QUESTION: Why use a blue eyeshadow instead of a blue liner?
ANSWER: Why not?
Picture it: dark blue liner coupled with super deep, dark, almost black nails, only, instead of using a pencil, gel or liquid liner, you use a powder eyeshadow.
Do you ever just get stuck in a rut and feel like you’re wearing nothing but brown and beige? Feel like trying something different but don’t want to go over the top?
I’m always looking for ways to keep things interesting for myself, especially when it comes to wearable makeup looks — ideally chic and wearable, but not totally snooze-worthy, if you catch my drift.
One day I decided to pair dark blue liner with dark blue claws, and the first thing I thought when I finished was, “Why haven’t I done this before?”
Seriously, though, why use a blue eyeshadow as a liner instead of an actual blue liner?
Using a dark blue eyeshadow as a liner, instead of a dark blue pencil, gel or liquid eyeliner, creates a more diffused edge, so the overall effect looks softer.
I’ve done it with lots of different liner styles, too, like spicy cat eye looks, and even soft washes of color, where the liner is smudged along my upper and lower lash lines.
Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a blurred edge (and the accompanying less attention to detail).
Just for fun: add dark blue nails
I like seeing the flash of dark blue on my fingers whenever I tuck my bangs behind my ears or push my (nerdy Gamma Ray computer glasses) up.
And it think it sort of reinforces the blue liner, too. You know, more blue.
I also like how the softer liner contrasts with the harder edge of the dark blue nails, so you also have that contrasty thing going.
I call this liner look the Tabby T-1000 (after the liquid metal Terminator from T2)
For this cat liner look, I applied metallic dark blue NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove ($29) with an angled brush.
First, I applied it dry to create the shape of the cat eye and get that softer edge. Then I wet the brush head, dipped it back into the pan, and applied the shadow on my lash line close to the lashes, to sort of intensify the metallic finish and crete a subtle gradient.
You could definitely keep it simpler by picking one — just wet or just dry — but ya know. I’m just saying.
The new $29 NARS Dual-Intesity Eyeshadows look great when applied wet or dry. Giove here is one of 12 shades. I love using them as liners, among other ways, because of how little fallout they exhibit and how easy they are to smudge. They’re available now at NARS counters and also online.
For this look, I went with metallic, but I’d love to see someone go with a matte. It really depends on what effect you’re aiming for.
For something fun and lively, I like metallics on my lash lines, but I bet a deep dark blue matte would look super cool, too — and more “serious.”
Tip: try a different finish on your lids
With whatever finish I choose for my lash lines, I kind of like using a different finish on my lids.
You know, it’s the whole contrasty thang. Like here on my lids I’m wearing a very subtle satin finish shadow with hardly any shimmer, because I want the focus to go right to the metallic lash line.
I’m using a light peachy tan shadow (Dior’s Diorshow Mono in Grege, $29), which I think plays well with the blue.
And the dueling finishes give another dimension to the overall look — again, without hitting you over the head.
I like dramatic makeup, but I also appreciate subtle touches, too.
Dark blue nails: cream or metallic?
OK! So, for my nails, I choose a cream finish this time to contrast with the metallic liner.
Here I’m wearing two layers of a dark blue, almost black, Chanel polish called Orage, from their fall collection, but there are lots of similar colors out there — definitely close enough for a look like this.
OPI makes a super sturdy one called Incognito in Sasualito, and it’s only $9.
Speaking of similar, for the dark eyeshadow, here are a couple of drugstore options: deep blue metallic Sonia Kashuk Eye Duo in Girl’s Night Out ($7.29) or dark matte blue NYX Nude Matte Shadow in In the Buff for a dark matte blue ($4.50).
I hope you give it a try! If you do, I’d love to see a pic.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,