Blue is the new black

PUT DOWN the black eyeliner — it’s time to bring on the summertime blues.

Blue is the new black

Veering away from a classic look is never easy, but this season’s palette of sea-inspired blues is pretty persuasive, whether you want to dip a toe in the water or dive right in.

If Fashion Week’s backstage looks are anything to go by, blue is officially the new black.

From inky navy liner at Mary Katrantzou to embellished aquamarine lids at Christian Dior, there’s a hue and application for everyone.

The look may be borrowed from the 1980s but, reworked with modern techniques, blue eyes can be both striking and subtle.

“Blue creates the same drama as black but with the added benefit of brightening your eyes,” says make-up artist James Kaliardos.


Before you decide how bold you want your blue, the shelves are awash with tempting oceanic shades. If in doubt, let your eye colour lead the way.

“Blue is perfect for you if you have brown eyes,” says Rebecca Butterworth, MAC senior artist. “Choose a deep cerulean or navy blue to give your eye colour more depth.

“If you have green eyes, choose a brighter blue from the teal or turquoise colour family.”

It’s only those with blue eyes who need to be wary of drowning out their natural colour.

“Blue eye make-up actually doesn’t really do much for someone with blue eyes — it tends to swamp the colour that’s naturally there,” Butterworth warns.


Flaunt some true blue bravado with a bold wash of colour over the entire eyelid. Use a highly pigmented creamy eyeshadow to really pack a punch.

A blue version of a smoky eye can also look dramatic for after-dark moments.

“Use a deep navy kohl pencil and rim the entire eye, top and bottom,” Butterworth suggests.

“Blink your eyes together hard a few times to move the pencil around then take a soft eyeshadow brush and blend the pencil up and around the eye to create a modern, smoky look. Buff a bold blue eyeshadow, like MAC’s Freshwater, over the top of the pencil.”

Remember to keep your lips and cheeks pared right back to let your eyes work the room.


A graphic liner is the modern way to work a pop of colour and not go overboard with blue.

“A directional bold eyeliner is an amazing way to add a mega flash of colour, without having to brave coloured eyeshadow,” advises make-up artist Liz Beckett. Draw the eyeliner close to the lashes, starting at the inner corner of the eyelid. A fine line will give discreet colour, while a thicker line will be more dramatic.

For a real blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blue moment, sweep inside the lower lash line to achieve an icy stare.

If you’re wobbly with the kohl pencil, draw on one of the eye shadow crayon formulations, which are softer and easier to apply. Simply build up the colour for a more extreme look.


Banish visions of Bananarama, because coloured mascara has undergone a 2013 revival. A flash of blue will make your eyes pop in an instant. Just like a black mascara, one coat will add a subtle effect, but layering on two to three generous coats will make a fluttering statement.

“Don’t be worried about pulling off blue mascara, as it can brighten your eyes and make them look bigger,” reassures Debbie McDonald, NYX Cosmetics make-up artist.

“If you’re wary of full-on blue, start with black mascara and just add a blue mascara to the very tips of the lashes.”

As blue itself is a cool colour, opt for a lipstick or gloss in similarly cool shades to avoid a clash.

More in this section


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up