How to Wear Blue Eye Makeup, According to 10 Celebrity Makeup Artists

Models with blue eye shadow makeup look
Photograph by Erik Madigan Heck. Styled by Felicia Garcia-Rivera.

There’s been much discussion lately about blue eye makeup having a resurgence. But for the record—and as any savvy makeup artist will tell you—blue isn’t trending; it’s never been passé. Be it a sheer denim lid, a navy stoke of liner or a full lid of rich cobalt, blue has never left the eye makeup coterie. No matter the shade, blue eye shadow is like Elon Musk: it’s here, it loves the attention, and it’s never leaving.

To tastefully master and create the look you love with blue, a color that looks stunning against any eye hue, you need one very crucial element, more than just a steady hand and flexible brush: confidence. But in close second is using the right eye makeup products that won’t bleed, smudge, or look cheap upon application. Below, we’ve assembled our favorite recommendations from the most prominent makeup artists, who have shared their go-to liners, shadows, and mascaras for you to test out this summer—and throughout 2022.

“I’ve been obsessed with Chimpy Blue before Chimpy Blue ever even existed,” says renowned makeup artist Molly R. Stern, whose client list includes Reese Witherspoon, Cara Delevingne, and Maya Rudolph. (Funnily enough, veteran makeup artist Dempsey, the creator of Chimpy Blue, named this gloriously vivid eyeliner after Stern, her longtime colleague.) “I love a hot color to begin with, and anything with a brightness that can’t be ignored. An eyeliner in an electric color is the perfect way to incorporate a little more playfulness to your everyday look. It can be worn boldly by coloring the entire lid, or subtly by just adding a tiny flick of it at the outside edge of the lashes. I love it on the wet line, too. Whether you are expressive with makeup or are more shy, or perhaps stuck in a makeup rut, you can gain confidence and expression through a colorful eyeliner. Jillian’s pencil glides and blends easily and wears amazingly well, especially if you set it with a little translucent powder and layer it. It can wear all day!”

“A more subtle approach, a favorite of mine is to add two coats of blue mascara on the lashes,” says Tasha Reiko Brown, who works on the faces of Alicia Keys, Gabrielle Union, and Dewanda Wise. “I love using Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Blue Night. It still makes an impact, but is subtle enough so you have to be near the eye to pick up the tone. This is especially beautiful on lighter-toned eyes, as it plays up blues and greens. With brown eyes, the contrast against the warmth of the hue is attention-grabbing.”

“If you’re more of an eyeshadow person, try a light blue or periwinkle eyeshadow,” says Doniella Davy, the lead makeup artist for HBO’s Euphoria. “Pack the pigment a little more on your eyelid (next to your lash line) and then blend it up and out so that it’s super diffused around the edges the higher and closer it gets to your eyebrows. This, plus mascara and a nude or brown lip, is my favorite way to complement blue eyeshadow. I love using a long-wear liquid eyeshadow because it will stay vibrant all day. If I wanted to level up a blue eyeshadow look, I’d draw dark blue dots along my lower lashes or do inverted baby wings on my inner eye corners. For a super flattering sky-blue-meets-periwinkle liquid eye shadow, try Half Magic’s Chromaddiction in Sky Juice and paint it right on using the applicator in the tube. For beautiful blending, use a clean eyeshadow brush to diffuse the edges of your color. One can never go wrong with blue mascara. If you’re never tried it, this is your sign to try it. Don’t do anything different with your makeup. Just swap out the regular mascara for the blue and go about your business and see if you like the added color.”

Makeup artist Genevieve Herr’s recent collaborations with Julia Roberts, Eva Mendes, and Katie Holmes have produced natural, but still jaw-dropping looks—and led to much artistic praise. “Lancôme’s Drama Denim palette is an easy color palette to work with for several looks in one,” she says. “This palette makes wearing blue eyeshadows easy because of the range of blue shades. The lighter hues are great for brightening up the inner corner of the eyes, and the deeper shades are perfect for creating a smokier effect. The high-pigment formulas allow you to customize the intensity of the look and create day-to-night looks easily.”

“I love a blue mascara to add a little contrast to dark eyes or enhance any light-colored eye,” says Lisa Aharon, whose client list includes Florence Welch, Rachel Brosnahan, and Zosia Mamet. “It’s also a great way to enhance a fun eyeliner shade. Sisley’s Mascara So Stretch in Deep Blue has this effect, while getting maximum length and definition out of your lashes. It doesn’t skimp on the volume, either. I love to complement this and show off the blue lashes with a lavender or peach.”

“That said, for a different look, I think it’s lot of fun to play with textures and place mattes against metallics for dimension and drama,” Aharon adds. “One of my favorite tricks for achieving this is to layer a creamy shadow underneath or against a matte. I use Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Shadow Stick in Azure, with Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eye Shadow in Something Blue on the inner corners. In addition to its amazing vibrancy, it holds for an all-day/all-night affair.”

“Navy blue is always a chicer option to black eye makeup, and it also looks great on all skin tones,” explains Wendy Rowe, who works with Gisele Bündchen, Sienna Miller, Priyanka Chopra, and Christy Turlington. “I really love the Smokey Brick in Royal to celebrate the best of the blues. The navy in this palette is truly timeless. I also love the soft Denim Blue in the palette. It’s beautiful all over the whole lid, up to the socket line and under the eye as well. It’s so classic ’70s and easy to wear every day. The Royal Blue is so gorgeous for darker skin tones and always a bright pop for the confident and fun-loving. This color palette is perennial.”

“The DiorShow blue eyeliner in satin indigo is great for a little accent to dress up the eyes,” says Alessandra Ambrosio’s makeup artist, Mellody Vere. “I like to smudge it in the outside of the corner edge of the eyes and then use a skinny, angled brush to pull it out for a little baby cat eye. Also, it’s great to use on the bottom eye water line for a sultry effect.”

“Nothing compares to a bright, bold, and blue eyeliner for an eye-catching slash of color on the eyes for the summer,” notes veteran makeup artist Uzo—a favorite of Tessa Thompson, Kirsten Dunst, and Lili Reinhart. “Blue hues play up all eye colors beautifully, whether by enhancing the blue in blue eyes or creating contrast and making brown eyes pop. NARS’s High Pigment Longwear Eyeliner in Ocean Drive is the ultimate matte cobalt blue eyeliner that delivers an intense and instant high color payoff in a gel formula that glides on smoothly, then sets for water-resistant and sweat-proof wear that lasts up to 12 hours. Whether you draw a precise line at the base of the upper lashes or waterline, smudge for a smoky effect or commit to a cat-liner with a dramatic flick, it is the essential summer must-have, and makes the perfect statement when paired with bronzed summer skin or a nude lip look.”

“About Face Beauty makes creating bold beauty looks a real breeze,” says Zendaya’s makeup artist, Ber Amos. “I love the Shadow Sticks, especially Creature Blue. It’s perfect for creating graphic liner looks, or even a bold, matte-powder blue eyeshadow look. You don’t have to worry about creasing or fading, either. There’s even a little sharpener at the bottom to tweak for more precise looks.”

“The color blue has always resonated deeply—evoking sky and sea—and is an easy hue to wear when one is ready to expand beyond a neutral beauty palette,” says Fatima Thomas, who works with Jessica Biel and Jill Scott. “In the Shadows eye shadow is a great liner to apply, tucked neatly at the lash line with brush #263. It’s a deep, vibrant, and classic color and makes a stunning smoky eye look.”

“If you’d like more of a pop, use a bright cobalt blue like Perpetual Shock Colour Excess Gel Pencil,” Thomas adds.