Perhaps the biggest beauty trend to have emerged from the show Euphoria is glamorous eye makeup. It reminded us that while we were all hiding behind the mask, we could still express our personality and uplift our mood through the eyes.
At the red carpet too, strong and colourful eyes have become a must-have. Whether it was Julia Fox's all-black look, rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s elaborate smoky cut-crease choice, actor Deepika Padukone's bold eyes at Cannes or the colourful looks created by several influencers on Instagram, graphic eye makeup is having a moment. What makes creating this look easy is that there are no rules. You can pair any colours of your choice, use a pencil or a liner, or just add some primer to a shadow to DIY your own liner. Or you could just add pearl stickers near your inner or outer eye corners or both. Whatever your personal style is, there’s a graphic eye look to go along with it.
“Graphic eye is a trend that’s actually timeless; it resurfaces in different forms—coloured liners, glitter liners, bold liners and so on. It works in the current scenario because 2022 is all about dewy, natural makeup, so doing a graphic liner is a great way of adding a punch to your look,” says celebrity hair and makeup artist Bhavya Arora.
The easiest way to do a graphic eye, she says, is with coloured liners. Draw a liner shape of your choice. It can be winged, a straight line, in your crease or above your crease. You can use black or a liner in any colour to do this. You can then create another line over your liner (or do a different style, for example, a winged eye in blue, with a yellow liner in your crease) in a contrasting colour. The more experimental you wish to get, the more the number of lines you can add on the lid in different colours. “You can top any liner style using a similar eye shadow and an angular brush or a pencil brush if you want a slightly diffused look,” says Arora. Her favourite liners of all time include Diorshow On Stage by Dior, Haus Labs liners by Lady Gaga, coloured liners by Stila and gel pots by Danessa Myricks.
Celebrity makeup artist Kavye Sharma, who works with stars such as Sara Ali Khan, Kriti Sanon and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, says graphic liners have gained popularity because they help create a statement without you having to do too much. “Adding just a coloured liner can make any look edgy and elevate it. You can use any coloured eyeshadow or liner to create a graphic eyeliner. I generally like to wet my brush with any setting spray and use the eyeshadow with it for more colour payoff,” says Sharma. His favourite pencils are by Faces, Colorbar and Chambor. “You can do whatever works for you; there is no rulebook for this look. Personally, I generally keep the lip colour softer while doing graphic liners,” says Sharma.
The cut-crease is also an easy look to achieve. Doing a classic blue eyeshadow with a strong black winged line is a fail-safe. But Arora says that you can experiment with different colours instead. Add some fun glitter for impact or even experiment with the shape of the liner, she suggests. “The idea of a graphic eye is to have fun and do something offbeat. So don’t be apologetic when you’re working with colours and graphic liners and shapes,” she says. When working with colours, says Arora, more is more. Do not do a colour halfway. If you decide to do a colour look, use enough product to make sure the colour comes through.
A style we love is the negative space liner where you can create floating shapes with just a single (or multiple) line strokes, even a negative space cat-eye look.
To make a simple cut-crease eye more graphic, Sharma suggests adding more colour or tracing the eye shape or the crease. “Another way to do it is to keep the colour on the lid soft or neutral, and just use a colour on the cut crease. You can add stones, dots or any other motifs or face stickers to amp up the look,” says Sharma.
Another surprisingly quick way to create a strong graphic eye is with eye shadow. “You can use your fingers instead of a brush for a raw, undone colour wash on the eye. You can even go with an angular brush and eyeshadow on your eyelids for a soft, diffused eyeliner look that’s not too heavy,” says Arora. Several designers such as Prabal Gurung, Bibhu Mohapatra, Proenza Schouler and Lanvin (smudged and shimmery colour contrast in the inner corner) created colourful, diffused eye looks for their spring shows. You can mix all the candy colours you wish for these looks.
So whether it’s your simple white shirt for work or an LBD for your night out, there’s nothing a graphic eye cannot elevate.