Skip to main content

How to Pull Off Colorful Eyeliner (And Our Favorite Ones to Try)

Make Colorful Eyeliner Great Again.
Model Kasia Struss backstage at Atelier Versace fall 2016 couture. Photo: Imaxtree

Model Kasia Struss backstage at Atelier Versace fall 2016 couture. Photo: Imaxtree

In my teen years, I thought it would be cool to make bright-green eyeliner my beauty signature. So, for the majority of sophomore year, I walked around wearing a messy band of kelly green on the upper lash line, thinking I was All That.

I most definitely was not All That. But the recent flurry of colorful eyeliners hitting the market (and the couture runways) is making me think back to my formative makeup years — and fun ways to wear color in new, exciting ways.

"Colored eyeliners are really easy to incorporate into your makeup regimen, especially in the summer months," says NYC-based makeup artist Neil Scibelli. "You can use a colored eyeliner to create a bold statement eye, or you can even just use a little to add an extra spark to your eyes." 

Not sure where to begin? "Hazel or brown eyes look amazing with jewel-toned liners, like purple and blue," says makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. "For hazel and lighter eyes, warm tones look beautiful. Try reddish browns or vibrant tones like MAC Chromagraph pencil in Cyan. If you want to ease your way into the trend, try a muted green shade, which will give you the effect of a neutral: "I love a matte khaki green — Butter London's eye pencil in Busker is wonderful," says Hughes.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

For a flash of color:
For an easy way to try the trend, Scibelli suggests creating a base of nude eye shadow, swiping a medium-sized line of colorful liner along the upper lash line and finishing with mascara. Another alternative is wearing color smudged along the lower lashline: "Colors like royal blue, gold, aqua and even fuchsia look fun and summery along the lower eyelid," says Scibelli.

For an ombré effect:
"If you want to wear two colors at once, start by skimming a pencil across your upper lash line from inner corner to middle. Before it sets, go in with the next shade and start where you left off, making sure to blend gently with a little brush," says Hughes. "Keep working to the wing until the desired look is reached."

For a maximum-impact gaze:
If you're looking to make a statement, Scibelli recommends using a gel formula over the entire lid for an intensely pigmented effect. Navy is great for a smoky eye-effect, but you can go brighter and bolder, too.

Click though the slideshow below for nine of our favorite formulas, and get ready to let your creativity run free this summer.

Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.

Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.