Blue Eyeshadow Could Become as Classic as Your Favorite Jeans

According to celebrity makeup artists, a true blue movement is just beginning.

Bella Hadid wears blue eyeshadow.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The beauty world is feeling pretty blue right a good way. Decades after its '90s rise to fame (which followed its major '60s popularity and subsequent '90s revival), blue eyeshadow has once again made its way into the zeitgeist. These days, searches for "blue eyeshadow aesthetic" are up 65 percent on Pinterest and you can find a denim-washed eye look anywhere from the grocery checkout to the runway.

No, you don't need a skilled professional or personal color analyst to make blue eyeshadow looks work in real life. The shade is actually suitable for everyone, and can be managed with something as simple as a finger swipe.

Ready to dive into the vast ocean of blue eyeshadow looks? Ahead, top makeup artists share with Marie Claire their tips and insights into mastering the blue eyeshadow aesthetic. Scroll to discover which true blue shades are best for you, plus the products to get you started.

What to Look For in Blue Eyeshadow

If you want your blue eyeshadow to really pop, you need one with plenty of pigment. Otherwise, you might end up with a wash of coolness that looks more sickly than starry-eyed.

According to makeup artist Jonet Williamson, a "true blue" (see: Violette_FR’s Yves Klein-blue shadow, Dieu) looks great on every skin tone. It's once you begin to explore the color wheel—take blues that lean more green or more purple as examples—that you'll want to consider your personal complexion.

"Blue greens like teal tend to look more flattering on warmer complexions, while blue violets like periwinkle look best on cooler skin tones," the makeup pro says.

Makeup artist Chynara Kojoeva agrees that blue eyeshadow suits every skin color. "It’s just about finding the right shade of blue for your skin tone," she says. Light skin is better suited to muted colors with light or baby blue undertones—a less is more approach. Meanwhile, "the brighter, the better" is the motto for deep skin tones. "Go with the blues that pop and stand out," Kojoeva recommends.

The shade can complement any eye color as well. “There’s that whole thing where people don’t like to think out the box too much. Or they don't want something to look seemingly too much out of their comfort zone," makeup artist Emma Willis says. "But I have to say, blue eyeshadow can go so well with so many different colored eyes."

Ginevra Mavilla is seen wearing silver earrings, blue eyeshadow, a long grey long sleeves fur coat and a grey jumpsuit outside the Ferragamo show during the Milan Fashion Week - Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 on September 23, 2023 in Milan, Italy.

A blue eyeshadow look spotted during Milan Fashion Week in September 2023.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why Is the Blue Eyeshadow Aesthetic So Popular?

Williamson says blue eyeshadow always trends upward during the colder months—maybe it's our way of manifesting blue skies ahead?

"Blue is one of those colors that can be worn in the winter and spring, so during this time of year, I always expect to see more blue eye looks in different hues," she notes.

Still, there are specific trendsetters who've earned credit for reviving bright blue palettes. You'd be hard pressed to search "blue eyeshadow aesthetic" online and not find a still from the movie The Love Witch. The 2016 film featured an array of brilliant, bright shadow looks by Willis—most of them blue.

"We really wanted that sort of siren, ‘60s look. Big eyes with big makeup, thinking back to the movie stars of the late ‘60s," Willis shares. "With regards to the turquoise blue we landed on, the trend didn’t take off, in terms of the shadow, until the last few years. And then, obviously, Euphoria came on the scene."

Celebrities are also newly exploring blue eyeshadow's potential. In January 2024, makeup artist Kenya Alexis gave Keke Palmer a dramatic slate-blue eyeshadow look that left fans begging for more. Other recent celebrity co-signers include Selena Gomez and Julia Fox.

A still from the 2016 movie "The Love Witch."

Emma Willis's makeup and hair for The Love Witch earned her a nomination for Technical Achievement of the Year at the 2018 London Critics Circle Film Awards—and a compliment from Jude Law.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories)

The History of Blue Eyeshadow

Strong blue eyeshadow can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt—Cleopatra was on Willis's The Love Witch inspiration board!—when minerals like lapis lazuli were utilized to create a vibrant hue. Makeup artist Erin Parsons has tried this out with actual lapis lazuli, a hammer, and a mortar and pestle—it works.

Centuries later, icons like Brigitte Bardot, Diana Ross, and Twiggy's makeup in the '60s and '70s once again contributed to the look's widespread adoption.

"I think blue eyeshadow is ultimate classic look that tends to make a comeback now and then, just like a leopard print trend in fashion," Kojoeva says.

Still, it's not all the same as it was. The shades of blue eyeshadow available have expanded vastly as color cosmetics have become more inclusive over the years.

In the '80s, Kojoeva notes, "It was all about deeper blues worn up to the brows." Then in the '90s and early '00s, starlets like Paris Hilton, Beyoncé, and Sarah Jessica Parker were obsessed with a "frosty, metallic wash" of blue. Today, we have all of the above—and some intense pigments made possible by recent beauty innovations.

English fashion model Jean Shrimpton looks at the camera, wearing heavy blue eyeshadow, 1960s.

