The Mermaid Makeup Guide for People Who Hate Mermaid Makeup

Updated 09/24/18

Not to be presumptuous, but we have an inkling that the interest in mermaid-inspired beauty may come from one very specific figure. In the interest of not naming names, however, let's just say that pop culture has its fair share in perpetuating the idea of mermaids as ethereal, glamorous figures with amazing hair and adorable seashell bras. When it comes to makeup, mermaid looks can range from the bold and intricate to subtle, everyday looks. With this mermaid makeup guide, we're aiming for the second: think bold sweeps of color, dewy skin, and the occasional dabbing of glitter. Keep reading for six looks that channel mermaid beauty (and indulge your weakness for all things bold and holographic).

mermaid makeup looks
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Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Deep End $20
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Not interested in delving into the perilous waters of blue eye shadow? Never fear—you can still get the mermaid look without it. Phillip Lim's S/S 16 runway show featured glimmers of siren-worthy color. A hint of eyeliner marks the corners of the waterline and is paired with blue mascara on the top lashes only. This minimal take on bright color is just the mermaid inspiration we were searching for.

Milk Makeup Holographic Stick
Milk Makeup Holographic Stick $28
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mermaid makeup
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For a more dramatic take on the mermaid look that's still wearable, try a smokey eye with vibrant colors. This look from Diane von Furstenberg's S/S 16 runway blends pops of green and blue together with just a hint of mascara on the top and bottom lashes. Pair it with dewy skin and a natural lip.

Urban Decay Moondust Palette
Urban Decay Moondust Palette $49
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Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator
Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator $42
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best mermaid makeup
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Sometimes a single swoop of bold color is all you need to get those (subtle) mermaid vibes. Jenny Packham's S/S 16 look features a splash of color along the lid in a cat-eye shape. Dot the inner corners of the eye with a pearlescent shadow or highlighter and finish off with mascara on the top and bottom rows. A little highlighter along the cheekbone and a neutral lip are all you need to complete the look.

Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner in Unicorn Kisses
Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner in Unicorn Kisses $21
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Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder in White Mauve 3
Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder in White Mauve 3 $25
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best mermaid makeup looks
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For a bolder look with a '60s vibe, sweep a light blue liner around the top and bottom of the eyes to form a cat eye, and pair them with bold lashes. The rest of the face should be kept matte (yes, a mermaid look without the highlighter), with a dusting of color on the lips.

Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Honeymoon
Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Honeymoon $8
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Glossier Haloscope Face Highlighter in Quartz
Glossier Haloscope Face Highlighter in Quartz $22
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mermaid inspired makeup
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Skip the shimmery metallics. Instead, choose contrasting blue and aqua hues in a matte finish to line the eyes. Keep skin dewy with a smattering of highlighter on the cheekbones and brow bone. Top it off with a light coating of mascara on the top lashes, a hint of pink blush, and a rosy lip.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector $38
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Mac Extreme Dimension Mascara in No Pain, No Gain
Mac Cosmetics Extreme Dimension Mascara in No Pain, No Gain $20
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mermaid inspired makeup looks
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Don't act like you didn't see the glitter coming. To get this effect, skip the glitter eye shadow. Instead, start with a glossy lid and pat on loose glitter in the color of your choice. If you're feeling bold, apply a single layer directly above the eyelid, but keep it below the brow bone. Brows and lashes can be kept bare. Sweep a hint of highlighter on cheekbones and a clear gloss on the lips.

Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Color in Hematite
Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Color in Hematite $34
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Next up, learn how to keep red hair vibrant with these simple tried-and-true tricks.

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