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Colored Eyeliner: In or Out?

By Charlotte Hudson

Photography by Rebekah Shook, Styled by Mary Eisenhart

As we are already two months into 2023, many makeup trends have been established, recirculated and gone out of style. One of these trends that has gone through the cycle is the emergence of colored eyeliner.

Black eyeliner has been a staple to elevate any makeup look for decades. Adding a wing, sharp or soft, to the eyelid can dramatically change the effect of eye makeup. For an extra effect, black eyeliner used in the waterline has been known to make eyes stand out for a bold, night-out look.

Black eyeliner doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. What has recently been an on and off trend is colored eyeliner. Bold colored eyeliner like electric shades of blue, red and purple have circulated through the decades, but the eyeliner color of this year is white.

Some might credit the re-emergence of white eyeliner to rising social media influencer Alix Earle. Earle is a senior at the University of Miami and she quickly gained recognition on Tik Tok for her "Day in the Life," "Outfit of the Day" and "Get Ready With Me" videos. In almost every going-out video Earle posts, she always uses white eyeliner in her waterline as a finishing touch to her makeup, and it does have a gorgeous effect on her eye color. Earle credits makeup brand NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in the shade “Milk” as the perfect product for white eyeliner. This acclamation might have been one of the reasons a staple drugstore makeup brand has been seeing its eyeliner flying off the shelves.

Angela Trakhosis of Allure magazine has ranked the NYX white eyeliner as one of the best white eyeliners of 2023. Beauty experts mentioned in the article, like Julianna Grogan, say the effect of white eyeliner on the eye can be powerful and bring out the whites of the eyes to make eyes look bigger.

The team behind Charlotte Tilbury's makeup brand has also commented on the colored eyeliner trend and has offered the perfect pairings of eyeliner for different eye colors. In an article from September of 2022 written by the Tilbury Team, they say the best colored eyeliners for blue eyes are deep blue eyeliners as well as copper to enhance the natural beauty of blue eyes.

Beauty and style website Byrdie released their guide to eyeliner colors for the upcoming year and in it they noted that for green eyes, warm red tones pair well and for brown and hazel eyes, cooler colors like blue, green and purple are perfect.

In any color, eyeliner is a powerful makeup tool. It seems that colored eyeliner has had a positive and confident effect, so we will be seeing it stick around for the year!

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