Photography: Steven Popovich (BA) / Network, Makeup: Kristyan Low / DLM, Hair: Lauren McCowan, Stylist: Liv Rahmé, Model: Casey Caroline

Scan any red carpet or runway and you’d struggle to find a barely there makeup look anymore. Standout makeup moments are no longer only served by daring designers or the small pool of celebrities willing to take the risk, and lately it’s technicolour eyes leading the rebellion. Perhaps it’s because in this era of anything goes, the eyes – the windows to your soul and the source of your expressions – are the easiest way to push boundaries with your makeup. While lipstick’s traditions are steeped in female beauty, long a symbol of sexuality and seduction, there’s something about its eye equivalent that encourages fun. If lipstick is power, eyeshadow is play.

Today’s makeup has a purpose beyond the ‘pretty.’ Beauty is becoming less the act of beautifying and more a tool for self-expression, with eyes driving the movement. It isn’t bound by gender either. David Beckham made green the must-try eye hue after he recently graced the cover of LOVE magazine sporting a single smudge of shimmery shadow, while Pharrell Williams took to the Chanel Métiers d’Art runway wearing the same kohl-lined eyes as the rest of the models. Perhaps the reason behind the widespread technicolour eyeshadow obsession is because know-how isn’t necessary. Choose fingertips over brushes, and if you don’t have time or talent for a seven-step eye, don’t sweat – a simple slick of a single hue across the lids is enough to make a statement. (But if you do, amazing! Can you teach me?) Plus, the rest of your face needn’t match up to the extra factor of your eyes if you don’t want it to. Often the coolest lid looks currently making waves backstage and lighting up Insta-feeds are set against a base-free skin.

So, what is driving this sudden bright-eye appreciation? Could it be a bold revolt in a time of instability? A multicoloured middle finger to a dreary political climate that’s anything but inspiring? Or is it just that modern makeup is now about being woke, instead of #iwokeuplikethis? Whatever the reason, now is the time to colour outside of the lines, starting with your eyes.

John Richmond, Milan Men’s Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20. Getty Images.
Gabriella Cosmetics for StyleWeek Jamaica May 2018. Getty Images
John Richmond, Milan Men’s Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20. Getty images

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