Despite being a typically spring-inspired hue, pink, in almost every form and variation was rife across the AW15 runways - just one of many features contributing towards an overwhelming trend for a simultaneously excessive yet delicate femininity. We’re well versed in applying the colour to our lips and cheeks, but when it comes to adorning our lids with rosy hues we're right to be wary...
Mastering the look requires acute consideration for the fine line between success and failure when translating the trend from runway to real-life. Connotations of ill-health are typically associated with red-toned discolouration around the eyes, so finesse is required to avoid a style that suggests swelling and irritation. I personally find that a bold look is best; anything too light and delicate gives a too-natural appearance, and in this case, you want people to know that you're wearing eyeshadow and not suffering from ocular infection. I find that lining the waterline with a white or nude eyeliner helps to enhance the appearance of bright, fresh wide eyes and cancels out any natural redness.
For a bold, one-wash wonder that is decidedly not hayfever-esque, MAC's Pigment in Rose offers a warm, bright spin on the trend thanks to gold pigment wrought throughout the formula. This serves to brighten and enhance natural eye colour and prevents the pink hue from leaning too cold. Far from being an 'only the brave' type of product, this is glitter in its most versatile form; whether you intensify the formula with water for an opaque molten effect, or sheer it across the lid with the tip of a finger the result is a dazzling take on classic rose.
A similar effect can more easily be achieved by the novice [or the woman pressed for time] with the CHANEL Stylo Eyeshadow in Laurier Rose. I’ve long since favoured an eyeshadow crayon for speedy and precise application, and the silky, buttery formula of Chanel’s offering is one of the best I’ve used. Again, the formula is flecked with gold, which in this case gives the hue a flattering metallic rose-gold finish. For a cooler, crisper alternative, NARS' Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Europa* allows for a grownup take on Barbie pink lids. Peachy undertones give the shade a decidedly romantic touch, which has a princessy, innocent feel when sheered out across the lid. I add water to intensify the effect for a luminous, high-shine finish.
Alternatively, the trend can also be approached by layering light colours for a soft, sculpted effect that translates the colour as a diffused shadow rather than a graphic block of colour.
This effect can be achieved by adopting a multipurpose attitude towards beauty; use a matte, warm-toned blush to create a dusky rose-taupe look [NARS' Blush in Douceur and LAURA MERCER’s Second Skin Cheek Colour in Rose Bloom are personal favourites]. When repurposing blusher for eyeshadow, be wary of overtly sheer or loose formulas, which won’t last well, and ensure that colour is blended to prevent fallout or a patchy look. Blend a soft brown tone into the crease if the pigment leans too red for your liking.
With an ever-growing eyeshadow collection that encompasses multiple and myriad shades of pink, & Other Stories’ Eye Colours are exceptionally well pigmented [given their minimal price tag] and blend together beautifully. For an everyday look I dust & OTHER STORIES Eye Colour in Tiretaine Blush* from lash line to brow bone, before darkening the crease with & OTHER STORIES Eye Colour in Organza Coral*, carefully blending in the warmer, deeper hue. This results in a soft blush of colour that subtly sculpts, enhances, and defines the eyes. A similar effect can be achieved with the versatile formula of CLARINS Ombre Minérale Eyeshadow in Petal*, which whether applied wet, dry, softly, or heavily, results in smooth intense colour that retains both placement and pigment throughout the day. I typically apply this across the lid with a fluffy blending brush before using a brush with more densely packed bristles to intensify pigment into the crease, outer corner, and lashline. Between the strong colour and pearlescent finish, the final look places a fresh, modern take on a typically feminine look, proving that pink can be edgy.
Ignore the bounds of precision and perfection and extend the colour away from the lid as Peter Phillips did at Dior. I use NO7 Stay Perfect Shade & Define in Pink Pearl to fill and rim the socket before blending the pigment out for a chic suggestion of a cat-eye shape that transcends conventional eyeshadow boundaries. The suggestion of rebellion displayed via a delicate colour, subtle sheen and creamy formula perfectly captures the romantic finesse of the trend.
Those wary of diving headfirst into an exclusively pink-lidded look would be well-served investing in a pink-toned eyeshadow quad, which typically sees pink hues paired with safe, neutral taupes, browns, and golds. SISLEY Phyto 4 Ombres in Dream* offers a rich chocolate brown, a warm taupe-gold, and a creamy champagne shade alongside a bright, cool pink. Apply the pink over the lid then use the neutral shades to subtly sculpt and enhance definition by blending them into play from every angle. Similarly SUQQU’s Blend Colour Eyeshadow in Kaoribara* provides a dusky blue, a muted brown, and a matte cream to complement a super shimmery dusky pink. For a failsafe go-to look blend pink and brown together for a universally flattering take on the trend.
To complete the look, define the lash line with a soft brown eyeliner, apply a few strokes of lengthening mascara [again, brown looks less harsh against the delicate pink] and ensure that brows are well and tidily groomed. Forgo bright pink blush or lips in order to let the eyes stand out and avoid any unfortunate clashing - instead use a warm taupe shade to subtly sculpt the cheeks and enhance the lips with a brown-toned matte lip colour.
How are you embracing the penchant for pink lids?