High Definition: Tropical Eyes

ColumnThis summer, get carried away with warm ocean breezes, and add a blue hue around the eyes.

It’s easy to incorporate a vibrant color because you still get to use the usual palettes of neutrals for the rest of the face to keep it “safe.” (Don’t worry, I wasn’t going to take the neutral security blanket away from you entirely.) Let’s start by saying the look we are going for isn’t reminiscent of the frosty blue eyeshadow that punctuated the late 70’s.  This is a modern take on a color that can enhance any eye without looking overdone, out-of-date, or tacky.

First in our makeup application we need a golden base to set the stage for softly vibrant blue tones. The goal is to look sun-kissed, but that’s not to say you should forgo sun protection. In fact, there’s lots of way to get that sun-kissed look without ever putting your face in the sun’s eye with fake tan moisturizers and makeup that gives you an immediate tan or builds up over use.

How to create a realistic looking bronze glow:

1. Choose a foundation shade slightly darker than the one you’d pick for the winter or add in a bronzing liquid like Jane Iredale Dream Tint in Warm Bronze.

2. Go for a bronzer to sculpt your face and give it depth. To keep a tropically moist look to the skin, try Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm in Bronzed.  With your (clean) finger, place three dots of color into the hollow of your cheekbones and spread them out using two fingers in an oblong motion from the apples of the cheeks out to the hairline near the ear.

Pro tip: Add more realism to your faux bronze by putting a little dab of bronzer on the bridge of the nose (not the tip), along the forehead hairline and just above the temples of the face.

3. Create even more dimension and glow by highlighting the tops of your cheekbones with a few dots of a creamy highlighter like RMS Beauty’s Living Luminzer.

Now, those tropical eyes: A strong, yet natural, brow is very important to add a frame for the eye that doesn’t read as a lot of color and adds definition to the face. Add color using a powder or pencil to thicken your natural shape. Keep brow hairs swept upward to achieve an island goddess vibe.  Check out this video tutorial on exactly how to achieve this look that I made it while working in the Caribbean.

Pro tip: Fill in your brows with a color that is not quite as dark as your hair color. One to two shades lighter is the general rule.

Creating the blue line. Get yourself a blue hue with a touch of sparkle that inspires you like Alima Pure eyeshadow in Aegean.  In this case, I prefer the control of a powder used with a short, thin angled brush. Dampening the brush before you dip into the shadow will give it extra impact, or you can leave it dry for a softer effect. Use the brush to create a tight line along the upper and lower lashes, from corner to corner. Don’t start getting overly creative; just keep the blue tight into the lash line. If you feel like adding a bit of extra definition, take a black pencil and line inside the water line of both the upper and lower lashes.

Pro tip: Hold a folded tissue under your eye to avoid getting shadow all over your face.

Let’s move onto giving contour to the eyes because you don’t want to have them bare with just a blue line (that would be tacky). Use a medium brown eyeshadow in the crease of your eyelid. If your skin is dark toned, you will need to use a darker brown to get the same affect. This wash of color should be blended perfectly with no obvious start and stop points. Using a big, fluffy eyeshadow brush will help with that process.

Finally curl your lashes, swipe on one or two coats of your favorite mascara and pop on a beige-gold lip color.

Now your gorgeous-tropical-self can go takeover the island!

I’m not a “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of makeup artist so this Memorial weekend, I felt it was my patriotic and fashionable duty to honor the sailors flooding the island of New York with a makeup homage to the red, white and blue, specifically the blue.  My version was a bit softer and only went on the upper lid. The best thing about makeup is that you can always wipe it off. So get inspired and have fun!

Editor’s note: Got a celebrity look you’d like to copy or a trend you’d like to see incorporating healthy, non-toxic makeup? Send your questions to High Definition columnist Kristen Arnett at beauty@ecosalon.com

New York City based Kristen Arnett is an internationally renowned makeup artist and founder of the Green Beauty Team, styling high profile celebrities and runway models as well as a sought after beauty expert, educator and teacher for other makeup artists.

Image: Allure Magazine June 2011, photo by Michael Thompson