One thing I love about makeup is how colorful it can make me. There’s a time and a place for natural, subdued makeup (most days), but there’s also a time for fun, ridiculous looks like the one above. I decided to start a new series, Color Challenge, to force myself into using some of the wilder colors in my palettes.
First up is a pink smokey eye, which is much easier to pull off than it sounds. I’ve read over and over that women should avoid pink eyeshadow, because it can make it look as if you have conjunctivitis. It’s definitely a high-risk, high-reward look. Execution is everything.
Here’s the breakdown of the look:
1) Start with an even base, using foundation and concealer as needed. If you’re wearing pink eyeshadow, pink splotches (as I had pre-foundation) will be more noticeable than usual.
2) Apply an eye primer, such as my standby Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. Eye primer is essential for complex, bright looks like this. If you’re working with less pigmented drugstore shadows, this is especially important. Another great option is to use a white eyeshadow pencil as a base, such as NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. Think of it like applying a white primer coat before painting a wall a bright color.
3) Apply silver eyeshadow to the inside half of your eye, brushing from inside to out. I’m still looking for a great high-pigmented silver shadow. Until then, I’ve been using the top shade in Physician’s Formula Smokey Blue Eyes. It’s not the silkiest shadow I own, but it is incredible value for 9 shadows for only $5.
4) Apply a hot pink eyeshadow to the outer half of your eye, brushing from the outside corner in. Using the opposite brushing technique as the silver shadow will help you blend these two colors together. I used Junkshow from my favorite (possibly? so hard to choose) palette, Urban Decay’s 15th Anniversary Palette. Junkshow is a bright pink with a fuchsia shift.
5) Use a blending brush to soften the line between the silver and the hot pink. Aim for a subtle gradient between the two shades as it shifts from silver to soft pink to fuchsia If you don’t have a blending brush, simply use a clean eyeshadow brush with a similar shape. I used my crease brush as a replacement.
6) Apply a purple shadow to the outside corner and crease. As with the pink shadow, make sure to spend extra time blending it into the other shades. With bright shades, blending is particularly important – you don’t want to give the eyeshadow a paint-by-numbers effect.
7) Line your upper lashes with purple liner. Eyeliner is crucial to this look, because it helps create definition between the pink eyeshadow and your eyes. This helps prevent the look from seeming like an eye infection. Almay Intense Eyeliner in Purple has great pigmentation for a drugstore liner.
8) Line your lower waterline and lashes with silver liner. Waterlines (the wet inner rim) are often pink-toned, which makes you look like you’ve got allergies. Silver eyeliner helps brighten your eyes, and also matches the silver shade on your inside lid. Try L’Oreal HIP Liner in Silver Lightening – it’s only $3!
9) Apply two coats of mascara to your top lashes and one coat to your bottom. Focus the mascara to the outer third section of your lashes for a more wide-eyed look. I used Benefit They’re Real, a new mascara I’m trying out and loving so far!
11) Apply a small amount of pink blush to the apples of your cheeks. With a look this intense, you want don’t want to compete with your eyes. A touch of pale pink blush, such as Nars in Gaiety, is all you need,
12) Apply a sheer pink lip balm. Sure, you could go for bubble gum pink, fuschia, or purple lipstick, but do you really need that much going on? I prefer the simplicity of a balm like Fresh Sugar Lip Treament in Rose. Bonus points – you won’t need to worry about lipstick stains on your Tecates.
This was a really fun experiment, and I’m so happy with the results! I loved the look of Junkshow eyeshadow in the pan, but I was worried it would be hard to pull off such a bright pink eyeshadow. I hope this can inspire you to take some risks with your makeup and try something new.