadows Eyeshadow Palette

FENTY BEAUTY Snap Shadows Eyeshadow Palette in Pastel Frost, $39;

Givenchy Kohl  Eyeliner

GIVENCHY Khol Couture Waterproof in Turquoise $42;

CHANEL Eyelash Curler

CHANEL Le Recourbe Cils de Chanel Eyelash Curler, $47;

Coloured eyeliner
(Credit: Eddie New)

Vi wears Bulgari white-gold ring with diamonds and emerald eyes, $66,300, rose-gold necklace with diamonds, $4420, white-gold necklace with diamonds, $7600,

Bright Vision

Ease into this bold trend by layering bright mascara over your everyday black one. When you go it alone, define lashes with a same-colour pencil or liner, and dust lids in a pretty shimmer. And don’t strive for perfection – colourful mascara looks best when it’s a little clumpy.

DO Enhance your eye colour with a contrasting statement shade. Seek out emerald or teal green for brown eyes, peach and orange shades for blue eyes and mauve and pink shades for hazel peepers.

DON’T Let your placement get out of hand. Apply your chosen liner along your lashline and right between lashes for a chic pop of colour, without crossing into all out ’80s territory. 

Dior Matte Pop Green Eyeliner

DIOR Diorshow Onstage Liner in Matte Pop Green, $56;

Chanel Clair Obscur Eyeshadow Palette

CHANEL Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Clair Obscur, $100;

Sephora Green On! Mascara

SEPHORA COLLECTION Volume On Mascara in Green On!, $16;

Blush makeup
(Credit: Eddie New)

Zoe wears Bulgari rose-gold earrings with diamonds and malachite, $10,250, rose-gold ring with diamonds and onyx head, $14,000,

Royal Flush

Keep pink modern by focusing colour on your eyes and cheeks. Whether you opt for shadow or liner, finish with a barely there coat of black mascara to define lashes but keep the overall look polished. A hint of shimmer in your blush will make skin glow.

DO Finish this look by brushing your cheek shade (whether it’s a powder or cream) across your eyes to keep both features in pink harmony.

DON’T Think more is more. To keep you looking naturally flushed (and not like a hot mess), build colour slowly – sheer peach and raspberry blushes are a safe bet. 

Nars Orgasm Blush

NARS Blush in Orgasm, $48;

YSL Couture Colour Clutch Eyeshadow Palette

YSL BEAUTY Couture Colour Clutch Eyeshadow Palette in No1 Paris, $150;

Gucci mascara

GUCCI Mascara L’Obscur, $59;

Main image: Vi (left) wears Bulgari ear cuff in rose gold, yellow gold, white gold and black rhodium, $2440, white-gold hoop earrings with diamonds, $7500, and white-gold necklace with diamonds, $93,500, Zoe (right) wears Bulgari rose-gold hoop earrings with black ceramic, $4270, rose-gold necklace with diamonds (short), $15,250, rose-gold necklace with diamonds, $4420,

Photographed by Eddie New. Styled by Caroline Tran.

This story originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of marie claire.

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