Hello again, lovely readers! Last week we covered blush and contouring, and this week we’ll move to the eyes. I’ll break up this topic into two parts: eye shadow, and liner/brows.
Popular shades of the day run the gamut from clean and neutral, to soft pastels, including blues, greens, and orchids. The look of the 20s was smoldering, and women used shades ranging from black to turquoise or green. Daytime eyes in the 1930s often entailed a light application of petroleum jelly to give the lids a soft sheen; for evening drama, a deeper shadow was used in the crease of the upper lid and blended. In the forties, shadows tended to fall in the muted gray and brown families—subtle enhancement for the eyes. The 1950s followed suit for daywear as well, but women were also fond of brighter shades, including sapphire, emerald, turquoise, light blue, gold and platinum.
For your vintage makeup kit, I suggest including several good neutrals—a good cream or pearl to highlight, beige or taupe for the lid, and a deeper brown or gray for the crease—and a few fun colors for good measure—soft green, orchid, blue, or lavender. A 1943 beauty magazine suggested violet shadow for blue eyes, green or brown shades for green eyes, and green shadow for grey eyes. Another good rule of the thumb is to select complementary shades to your eye color: Warm peach or copper/bronze shade to enhance blue eyes, reddish or purplish tones for green eyes, cooler violets and plums for brown eyes.
Favorite shadows of mine include Ben Nye Vanilla and Shell (these are good lid/highlight shades); La Femme Taupe, Plum, Golden Jade, Beige Pink, and Clove (Plum and Clove are wonderful complements for green eyes, and Beige Pink is an exquisite shimmery lid shade for all eye colors); MAC Vapour, Naked Lunch, Haux and Woodwinked (Vapour is a wonderful shimmery pinky-cream highlight, and Woodwinked is a fantastic crease shade for blue and green eyes); and Clinique Champagne and Rum Spice (Champagne is a great lid and highlight shade, and Rum Spice is a gorgeous crease shade.)
For cream shadows, Joe Blasco Ultamattes are wonderful (I’ll be discussing these again in the next article—Eddie Leonard, Gray Violet, and Taupe are wonderful crease shades, and Warm Light works as a highlight and blue neutralizer shade on fairer skins). Julie Hewett also makes a wonderful cream called Hue Colors; these are lovely for creating that glistening 1920s-30s eye. Ben Nye also makes a product, the Fireworks Wheel, which is well-suited for the same purpose.
Application should begin with a well-prepped eye—when applying your foundation, pat a bit over the lids and set with colorless powder. If you have any discolorations—blue or purple shadows or redness—that you wish to correct, you can also neutralize with a concealer or colored neutralizer cream. One with a green undertone will help cancel redness; peach will help neutralize blue shadows, and yellow with help correct yellow tones. You can apply a colored corrector before foundation, or mix the corrector with your foundation for a one-step process. Ben Nye, Graftobian, and Makeup Forever all make neutralizing palettes to streamline your cosmetics bag. Apply a neutral or flesh-toned shade to your lid, and your chosen highlight shade to the brow bone and inner corner of the eye. Then contour with a deeper shade in the crease.
Application of cream shadows is a bit more time-consuming than that of powders; the eye must be properly prepped (setting with a light dusting of colorless powder is a must) and then lightly blotted to remove all traces of moisture or oil on the lid. Apply the color in thin layers (to prevent creasing, less is definitely more) and once the desired look is achieved, set with colorless powder or a bit of matching powder shadow. When using a Joe Blasco Ultamatte as your shadow, start by applying a line in the crease or your eye, and then blend downward with a fluffy brush. Julie Hewett Hue Colors can be applied with a brush or your finger over your powder shadow to give them more staying power and depth.
Now your eyes are properly shaded and highlighted, and are ready for the next step—liner and brows!
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