Eye makeup inspirations were eclectic for spring 2012. Chanel took cues from Esther Williams, legendary star of Hollywood aquamusicals, with its pearly white shadow while Phillip Lim gave us precise geometry in a silver shadow form. The eyes at Derek Lam borrowed from desert sunsets and the architecture of modernist architect Richard Neutra. Alice & Olivia celebrated spring blooms with garden-inspired clothing and makeup. And the Rodarte sisters paid homage to Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece “Starry Night” by bringing us the smokiest look of the season.


Eye shadow trend: Pearly white
As seen at: Chanel

Chanel embraced the life aquatic with its spring collection. Legendary Hollywood synchronized swimmer, Esther Williams, who always wore white kohl underneath her eyes served as muse for Peter Phillips, Chanel’s global creative director for makeup, who opted for a pearly white cream shadow (Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Fantasme). Phillips blended it all over the lids and up to the browbone, and sculpted strong brows to anchor the soft ethereal shadow.


Eye shadow trend: A wash of silver
As seen at: 3.1 Phillip Lim

The silver shadow at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring 2012 presentation felt contemporary and fresh – not flashy. Its sophisticated look was thanks to makeup artist Francelle Daly’s light touch. She kept the face buff and bare, but on eyes she drew a precise banana-like curve of silver shadow above the crease only, using Nars’ Eyeshadow in Night Night while keeping the eyelid itself bare. This sleek application complemented the coolness of Lim’s streamlined, pastel-hued collection.


Eye shadow trend: Sunset yellow
As seen at: Derek Lam

It’s not unusual for designers to take inspiration from modern architecture, and that’s exactly where Derek Lam looked to for his spring 2012 collection. Clean minimalist lines and sunny desert landscapes echoed the architecture of modernist master Richard Neutra. Tom Pecheux, Estée Lauder’s Creative Makeup Director, went with the same theme when it came to makeup, focusing on dewy, warm skin, and sunset-like eyes, using the yellow shade (#5) from Estée Lauder’s limited edition Pure Color Five Color EyeShadow Palette in Topaz Mosaic as its basis, and blending it out with a bronze shade for a rich, multi-tonal effect.

Check out all of spring’s hottest beauty trends here.

Two more spring beauty eye shadow trends to test on the next page …

4. Spring green
As seen at: Alice & Olivia

In-step with the label’s “secret garden”-themed collection, Alicia and Olivia crafted forest green shadow for their show. Stila pro artist Sarah Lucero opted for a leafy green shadow, combining several shades from Stila’s In the Garden Eyeshadow Palette, with Liquid Eyeliner in Electric skimmed over the lash line in an exaggerated cat-eye effect. Expect to see beauty counters bloom with other green, garden-like offerings from the likes of Lancome introducing their Roseraie de Delices palette and Revlon’s Colorstay 16 Hour Eye Shadow in Inspired.


5. Intense smoke
As seen at: Rodarte

A smoky eye can be especially fetching on hot summer nights. The Rodarte sisters had nocturnal adventures on their minds when designing an entire Spring 2012 collection inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting, “Starry Night.” Makeup artist James Kaliardos followed the same theme, of course, layering several Nars products. To achieve twinkling starry eyes, he began with the chubby Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Dark Right as a base, dusted over it with a dark blue Eyeshadow in Night Flight, and then added a bit of colour back to the eyes with a glittery turquoise Eyeshadow in Tropic.

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