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Blue eyeliner is the Princess Diana-approved trend making waves again
Image / Style / Beauty

Lancôme

Blue eyeliner is the Princess Diana-approved trend making waves again


by Holly O'Neill
03rd May 2023

Today, make-up is about self-expression, which is why Princess Diana's affection for a touch of decidedly unregal bright blue eyeliner still stands the test of time.

Blue is the colour of 2023, according to Vogue, L’Officiel and Insider, prepared to take over from Barbiecore’s Valentino Pink and Bottega Green, and making a splash on Taylor Swift’s Midnights album cover, Kendall Jenner and most notably, the Met Gala’s red carpet on the eyes of the fashion world’s influencer darling Emma Chamberlain.

What you don’t know is that that eyeliner is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean – you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that Princess Diana, the original influencer, brought it to us first. And then I think it was the new British Vogue, the first issue under Edward Enninful, wasn’t it, who showed frosted blue eyeshadow and ignited the skinny brow revival with model Adwoa Aboah. And then cerulean eyeliners quickly showed up in the collections of every make-up brand and on the SS23 catwalks of David Koma, Cecilie Bahnsen, Alexander McQueen and Richard Quinn, and as the colour of Burberry’s new logo under new creative director Daniel Lee. Then it filtered down through to the eyes of Emma Chamberlain, created by Kelsey Deenihan, celebrity make-up artist, using a combination of Lancôme Hypnôse 5-Color Eyeshadow Palette in Bleu Hypnotique, Reflet D’Améthyste, Smokey Chic and Drama Denim on top of the lids and under the bottom lash line in what Deenihan describes as “a nod to the legendary Karl Lagerfeld and the late 90’s” to balance her look “with deeper, more edgy makeup… a 90’s brown lip and a rough, blue smokey eye.”

Miranda Priestly monologue aside, if you were around in the ‘90s you’re still recovering from a blue hangover, particularly when it comes to make-up, but like low-rise jeans, recession and Bertie Ahern, it’s coming back.

Thanks to The Crown, Diana has become a reinvigorated style icon since 2020, sparking the return of pearls, pie-crust collars, her shy, natural, flush blush, collegiate font sportswear, Naomi Pierce’s pixie cut on Succession and blue eyeliner.

“Diana’s look is the exact opposite of what we have been conditioned to think of as ‘natural’ and everything I love about make-up,”says make-up artist Orlaith Shore. “It’s all about paring things back to enhance and celebrate our natural beauty and quirks. Blue liner has made a comeback in the last few years and I think Di might be really making the blue kohl under eyeliner a more wearable trend once again.”

It’s a beauty trend that pervaded the SS23 shows too, in delicate waterline details of frosted blue finishes at 16 Arlington, above, and in sooty graphic wings in tribute to Virgil Abloh, the late multi-hyphenate designer at Off White, above. To make it actually wearable, you might want to take the Diana approach, with just a tiny flash of blue eyeliner visible in the lower waterline, paired with fresh, clean skin.

“In the ’80s, blue eyeliner was about pulling out or brightening up naturally blue eyes,” Tatcha’s global director of artistry Daniel Martin and Meghan Markle’s go-to make-up artist told Vogue. Diana, Martin states, “kept it close to the lash line, enhancing the iris by creating this monochromatic tonal effect on the eye. She never took it up to her eyelid, which would create an entirely different effect altogether. I think her wearing it in that way made it wearable for so many.”

Photography by Lancôme, Emma Chamberlain, Mary Phillips, Netflix and Catwalkpix. We may earn a commission if you buy anything from our site through affiliate links.

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