The Bright Makeup Look That Minimalists Will Still Love

Photo: JB Lacroix/WireImage.
If you're the kind of person who considers tinted balm a bold lip and BB cream full coverage, then you might be looking at 2018's beauty trends and thinking, What the fuck? Blue eyeshadow, yellow nails, orange lips, glitter from head-to-toe. After seasons of no-makeup makeup, it's finally the maximalist's turn to shine.
But there's one emerging trend that's like training wheels for people whose makeup bags have historically consisted of nudes, browns, and rosy pinks. Purple eyeshadow is soft and universally flattering, and nearly impossible to get wrong — making it the the perfect introduction to wearing brighter colours.
Check out how celebs like Yara Shahidi, Jenna Dewan Tatum, and Saoirse Ronan are wearing the trend, plus tips for pulling it off, ahead.
1 of 6

A post shared by Emily (@emilychengmakeup) on

The key to colourful eye makeup that stays on your lids? Step away from the fluffy brush. Instead, makeup artist Emily Cheng, who recently added a shock of amethyst to Shahidi’s lids, presses the powder on with her fingers then uses a clean brush to blend the edges. That keeps the colour from spreading everywhere, she notes.

For a colour this vibrant, start with a cream or pencil base or apply the shadow wet. She used Purple Reign from Pat McGrath Labs La Vie En Rose Palette for this look, but also suggests shades from the Natasha Denona Lila Palette, which are richly pigmented and flatter all skin tones.

Pat McGrath Labs Mthrshp Subversive La Vie En Rose Palette, £70, available at London Loves Beauty
2 of 6

A post shared by ALLAN AVENDAÑO (@allanface) on

Makeup artist Allan Avendaño fused shades of purple from two different palettes to create a halo around Jenna Dewan Tatum’s eyes. A tight line of black on the upper lid and touch of Hollywood’s favourite glitter finish the outstanding look.

Butter London Eyeshadow Duo in Sassy Pants, £10.20, available at Look Fantastic.

Maybelline The City Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Graffiti Pop, £8.46, available at Amazon.
3 of 6

A post shared by fionastiles (@fionastiles) on

“For this look, we did something soft, easy and pretty and let the hair do the talking — a nod to disco,” says makeup artist Fiona Stiles. When paired with a soft contour on cheekbones, a strong, but not heavy brow, and a bit of black liner for definition, a haze of purple shadow makes for dreamy, diffused glamour on Gabrielle Union.

Surratt Beauty Artistique Eyeshadow in Tyrian, £18, available at Cult Beauty.
4 of 6
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
If you want something a little more subtle, go for a wash of lilac like Saoirse Ronan. In an Instagram post, makeup artist Kara Yoshimoto Bua noted that she pulled the purple shade from this Chanel palette, and skipped mascara to make the look more modern.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in 262 Tissé Camélia, £44, available at Chanel.
5 of 6

A post shared by ALLAN AVENDAÑO (@allanface) on

Proving the shade doesn’t need to be worn solo, Avendaño breathes new life into the traditional black smoky eye by adding a halo of purple to Sabrina Carpenter’s lower lids.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Vice, £15, available at Urban Decay
6 of 6
Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images.
How do you get ready to take the stage when singing with David Bowie’s band as part of a tribute to the late musical icon? By painting those lids power purple. Makeup artist Toby Fleischman did just that for Evan Rachel Wood, taking the shade up to her brow bone and on lower lids as well.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan in Wisteria, £4.95, available at Beauty Bay.

More from Makeup


R29 Original Series