With spring on its way, we looked to the spring 2012 ready-to-wear runways for the
hottest trends in eye makeup to rock this season. From sheer, very wearable washes of colour, to more dramatic looks (cat’s eye and inky, bold eyeshadows), there are a range of looks for day and night – all of which you’ll want to perfect in time for the warmer weather that’s soon to come. Here are some the hottest looks and how to pull them off.
Spring eye makeup trends: The cat eye
The cat eye, which we saw on a few runways, is a sexy look that always comes back in style so learning how to master this look is a good trick to have in your bank of makeup skills. In terms of product, makeup artist MaryAnn Richardson from Judy Inc. recommends using a gel eyeliner as it will glide on the easiest (more so than a pencil). “Use an angled brush and begin by creating a line from the edge of the lower lash line and draw out towards the end of your eyebrow,” she says. As for how far out you take the tip, that’s up to you and your personal preference. Then, from that outside end point, draw a line to the midpoint of your upper lash line (this will create a small narrow triangle shape) and then fill in with your liner. Extend the line to the inner corner of your eye in thin line so there’s a smooth, wing shape to the overall look. To set the liner, use a black eyeshadow on top of the liner (it will also make the liner have more intense impact).
View some of our favourite eyeliner looks of the season here.
Spring eye makeup trends: Sheer silvers
As seen on a few runways including Etro, a sheer silvery wash of colour is a hot look for spring, and it’s definitely an easy look to wear for every day. Richardson, who splits her time working in Vancouver and London, England, suggests using a cream-based eyeshadow and applying it with your finger (“the warmth of your finger makes it easier to work with,” she says) on your eyelid. Since cream shadows tend to not last as long, you can add longevity by applying a silvery powder eyeshadow over top.
Metallics and bold shapes rule the runways on the next page …
Spring eye makeup trends: Deep, inky metallics
One of the hottest bold looks from the spring runways came courtesy of Rodarte and Ungaro, where a deep, navy (yet almost black) metallic eye look was created. Richardson suggests trying a shadow such as Nars Underworld (which features both a silver and a metallic blue in the duo palette). Start by applying the lighter tone to the inner eye and along the lower lash line. Then using the darker blue apply the colour as a light wash over the lid and then build intensity in the crease and out towards the outer corner to add drama. Although the shape created on the Rodarte runway is quite round, Richardson suggests working with your face and eye shape and customizing the overall look to your features. Add a sexy smoky effect by also using the dark colour to line the lower lash line and using a kohl pencil such as MAC Smoulder on the outside half of the lower lash line.
Spring eye makeup trends: Bold brows
Bold brows continue to be in for spring and they’re crucial for adding structure to the face, says Richardson. “You’ll want to stick to a product that’s just one or two shades darker than your own eyebrow colour,” she says. If you’re nervous about your brows coming across too dark, keep in mind that this is the increasing order of intensity in terms of the type of product you use: eye shadow will give the softest effect, then eye pencil is one level more bold, and a gel eye liner and an eyeshadow applied with a wet brush both come out equally on top of the list when it comes to creating intense brows (ie. you may want to stick to eye shadow to start with if you’re a newbie and want a more subtle effect to begin with).
Spring eye makeup trends: Geometric shapes
The spring makeup trends include many geometric shapes such as the arc of colour applied only in the crease as seen at Philip Lim. If you’re not feeling daring enough to pull off this look exactly as seen on the runway, Richardson suggests using a shade that complements your eye colour to create the arc in the crease and then using a neutral wash of colour over the lid of the eye, which will soften the look and open up the eyes.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter