If you’re eager to understand why blue eyeshadow never fades from fashion’s fickle spotlight and how it has come to hold such a steadfast place in our makeup kits, stay tuned. Let’s dive into the blue together.

the spellbinding stamina of blue eyeshadow
a woman with her eyes closed and a smile on her face

Listen to Episode:

Or Listen On:


This post may contain affiliate links, such as Amazon and Shop My, that I may earn from qualifying links. This means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, but never fear, because it means no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.


In This Episode We Cover:

  • Blue eyeshadow is more than just a color; it’s a fashion staple that somehow transcends decades with its captivating hues.
  • Its associations with rebellion, individuality, and the constant human endeavor to stand out and be unique in contrast to societal norms.
  • What a versatile choice blue eyeshadow is for anyone, irrespective of age, ethnicity, gender, or style, celebrating inclusivity in the world of makeup.


click here to read the transcript!


Episode 60: Show notes

a woman with her eyes closed and a smile on her face

As I sat down to compile my research for my upcoming vintage makeup course (exciting!), a stroke of inspiration hit me.

That enduring classic of the makeup world, the one that we sometimes take for granted, blue eyeshadow, seems to be the ultimate style chameleon.

Having been immersed in the film and television makeup industry for over a quarter of a century, I’ve seen my fair share of trends come and go.

Yet, blue eyeshadow holds a unique place, constantly reinventing itself across the decades, while maintaining its allure. And massive popularity, let’s not deny it.

Indeed, blue eyeshadow is one of those timeless trends that seem to defy the boundaries of period and style.

It has been the silent confidant for the silver screen sirens and a loud statement for cultural icons who dared to stand out.

From the subtle pastel blues of the ’40s to the vibrant pops of aqua in the ’80s, this color has triumphed through the ages, emerging as a badge of rebellion against the mundane hues that we’re often told to adhere to.

Reflecting on its significance, I can’t help but wonder if, under its cool facade, blue eyeshadow also symbolizes a fight for autonomy and independence.

As I delve further into color theory, as I can tend to do (yes – it’s that important!) it becomes more than a tad evident why blue eyeshadow remains a staple.

Its striking contrast against our skin tones – regardless of the shade or texture of your skin – ensures it never fails to captivate.

However, there’s more to its story than just complementary hues on the color wheel.

This trend can be viewed as somewhat of an emblem of our cultural and societal shifts, mirroring our collective psyche’s evolution through the changing tides of fashion and self-expression.

The last century witnessed an intriguing evolution in the shades of blue that graced our eyelids.

They softened during the days of conservative glamor and burst forth with electricity during periods of societal upheaval and technological uprising.

Each shade carries with it an echo of history, a sentiment of the era it represents. That adaptation is also attributable to the advancements in the cosmetic industry, which have broadened the spectrum of available options and textures as never before.

Today, the world of blue eyeshadow can provide us with a vast, egalitarian playground where every shade, brightness, and texture is accessible to anyone eager enough to make a statement.

It offers an expansive way for individuals of any age, race, and gender to express themselves confidently.

In fact, thinking about it, blue eyeshadow today stands hand in hand with the classic red lipstick, both reigning supreme in the makeup hall of fame as all-time classic makeup looks from by-gone eras that undoubtedly stand the test of time. And these makeup choices are as relevant everyday today as they have ever been.

As a makeup artist, I’ve watched this color ride the waves of change, and each time it surfaces, it seems fresher, more relevant than before. So whether you’re channeling a vintage vibe or crafting a modern masterpiece, blue eyeshadow is your trusty companion.

And if you share a passion for the vintage esthetic, I’ve created a little treasure—a free guide with vital vintage makeup techniques that just might give you the edge on your next production.

Drawing from decades of observation and practice, these techniques are bound to enrich your knowledge and skill-set and prepare you for any on-set curveballs.

It’s always a pleasure sharing these little nuggets of wisdom and insight with fellow enthusiasts who understand the power of a swipe of shadow to transform not just a look, but an attitude.

So let’s embrace these gems of the past and carry them into our ever-evolving craft.

Here’s to blue eyeshadow, a nod to the classics, a wink to the rebels, and a salute to perennial style.

Click here to listen to this episode!


Episode Transcript

[00:00:02]: Doing a bit of research lately for a course that I’ve been putting together for quite some time now that focuses entirely on vintage or period makeup. When I had this light bulb moment and it kind of dawned on me.

