Colored Mascara Is Instagram's Latest Beauty Craze — & It's So Easy To Pull Off

Photographed by Jens Ingvarsson.
Colored mascara has fallen in and out of vogue over the past decades. It hit the mass market scene first in the '60s, when Revlon released hues like mauve and dark green to eager consumers. Twenty years later, in the late '80s and early '90s, colored mascara started trending yet again, but this time the hues complimented the more-is-more looks of the era, like grungy smoky eyes and dramatic washes of blue eyeshadow.
Colored mascara has made yet another resurgence this year, but instead of using it to supplement a bold eye look, makeup enthusiasts all over Instagram have chosen to use it in more pigmented, purposeful ways.
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"Colored mascara is its own statement," says makeup artist Tami Shirey. Think: Just blue mascara worn as a pop of color with nothing else, she says. Thanks to modern day makeup aficionados' love for colored lashes, the beauty world has been blessed with crisp, defined looks in bold shades like turquoise, burgundy, and royal blue.
Curious to see what we mean? Check out our guide to wearing colored mascara in the slides ahead.
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The Trick: Prep & Prime

Those of you who've tried colored mascara before know that it takes some layering to get the color to go pop — especially if you have darker eyelashes. "I apply colored mascara straight onto bare lashes if the lashes are light," says Shirey. "But if you have dark, thick lashes use a primer first before putting the color on."
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Most eyelash primers come in light hues, like white or pink, making them the perfect base to layer color over top. This one from L'Oréal goes on white and instantly boosts lashes.

L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Primer, $8.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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The Trick: When In Doubt, Go Blue

Colored mascara can be intimidating, that's why Shirey recommends starting with deep blue hues rather than reaching for anything too bright your first time. Blue mascara is what we like to call a "gateway product" to bolder and brighter hues. Why? Depending on its intensity, it can pass as black but still serve as a pop of fun color.
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This royal blue mascara from Marc Jacobs can be layered for an bold effect or applied more subtly.

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara in All About Yves, $28, available at Sephora.
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The Trick: Let Your Eye Color Guide You

While there are no right or wrong colors when it comes to mascara, certain hues will flatter different eye colors better — that's why Shirey recommends keeping basic color theory in mind. Those with blue irises might find shades of green or brown most flattering whereas shades like purple, green, and blue will bring out brown eyes. Green-eyed gals will love warm browns and purples. What's more? As a general rule, warm-toned colors like red, pink, peach, or burgundy will quickly warm up any eye color, says Shirey.
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Burgundy is a color that has a chameleon-like effect on the lashes. In certain lights the shade can veer brown, whereas when packed on heavily it looks impactful — and almost a little smoky.

Yves Saint Laurent The Shock Volumizing Mascara in Burgundy Bad, $29, available at Nordstrom.
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The Trick: Keep It Minimal

Since colored mascara makes such a bold statement on its own, Shirey likes to keep the rest of her makeup relatively minimal. Think: Fresh, natural-looking skin, with a layer of bronzer or blush to warm up your complexion. Wear your colored mascara solo or add a thin cat-eye to define your eyes even more, she instructs.
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This liquid eyeliner from DHC is perfect for creating itty bitty cat-eyes and thin, crisp lines. It features a paint brush-style tip that deposits the perfect amount of opaque, long-lasting color.

DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX, $20, available at DHC.
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While we love wearing colored mascara on its own, it can just as easily be paired with a host of complementary shadows and liners for an even bolder effect. Check out this video to see it in action.
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