Model Jean Shrimpton was one of many to take on blue eyeshadow in the '60s.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to Wear Blue Eyeshadow

There are so, so many ways to wear blue eyeshadow. You can go mod or more modern, subtle or monochromatic.

Williamson, for example, loves to see blues in different textures and tones used on the eye for a monochromatic look. Picture a light, shimmery teal shadow paired with dark navy/royal blue eyeliner, like Shiseido's Kajal InkArtist Pencil in "Gunjo Blue."

"It’s all about having fun and wearing it confidently," Kojoeva adds. "I personally love to use the blue color as an accent around the inner corner of the eyes or around the waterline. You don’t have to go all out to get a strong look."

To get started, Willis recommends prepping your lids with concealer for a "flawless, even canvas." Then, begin finger painting. If you're using a powder, make sure you have a mixing medium on hand to influence how the color reads and how long the pigment will wear.

“The best way to use any blue eyeshadows is definitely with your fingers," says Willis. "For general application—and to get that rich turquoise blue—you want to use your fingers to apply and get the richest, best pigment from the product. ”

While applying, you'll want to buff the shadow at the crease, slightly diffusing it out so there's no major transition of color. (You don’t want a sharp line.) Another note? In sticking with classic makeup rules, if you're going for bold eyeshadow, you should probably stay away from, say, a bold lip.

"I tend to go easy on blush and eyebrows, and stay away from bright lip colors," Kojoeva says. "Keep the eyelid nice and clean and just add winged dark brown or black eyeliner. Take a smudge brush or even your finger and apply blue shadow around the inner corner of your eyes. It will make your eyes pop instantly. If you wanna go extra, add corner lashes and, voila, you're ready."

A blue eyeshadow makeup look by Chynara Kojoeva.

Chynara Kojoeva gave Amy Jackson a blue eyeshadow look for the Rabanne show at Paris Fashion Week in September 2023.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Chynara Kojoeva.)

The Best Blue Eyeshadows

Meet the Experts

Emma Willis
Emma Willis

Originally from the U.K., Emma Willis is a Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist, hairstylist, and men's groomer who trained at the prestigious London College of Fashion. Her client list includes JoJo Fletcher, Chrishell Stause, Rachel Zoe, Ariana Madix, Ashley Greene, Jessie James Decker, Jana Kramer, Giuliana Rancic, Audrina Patridge, Jaime Camil, and Jordan Rodgers, among many others.

Jonet Williamson
Jonet Williamson

Makeup Artist, Jonet Williamson discovered her love for art at a very early age. While growing up in New Orleans, one of the world's most eclectic and inspiring cities, Jonet was admitted into the gifted art program of her magnet high school. Here is where she began to master color theory, symmetry, texture, and innovation. From paint brushes to makeup brushes, she has used those same skills to solidify her style as a pro within the beauty industry.

In 2005, Jonet began her journey in beauty working as a makeup artist for M.A.C. Cosmetics. Here the feeling of connecting with other women and helping them see the beauty within themselves became her greatest passion.

With a willingness to learn and an eye for perfection Jonet moved to New York City in 2014 determined to further her artistry and career. Since then, her work has been featured in commercial campaigns (Dolce & Gabanna, Levis, Shea Moisture), editorials (Essence, L'Officiel), and tv & film productions (CBS, MTV, TNT).

Drawing influence from the art of painting her style is a fusion of hyper real skin, modern beauty elements, and abstract expressionism. Jonet Williamson also works closely with brands on content creation (Revlon, Shiseido, L'Oreal, Beauty Counter) and product development. If you follow her online you can expect to see lots of fresh skin, a vibrant use of color, striking graphic liner shapes, and soft glam looks fit for a red carpet.

Chynara Kojoeva
Chynara Kojoeva

Chynara Kojoeva is a celebrity makeup artist based in Paris and London. Her work has been seen on Ashley Graham, Nicole Scherzinger, and Nicole Richie—among many others.

Sophia Vilensky
Freelance Writer

Sophia Vilensky is a Freelance Beauty Writer at Marie Claire with a beauty, wellness, and entertainment journalism portfolio that includes contributions to Byrdie, Bravo, Teen Vogue, and Us Weekly. Growing up in a family of beauticians—and through her own personal studies—she developed an in-depth understanding of aesthetics, cosmetic product formulation, and beauty treatment development and has also held roles as a senior copywriter, content strategist, and proofreader for top beauty and wellness brands. Even so, you'd be hard pressed to find her with her hair and makeup actually done. Sophia is based in Minneapolis and is a 2019 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she majored in English and minored in cinema studies. During her time at the university, she was the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Minnesota Daily, earning the 2019 Editor of the Year award for her work. She connected deeply with the Twin Cities arts scene, collaborating with leading beauty professionals, designers, and artists. Graduating Summa Cum Laude, her thesis—a close-reading of Vanderpump Rules—was featured on NPR. When not immersed in writing or testing new products, Sophia enjoys watching reality TV, reading, and exploring the newest woo-woo wellness trends. Keep up with her on Instagram @sophiavilensky.