The eyes have it. (Literally.)

By Erin Lukas
Mar 22, 2021 @ 5:02 pm
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Eye Makeup Looks to Try This Spring
Credit: Instagram/InStyle.com

Just like putting my Uniqlo Heattech leggings into storage until next year, I tend to shed the layers of eye makeup I've been wearing all winter once the first day of spring rolls around.

Dark colors don't instantly come to mind when you hear the word "spring," but joyful, bright pastel shades do. And as we're finally seeing the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, this spring feels more hopeful.

But while brighter days are definitely ahead, face masks are still part of our "new normal." So what better way to lean into the season's vibrant colors than by focusing your makeup looks on the top half of your face?

Cynthia Erivo's violet cat eye and Dua Lipa's hazy orange smoky eye are two examples of the spring 2021 eye makeup trends that are just as dramatic (and wearable!) as liquid black eyeliner or charcoal eyeshadow.

Ahead, eight eye makeup looks to wear to all of your socially-distanced plans this spring.

VIDEO: Everything You Need To Know About Applying Makeup For Your Eye Shape

1. Violet Cat Eye

A violet cat eye is a surefire look that'll pop on a virtual red carpet — or your 2pm Zoom meeting. For the 2021 Golden Globes, Cynthia Erivo remixed the classic eyeliner look by swapping black liner with a rich, vibrant purple. Not only did the star's makeup artist Terrell Mullin create a sharp wing on the outer corner of the eye, he did the same on inner corners for extra drama.

Get The Look:

Mullin exclusively used Giorgio Armani Beauty products while working on Erivo for the Golden Globes. The exact products he used on her eyes? Armani's Eye Tint Long-Lasting Liquid Eyeshadow in 53 Garçonne as an eyeliner and Eyes to Kill Designer Liner in 5 Holographic Amethyst.

2. Sunset Eyes

Hate on sunset pics for littering for feed, but you can't tell me the colors don't make for great spring eye makeup. Take Dua Lipa's firey-orange eyeshadow, for example.

Get The Look:

Swipe a matte orange eyeshadow allover your lids (we're fans of MAC Eyeshadow in Rule), then dab an eye gloss over it to create a shiny "mirage" effect. Try Gucci's Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière, a face gloss with a gel-like texture that doesn't feel heavy or sticky on the eyes.

3. Fluttery Lashes

Yes, you can define and enhance your eyes without eyeliner or bold eyeshadow. Opt for subtle, neutral eyeshadow and fluttery lashes like Anya Taylor Joy's look by makeup artist Georgie Eisdell.

Get The Look:

Eisdell has used Dior's Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara on Taylor Joy during the 2021 award season, layering it on to achieve fluffy lashes. If you want to level up the look, add in a few individual lashes. Lashify is a cult-favorite lash system because it delivers unbelievable realistic results, and comes in a variety of sizes.

4. Tie Dye Eyeshadow

Your quarantine hobby makes for a great eye makeup look, too. With tie die eyeshadow, no color in your eyeshadow palette will get left behind again. Katie Jane Hughes created this gorgeous abstract eyeshadow look. While mix-and-matching the colors might seem intimidating, the beauty of this trend is that anything goes, making it impossible to mess up.

Get The Look

Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes used Bodyography's Pure Pigment Palette to create this look, and it's easy to see why. The 8-pan palette includes every color of the rainbow, and the extreme-pigment formula of the shadow offers high color payoff that can be built up depending on how intense you want your look to be.

5. The Classic Cat Eye

The cat eye is one makeup look that transcends trends and seasons because it looks amazing on everyone. Here, makeup artist Fiona Stiles demonstrates how to do a cat eye with a '60s twist on Lily Collins.

While the cat eye is a simple style, it does take a bit of practice to get used to using a liquid eyeliner. Lancôme's Artliner Precision Felt-Tip Eyeliner is a good option to start with because it has an ultra-fine tip that allows for precision — even if your hand isn't the most steady. The ink black pigment and wetness of the liner are two other important factors because you'll be able to draw a clean, dark line without any tugging or pulling.

6. Baby Blue Eyes

As many of us continue to find comfort in watching old TV shows and listening to the favorite albums of our youth throughout the pandemic, it's not shocking 2021 looks a lot like 2001 — at least when it comes to fashion and beauty trends. Channel Y2k with pastel blue eyeshadow. Better yet, pair it with the pink lip gloss you swore by in middle school.

Get The Look:

The slightly frosted finish of about-face's Shadowstick in 2002 gives the shadow an early '00s feel. But don't expect fallout with this shimmery shadow. The long-wear shadow allows for 30 seconds of playtime until it dries down for a smudge-free look. Seriously, this formula does not budge.

7. Sunshine Yellow

Wear your sunny disposition on your eyelids with a few swipes of yellow eyeshadow. Better yet: match your eye makeup to the sleeveless tops you can finally break out of storage.

Get The Look:

Yara Shahidi's makeup artist combined yellow and green shades to create this dimensional look. First, swipe a lemon shadow like NARS Cosmetics Single Eyeshadow in Douro, then create a clean cat flick with Dior Diorshow Pro Liner Waterproof in Matte Lime.

8. A Little Bit of Glitter

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wearing glitter eye makeup. While some would argue sparkles are best for nighttime or the holiday season, adding a bit of glitter eyeliner to soft eye makeup is ridiculously pretty. Just look at Lana Condor's pink smoky eye by Anton Khachaturian.

Get The Look

Once you have your smoky eye set, go into the lash line with a clear glitter eyeliner or one that matches the tones of your smoke eye. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner comes in a ton of options. If you're worried about fallout or the odd sparkle getting on your cheek, use Neutrogena's genius Makeup Remover Stick to get rid of it.