Blue eye shadow was a staple of early aughts beauty. The pigmented, glittery shades were the most popular, with the decade’s reigning divas like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton leading the charge. In hindsight, the look was temporarily considered cringe-worthy, but like so many other styles from the era, blue eye shadow has officially entered the trend cycle yet again.
Between bold editorial makeup and runway looks to beauty-centered media like HBO’s Euphoria, blue eye shadow is back in a big way. Celebrities like Dua Lipa, Gigi Hadid, and Lizzo have been loving blue eye shadow, while designers like Christian Siriano prominently featured the shade in their makeup looks at this season’s Fashion Month shows.
Given the current obsession with reviving early 2000s trends (like French manicures, brown lipstick, and butterfly clips), the return of blue eye shadow was an inevitable fate. “The early 2000s was a time in history when pop culture was idyllic and aspirational as opposed to realistic and relatable,” celebrity makeup artist Jamie Dorman tells GLAM. “I think people are craving an escape into an optimistic aesthetic, and 2000s trends really serve that need.”
How to Wear Blue Eye Shadow in 2022
As a color that can very easily look garish, it’s not exactly surprising that a lot of people are intimidated by blue eye shadow. To ease your way into the trend, Dorman suggests first using it as an eyeliner, rather than all over the lid. “Keeping the color close to the eye will be more subtle and wearable,” she says. “You can apply your shadow with a small pencil brush, like the Rephr brush 23.”
To really lean into the look, you’ll want to start by applying an eye shadow primer. Then, using a blending brush, apply eye shadow all over your lid. This is key: Apply a heavier hand of color at the lashline and when blending up the lid, sheer the color out so it becomes softer. One shade of blue is all you need to create this standout look, though you can blend blues together if you have them available.
When it comes to choosing the best shade of blue for you, Dorman says you can either contrast it with your eye color or choose one that flatters your skin tone. “Blue and green eyes will want a blue that veers more violet; this shade also flatters warm skin tones,” she explains. “Brown eyes will want to try a true blue or a turquoise blue. This shade will also flatter neutral and cool skin tones.”
The Best Blue Eye Shadows to Try
Because it’s such a massive trend at the moment, there’s no shortage of blue eye shadows on the market. To recreate the classic early 2000s powdery blue, Glossier Skywash in the shade “Pool” is perfect — plus, it’s super easy to swipe on with its doe-foot applicator. Affordable beauty brand e.l.f. just released a cookies and cream-inspired makeup collection featuring an eye shadow palette with multiple shades of blue as well as a baby blue eye shadow stick that will surely help you achieve a Y2K makeup look.
Dorman recommends the Lime Crime Late Night Revel Eyeshadow Palette, which is currently on sale for just $15. “[It] has great blue called ‘Celebration’ and complimenting colors for a blue eye look,” the makeup artist says. For a blue smoky eye, Dorman recommends the Rituel de Fille Eye Soot in Caerulum, a deep turquoise loose pigment with a reflective sheen. Of course, another great brand for saturated eye shadow shades is MAC; Frost Eye Shadow in shade “In the Shadows” is a vibrant blue with a subtle shimmer.
Blue Eye Shadow Trend Inspiration
Like we said, there are a number of ways to wear blue eye shadow and no shortage of inspiration. Scroll through some of our favorite looks below.
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