How to Create Watercolor Eyes

It’s baaack. Blue eyeshadow—worn sheer and lower on the lids—looks fun and fresh. So take back everything you said about the blue shadow boom in the ‘80s and follow these simple steps for modern, mermaid-like eyes in just a few minutes.

Follow These Steps

  1. Prep your eyelids by smoothing on an eyeshadow primer from your lash lines to your crease. This gives your shadow something to grip onto, so it’s less likely to fade and crease throughout the day (a lifesaver for those with oily lids). Try Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging ($13, sephora.com), which comes with a sponge applicator so you can easily apply the primer over your lids without getting your fingers messy. Bonus: The primer contains blurring pigments so tired lids look brighter and smoother.

  2. Dip an eyeshadow brush into a sheer turquoise shadow (skip opaque formulas that can look dated), then tap off any excess. Try CoverGirl Flamed Out Shadow Pot ($5, walgreens.com). Doing so prevents shadow bits from falling under your eyes during application (also known as fall out). Then pat the shadow onto your lid, moving from your lash line into your crease. Blend any harsh edges by moving your brush in a windshield wiper motion along your crease.

  3. Next, grab a creamy, light blue eyeliner. Gel formulas are easiest to work with. Try NYC Color City Proof 24HR Waterproof Eyeliner in Moody Blue ($4, walmart.com). Using short dashes, draw a line across your upper lids. Repeat on your lower lash lines.

  4. Finish with a few coats of black mascara on your top and bottom lashes. To boost volume, wiggle the brush at your roots then brush through lashes.

  5. To prevent midday smudges, dust a loose translucent powder under your eyes. We like Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($38, shop.nordstrom.com).

    When wearing a bright color on your lids, keep the rest of your makeup minimal. Dust on blush or bronzer and swipe on a neutral gloss to complete the look.