Blue eyeshadow is always in style.

[00:00:57]: When you look back, it really is. Basically now anything goes, sure, but it had its moment in the pale powder blue form for a little blink of the eye in the nineties, in vibrant aquas and royal blue eyeliners in the eighties, shimmer baby blues in the 1970s and the twiggy dramatic crease line look in the sixties, the fifties, shades with very light blues and kind of greys as well, and same, same, but less in the 1940s.

And then even back, back and beyond that, the renaissance, restoration and wacky eras when makeup hid as many societal and private wrongs as it did enhance them.

Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn portrait, Xandra Rhodes, even the icon to inspire all icons, David Bowie himself, Liza Minnelli in Cabaret, Liz Taylor as Cleopatra, John Waters’ pretty flamingo herself, Divine, Christina Ricci in Buffalo 66, and who could forget Isabella Rossellini in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, who was no subtle source indeed of inspiration, for the 1990s alternative femme waif musician extraordinaire PJ Harvey, and through to today’s blue eyeshadow flag wavers such as Euphoria’s Maddie.

It’s interesting to look at why blue eyeshadow is so ever present and what it has come to represent, and perhaps has always done so.

Rebellion, standing out, attention seeking, or perhaps just trying to separate oneself from the norm-neutral tones that we’re constantly told are flattering, blah blah, blah.

Come to think of it, do they represent women who struggle to stand up to gain autonomy and self-dependence against overly domineering male counterparts?

It’s an interesting study when you really start digging.

Actually, I think the real reason blue eyeshadow is so constantly present and reappearing like a revolving door in fashion history simply boils down to my old friend and much referred to color theory, and that is that it is one of the strongest contrasting colors to our own skin tones that for the most part and giving the theory a little leeway.

[00:03:25]: Our skin, regardless of tone or shade, is on the opposite side of a colour wheel to the color blue. I truly do believe that it all comes down to contrasting with the skin. It stands out, and in this day and age, I’m all for it.

There are, however, definitive shade shifts, at least in the last century when you look at fashion and trends, from the light and soft blue tones of the forties through to the sixties ish, when it really did break out of its shell and go vibrant, didn’t it?

But that was the 1960s breaking out, questioning our leaders, questioning authority, and the shimmer aqua blues powder blues of the seventies which turned royal blue and electric blue in the eighties when a blue eyeliner really had its moment. It’s also interesting when you look at those trends and shifts and also probably paired perfectly with technology and advancements within cosmetic fields and companies, too.

The graduation of shade colors broaden from the eighties onwards for the most part, and to the last few decades with the lush navies and really soft, deep shimmer blues, blue blacks and charcoal gray blue shades.
Definitely more tertiary tones today, which I suspect come to symbolize for me that we can all wear blue eyeshadow. No matter your age, race, gender, geographical situation, every shade, brightness and texture is available for you to adopt today.

[00:05:01]: And I think blue eyeshadow has never had more options for standing tall and keeping that crown right up there with red lipstick for the world of Makeup’s MVP award for yet another decade in history.

Now, if you love vintage makeup and want to learn more, I’ve got a little free guide for you that may just help you next time you’re working on a production set in a different time period from the modern day.

It focuses on three vital vintage makeup techniques that you might not have thought about when creating makeup looks from any historical period. So there might be one or two surprises there, and they might just solve some challenges that you’ll face in the future.

So if you want to grab that, go to themakeuprefinery.com vital vintage makeup and you can follow the instructions there and learn these techniques to take with you on your next period project and perhaps be a little bit ahead of the game.

So when these sometimes surprising challenges come up, you’ll know exactly what to do and you’ll be ready for them before they even get to you. Okay, that’s it for today. Nice short episode just singing my praise to the ever present trend that is blue eyeshadow.

Love it. All right, see you next time. Bye.

Take Me Back to the Podcast Homepage

More about the Podcast

If you loved this episode, and you haven’t subscribed to the podcast yet, don’t forget to subscribe.

And if you know someone, perhaps you have a friend who’s a makeup artist or loves makeup, and is always looking for a new makeup podcast to pop in their ears, then it would mean the world to me if you could share my podcast with them.
I love makeup and skincare, and it’s my honor to share my passion with you, so you can listen to my show, Monday and Thursday, by simply subscribing below.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.