Colorful eyeshadow has been trending for a little while now, but for many, stepping outside of neutral tones can seem pretty daunting. Bright, bold looks can be tricky to get just right, especially if you’re newer to makeup or tend to stick to a natural look. However, a softer take on the colorful makeup trend, the pastel smokey eye, has been all over Instagram (and made a serious presence at Paris Haute Couture Week for Fall/Winter 2021). If you’ve been wanting to experiment with color in your makeup routine, this soft, subtle alternative is the perfect solution.

“The pastel smokey eye is a softer take on the classic smokey eye,” celebrity makeup artist and founder of GLAMAZON BeautyKim Baker, tells GLAM. “It’s created by using deeper medium and lighter tones of gorgeous pastel pinks, greens, lavenders, and baby blues, then blended together to create a sultry smokey look.

At this year’s Fall/Winter Paris Haute Couture Week, pastel eyes were all over the runways. Designers such as Armani Prive and Viktor & Rolf paired their stunning collections with shades of baby blue and pale pink making their looks even more head-turning. The soft wash of color allowed the clothing to be the star of the show, while still adding a playful element to the makeup. You don’t need to be a fashion model on the Paris runways to try a pastel smokey eye, though — there are plenty of ways to incorporate the trend into your fall beauty looks.

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Though we typically associate fall makeup with warm copper or berry tones, pastel eyes are an unexpected way to mix things up this season. These softer shades also make it easier to create a smokey eye, a technique that can be super intimidating. “Who doesn’t love a gorgeous smokey eye?” says Baker. “But for some women, the classic smokey eye looks too extreme for comfort. So, I suggest trying pastel smokey eyes. This look is soft and pretty and can be achieved using green, purples, and pretty pinks on the crease or lower waterline to create soft sexy smokey looks in living color!”

Products to help you create a pastel smokey eye

If your makeup collection is mostly taupes and browns, refresh your stash with one of these colorful picks plus a gel eyeliner, which Baker says will tie together your entire pastel smokey eye look.

BH Cosmetics Flower Power 16 Color Shadow Palette ($12;

With pink and purple hues in both rich mattes and lustrous shimmers, this palette can create an array of soft pastel eye looks. The nude tones are also great for more neutral, everyday makeup.

Essence Daily Dose Of Power Eyeshadow Palette ($7.99,,)

If cool tones are your thing, grab this nine-pan eye palette from Essence that features brighter jewel tones as well as soft pastels.

GLAMAZON Beauty Flawless Gel Liner Pen ($18;

“Another key to completing this look is to line your eyes,” says Baker. “Try using GLAMAZON Beauty’s Flawless Gel eyeliner; liner is a product the makes the shades really pop.”

Pastel smokey eye inspiration

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