My love for neon eyeshadow has always been from afar. I'll save Pat McGrath looks on Instagram and stare at my favorite drag queens' eye makeup all day long, but in my day-to-day I rarely venture outside my comfort zone of black liner. Chalk it up to my struggle with acne, but the fear of bringing more attention to my face is why I typically avoid color.
There's been an undeniable shift in the beauty world, though, and neon eyeshadow is suddenly everywhere. Although Euphoria certainly didn't invent colorful eye makeup, the show's instantly iconic looks have put the spotlight back on having fun with makeup. In Hollywood it's probably no surprise that younger stars like Rowan Blanchard, Maddie Ziegler, and Kylie Jenner are leading the way with shocking twists on electric pink and bright orange lids.
But it's not just the under-25 set who are lighting things up. Priyanka Chopra's tested the waters with Day-Glo blue liner, while Riley Keough has rocked bright pink eyes. Actress Lucy Boynton and her makeup artist Jo Baker have become a power duo when it comes to pushing boundaries with red-carpet beauty. Think neon yellow eyeshadow with a bold red lip, or vivid pinks mixed with yellow and seafoam green. Even Lana Del Rey, who's known for her more classic looks, wears neon green eyeliner in her latest video.
But the thing that really sold me on neon eyeshadow was the fact that it was all over New York Fashion Week, where makeup has been overall minimal the past few seasons. Effortless, "cool girl" no-makeup makeup will never be out—it's extremely easy and always looks good—but it's refreshing to something fresh and exciting starting to become more mainstream.
Still, it's one thing to wear bright green eyeliner on a red carpet. It's another to wear it to the office. So I challenged myself to break out of my shell and try neon eye makeup for an entire week.
One quick note of warning: There's recently been some question over the safety of neon eye makeup, because many fluorescent color additives are not FDA-approved to be used on your eye area (despite the fact they're approved for use in the E.U., where cosmetic restrictions are more strict). As always, be sure to read the labels on your products carefully to confirm their intended use, and stop using any products immediately if you're experiencing any irritation.
Monday: Slime Liner
I started by dipping my toes into neon with this perfect slime green liner by Dior. All I did was my classic wing, just in a bolder color, made super easy by the liner's slanted tip. The look was surprisingly subtle. I don't think anyone even noticed unless they got right up in my face. For a Monday morning it was perfect, but I would actually amp it up with a thicker line for an after-hours event. Next time I would tight-line my eyes with black for a little definition, but all in all I was off to a good start.
33.00, Dior Diorshow Pro Liner Bevel-Tip Eye Liner in Matte Lime
17.00, MAC Eyeshadow in Shock Factor
Tuesday: Lilac Corners
I'm not super confident in my shadow skills, so I wanted to do something that built off a liner look. I was inspired by this look on Rowan Blanchard, but the Day-Glo yellow seemed a bit much, so I opted for a vivid lilac. I wasn't sure if it qualifies as neon, but it's in my Huda Beauty Neon Obsessions palette, so I think I'm in the clear. I started by drawing on my wing, and then shaping my eye with a touch of warm brown shadow in the crease, then I packed the lilac on top of a primer with a pointed brush. I found it crucial to apply mascara before going in with the purple, as I always get mascara specs all over my lid, and this way made it way less muddy.
I actually loved this look, concentrating the color in the inner corners made it feel more approachable, and I love the way it gave my eyes a sleepy bedroom eye look. I felt like a sexy alien, and like that it added an avant-garde touch to my outfit while still feeling totally wearable and office-appropriate.
29.00, Huda Beauty Neon Obsessions Platte in Neon Pink
10.00, NYX Vivid Brights Creme Color in Sugar Rush
Wednesday: Pretty in Pink
This was by far the easiest look to do. I simply prepped my lids with Urban Decay Primer Potion (a ride-or-die for this entire experiment) and dusted the brightest pink from the same Huda palette all over my lids, stopping at my crease so it's didn't look clownish.
Again I applied mascara before my shadow, but I used a ton of coats to make sure I didn't look like I had pink eye. I coordinated the shadow with a pink dress, and I actually think the matching looked really cool—to be honest, this was the only day my clothes and makeup made sense together. Since the shadow was so simple, it came off interesting without looking like I was trying too hard. This one also got me the most compliments.
9.00, Pop Fanatic Eyeshadow in Buzz
38.00, Lime Crime Venus Vivid Pressed Powder Palette
Thursday: Pink Wings
This is the only look I wanted to wipe off right away. I had hoped to do a floating liner, but after an attempt on one eye, I realized I was not skilled enough to pull it off. During this whole week I had started with my eyes instead of my base for moments like this, so I could quickly remove mistakes without dismantling my whole face. I was running late—one downside of neon eyeshadow is that it's so much more time-consuming—so I went with what I know and did a quick wing, using my Huda palette and a setting spray to make a liner.
The result was...fine. The shadow looked more peach in the pan but turned pink when wet, so I ended up repeating the prior day's pink moment. Without the matchy-ness of my outfit, I felt like the color instead washed me out. Loading up on bronzer helped, but I still wasn't in love. If I did this again, I think I'd go for a more subtle liner instead.
22.00, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
6.5.00, ColourPop Crème Gel Colour
Friday: Sunset Eyes
All week I was working up to this. I never wear shades of yellow, especially on my face, but it wouldn't be a good challenge unless I went for the most neon of all. I scrolled through Doniella Davey's Instagram (Euphoria's makeup artist) for inspiration, and settled on a combination of two of Jules's looks. I was worried the yellow would make me look sick or tired, so I paid extra attention to my prep.
I used a metal eye tool to depuff and color-corrected with Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Vanish before applying my concealer. I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Alyssa Edwards palette for the yellow shade as a base, again stopping at my crease. I added the orange from the Norvina Pro Vol. 2 palette on my outer corners for a sunset effect, but it also helped warm up the yellow and add a nice shape to my eyes. I was sure to pile on the mascara and bronzer as well, to avoid looking washed-out. I expected to hate this one, but I actually think it's really cool. Bonus: The warm shades bring out the green in my eyes.
45.00, Anastasia Beverly Hills Alyssa Edwards Eyeshadow Palette
60.00, Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol. 2
Aside from Thursday's miss, I'm shocked by how well this went. Not only did I get a ton of compliments; I also proved to myself that I can, in fact, rock colored eye makeup like Hunter Schafer. My two major takeaways would be to embrace bronzer if you're on the pale side (adding a little extra warmth to my complexion was crucial to balancing out the bold colors), and to keep the rest of your makeup minimal to keep the focus on one feature at a time. While I won't be layering on the neon shadow daily—honestly, who has the time?—I definitely won't be afraid to bust out the brights anymore when inspiration strikes.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.
Originally Appeared on Glamour