Why blue beauty is one of the season’s coolest make-up trends

From mermaidcore to holographic eyes, here’s everything you need to know about winter’s aquatic-inspired blue beauty aesthetic.

Blue beauty looks have evolved from their pastel eyeshadow heyday, with inventive and captivating trends to try out.

Aquatic-inspired beauty is fast becoming a standout trend this year, with mermaidcore, holographic eyes and wet-look hair dominating the runway.

But it’s not the only trend where blue tones are taking centre stage.

A variety of blue shades are gaining popularity in their own right, particularly in the form of creative eye make-up looks and nail trends.

The fresh appeal of blue beauty

According to Gold Coast make-up artist and hairstylist Shannon Jennings, blue has made a steady return to beauty — in part because of its versatility.

“My favourite way to incorporate blue is to really let the colour shine with a graphic cobalt liner,” Shannon says.

“To keep the look contemporary, I keep the rest of the look understated with a slight contour and muted blush and lip, then I finish the look with softly feathered brows and an intensely black mascara to give the blue contrast.”

People with blue eyes often opt for blue shadow to intensify the colour of their eyes.

While this technique works, it actually works best on brown eyes because brown is on the opposite side of the colour wheel.

“Blue is one of the best shades to flatter honey brown eyes, either a subtle smokey eye grounded with more neutral tones or a bold blue mascara,” Shannon says.

“It’s a shade we have seen (English actress) Millie Bobby Brown wear many times and (it) brings out the most gorgeous amber in her iris.”

For those who lived through the ’90s and the embracing of pastel blue eyeshadow, the hue might not be a trend you jump at.

But Shannon says this time around, blue make-up has evolved into something more adaptable and modern.

5 ways to embrace blue beauty

Electric blue graphic eyes

For Brisbane make-up artist Gen Tavoularis, blue eye make-up has always been a personal favourite.

“It’s a unique and eye-catching colour that has the power to elevate my clients’ make-up,” Gen says.

“Growing up, my mum’s go-to look involved using electric blue eyeliner and people would often comment on it because it was such a subtle yet captivating look.”

The memory left such an impression on Gen, it sparked her passion for make-up and creating colourful looks.

“It’s great to live at a time where so many trends and make-up variations are trending at once, because you can really go as experimental or safe with make-up as you want,” Gen notes.

Electric blue graphic eyes are one example of a popular trend, drawing much fervour on BeautyTok.

Despite looking dramatic, this look is not nearly as difficult to achieve as you might think.

According to Gen, experimenting with subtle shapes and accents is a good place to start.

“What I often encourage with my clients is adding colour in small but impactful ways,” she says.

“This may include an inner corner dot of blue eyeshadow or shimmer, a blue eyeliner on the waterline or even a stripe of blue-winged eyeliner.”

Coloured eyeliner

If you’re scared to embrace colour in your make-up or lack confidence with technique, a coloured eyeliner is one of the simplest eye-catching options.

“An old-school but clever use of blue is to use a deep navy eyeliner in lieu of black, which is not only subtle but it also creates the illusion of whiter, brighter eyes,” Shannon says.

“Navy is the most subtle and universally flattering way to wear blue.

“At first glance it may appear to be black, but it gives you a reason to look twice.”

Holographic eyes

If you want to try something fresh and fun, aqua tones with a metallic, holographic-style finish are a great way to experiment with colour while drawing inspiration from the mermaidcore aesthetic.

“Aqua tones are great if you want a softer, ’90s-inspired look,” Gen explains.

“Using a shimmery pencil eyeliner is one of the easiest ways to inject a blue metallic sheen to your eye, and I have a range of these in my kit in shades of turquoise, cobalt and soft aqua.

“When it comes to my clients, a lick of shimmer eyeliner on the waterline is the ultimate recipe for ethereal, glowy and refreshing pops of colour that will make you stand out from the crowd.”

Baby blue eyeshadow

With Gen Z quick to embrace retro make-up trends, it’s little wonder baby blue shadow is experiencing a resurgence.

The colour is a quintessential feature of current make-up looks and a staple of the ’60s aesthetic, its popularity fuelled by the release of Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla (the movie), whose protagonist was an original proponent of the trend.

A matching blue manicure

Unlike more natural shades of make-up, such as reds and pinks, it’s harder to marry blue eye make-up to the rest of your look.

However, a subtle option already proving popular is a blue manicure.

For an edgy and on-trend nail look, opt for a pastel pearlescent blue, an electric blue or a cerulean polish — all universally flattering shades.

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Written by beauty editor Charlotte Brundrett.