It’s easy to admire those who boldly take on the season’s hottest beauty trends, but sometimes we all need a gentle nudge when it comes to testing out a look ourselves. The idea of testing out purple eye shadow is easily one of the most divisive beauty looks, but it’s actually a shade that can work on every eye colour and skin tone. We asked Toronto-based celeb makeup artist Paul Venoit to share his top tips on how to wear violet eye shadow, and why it’s one of the most democratic looks this season.

MYTH #1: “Purple doesn’t suit my eye colour.”
There’s a purple eye shadow for everyone.
The truth is that it’s difficult to find the right shade of purple, simply because if you wear the wrong tone, you could end up looking bruised. The good news? “Purple works on every eye colour,” he says. “It’s all about how you blend it.” Play around with different textures and consistencies to see what’s a good match for you. “Deep purple looks breathtaking on green eyes,” says Venoit. And it wears beautifully on women with brown eyes and olive skin.

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There’s no one shade of violet that works for a specific eye colour, as your skin tone also affects whether an eye shadow will suit you or not. “Experiment with different shades and choose the colour that works best for you,” says Venoit.

MYTH #2: “Purple eye shadow is too intense for me.”
Try a soft and pretty lilac eye shadow.
Even if you’ve never tried a purple-hued eye shadow, there’s still a way to ease into this trend gracefully. “Lilac is a safe bet with purples,” says Venoit about this soft and feminine eye shadow. “You get a hint of the trend without a full commitment to it.”

For a light wash of colour on the lid, opt for a sheer formulation, and add a contour of a deeper tone. “Trace an eye liner pencil along the lash line to add a splash of colour,” says Venoit. Depending on how far you want to take this trend, it all comes down to application. Use a wet brush to get an intense display of colour for a more dramatic look at night.

Get the look: Jason Wu’s VIOLET SMOKY EYE

More ways to find the perfect shade of purple for your skin tone on the next page…

violet-eye-shadow-page-two.jpgMYTH #3: “Violet eye shadow washes me out.”
Prep your lid for the perfect wear.
For women with dark eyes, wearing a light purple on the lid can make the eye look grey and have a sallow finish. And often a pale or sheer lilac eye shadow will disappear into the lid, depending on your skin tone or if there’s discoloration. “Use a primer or light base on the lid to be able to see more colour.” And if you have dark circles under your eyes, avoid wearing any purple eye liner or shadow along the bottom of the eye. “Use a brighter colour on the inner eye,” says Venoit.

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And be sure to apply eye makeup in a well-lit setting when experimenting with colour to tell if it’s complementary with your skin tone.

MYTH #4: “I’ve never worn eye shadow, so it’s too much of a drastic change for me.”
Try a purple mascara or eye liner.
It’s all about the placement of colour so don’t be afraid to experiment not only with tones, but the tools themselves. Take a purple eye liner pencil and play around with the shape. “Eye liner is an easier introduction to colour for most people,” Venoit. “Follow the natural curvature of the lash line and extend past the outer corner for a cat eye effect.” Or try a purple mascara for a fun pop of colour and keep the rest of the face to a neutral palette.


For a flirty night look, apply a dramatic purple eye shadow at the centre of the lid. “That way when you blink, people get a hint of the trend.”

MYTH #5: “Purple is a girly shade and that’s just not my thing.”
Get the right intensity of purple.
Friends, purple has never been more punk. This season, the rich shade was interpreted as a metallic plum at Gucci and a smoky indigo at Jason Wu. It all comes back to how delicately or intensely you want to delve into this trend. Whether it’s a violet smoky eye or a delicate purple eye liner, simply “Draw it on, smudge it in and build on the colour, depending on your mood,” says Venoit.

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