It's Official: "Painted Eyes" Are the #1 Makeup Trend at NYFW

Updated 09/11/19

New York Fashion Week has confirmed it: We're in the midst of a makeup renaissance. It seems that tastemakers are officially moving away from one style of makeup—the precise, multi-layered, and glamorous style that's so often referred to as "Instagram Makeup"—and onto another that's a little less traditional. This new style involves fresh skin, bright colors, and graphic and imperfect shapes. It's all about treating the face like a canvas, swiping on a bit of color here and some shimmer there.

Throughout NYFW, designers and makeup artists took this modern style of makeup and translated it into a new trend—one that involves painting vibrant color across the eyelids in graphic, imperfect strokes. Various iterations of this look were created for Jonathan Cohen, Christian Siriano, Helmut Lang, and more. Keep scrolling to see these trendy "painted eyes" for yourself.

Jonathan Cohen S/S 2020

Painted Eyes
 Courtesy of the brand

At the Jonathan Cohen show, models walked the runway with vivid shades of yellow, pink, and blue painted across their eyelids. In a press release, lead makeup artist Yuki Hayashi explained the inspiration behind each unique makeup look. "The look for the show takes inspiration from contemporary abstract paintings with bright colors and rich textures. With the painted yellow eye, I imagined the model as an artist in her studio, smudging excess paint across her eyelids while she works, creating small gestural abstractions on her own face in addition to the canvas."

NYFW Makeup Trends
Photo courtesy of the brand

The makeup was sponsored by the vegan and non-toxic brand, Inika Organic. Hayashi used limited edition shades of the brand's Loose Mineral Eyeshadow ($22) to create each colorful look. He packed the pigment on to each models' eyelids with his finger to get the utmost opacity and vibrance.

Christian Siriano S/S 2020

NYFW Trends
 Photo courtesy of the brand

The painted eyes at the Christian Siriano show were icy and multi-chromatic. Models had their eyelids adorned with silver-white and blue pigment that was flicked out onto their temples. A bright pink shade was then blended up onto the brow bone. It was bold, dramatic, and imperfect.

Maybelline New York global makeup artist Erin Parsons was the person behind the look. In a press release, Parsons explained that she uses a combination of brushes and fingertip application to lend the lids an "organic" and "painterly" feel. “We’re using the products in different ways,” she said. “The idea is to channel your inner artist.”

NYFW Makeup Trends
 Photo courtesy of the brand

To create the look, Parsons used the seafoam shade from The City Urban Light Kits All-In-One Eye + Cheek Palette ($12) all over the eyes as a base. Then, she used the soft pink shadow from the palette to highlight the inner corners of the eyes. Next, she mixed the shade Ice Pop from the Lemonade Craze Eyeshadow Palette ($11) with FaceStudio Lasting Fix Makeup Setting Spray ($10) and smudged it across the tail of the brows. Finally, she mixed Tattoo Studio Longwear Eyeliner ($8) in Striking Navy, Deep Teal, and Polished White on the back of her hand, before "swathing" it across the inner and outer corner of the eyes. To add a final metallic touch, she added a "wisp" of the Sparkling Silver pencil across lids and brows using her fingertips.

Helmut Lang S/S 2020

NYFW Makeup
 Photo courtesy of the brand

At the Helmut Lang show, lead makeup artist Susie Sobol interchanged black graphic liner, smokey brown wings and neon pigment to match each model’s garment. While every single look wasn't colorful, it was certainly artistic. Here, you can see the painterly stroke of Bella Hadid's graphic black eyeliner. In this case, the exact eyeliner that was used was Code8's Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black ($35).

NYFW Painted Eyes Trend
 Getty Images

The bold cat eyeliner was juxtaposed with fluorescent neon colors, like this hot pink variation. The color was pulled up and out into a bold and graphic shape. it isn't perfectly bordered by black liner or complete with a thick set of faux lashes, but that makes it all the more interesting and eye-catching, wouldn't you agree?

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