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7 Jaw-Dropping Eyeshadow Looks That Have Been Dominating this Season

By Marissa DeSantis

Bolder is better when it comes to makeup this summer. Case in point, the rise in unconventional eye makeup looks we’ve seen taking over Instagram. From makeup artists and celebrities to micro-influencers and even our own friends, it seems like there’s never been a better time to try out the rainbow bright colors in your eyeshadow palette that you weren’t quite sure how to use.

Ahead, we’re sharing some of our favorite eyeshadow looks for summer that can be copied as is or used to inspire a whole new color combo. And while there are no real rules in makeup, if you’re looking to complete any of these eyeshadow looks, clean skin and a nude-pink lip works every time.


Coral Crush

Monochromatic pink and orange makeup is still very much on trend. But for the summer, we love breaking out peach and coral tones, which really seem to make a golden tan (real or fake) pop. You can keep the eyeshadow look matte for more drama, or copy makeup artist Hung Vanngo and add a creamy, shimmery shadow as the finishing touch for a softer approach.

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Lilac Lids

We’ve seen various shades of purple eyeshadow popping up on the virtual red carpet this year, thanks to celebrities like Dua Lipa and H.E.R. You can go the quick and easy route by sweeping a cream shadow in a softer lavender or lilac shade across your lids. Or, you can play with different textures and shades of purple with the Lilac palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills for a multi-colored look.

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Classic Drama

If you’re looking to ease your way into a color switch up, celebrity makeup artist Alex Babsky replaced the typical brown shadows used to create a smoky eye with a shimmering pewter.

Start with a neutral matte that mimics the natural shadows of your eyes (Babsky used NARS Single Shadow in Sophia), and blend it along the lower lash line, up and out along the socket and lid. Once you’ve lined (and smudged) both lash lines with a black eyeliner, press the pewter shade into the lids, and finish with a few coats of mascara.

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When you can’t choose between eyeshadow colors, why not wear them both? Create a sunset-inspired eye look like this by starting with a soft matte pink shade and blending in a warmer orange color along the outer corners of your eyes (makeup artist Jose Corella used NudeStix Magnetic Plush Paints in Love Cloud and Sunset Peach from the Heaven & Earth set).

You can play with other color combos, too, like a sky blue and sea green or a shimmering lavender paired with a smokier plum.

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Rainbow Glitter

Rainbow eye makeup is made even more fun with pastel hues and a glitter finish. To eliminate glitter fallout, swap out your usual eye primer for one that’s specifically developed to hold glitter in place. Using a creamier shadow formula that’s infused with shimmer, like Stila’s liquid eyeshadow, will also help to prevent the glitter from transferring or falling under the eyes.

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Winged-Out Shades Of Blue

Give your blue smoky eye an unexpected upgrade by going brighter (and adding a cat eye). Start by blending a sky blue cream shadow across your lids and out into an exaggerated wing shape. For more color intensity, press a powder shadow in a similar color over top. Using a cobalt blue liner, create a thick cat eye, making sure to bring the line all the way across the lid and into the inner corner, too.

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Gold Standards

Yellow isn’t always the easiest color to pull off, which is why this shimmery, golden take on the sunny shade is so genius. Follow makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes’ lead by using a richly pigmented shadow like Pat McGrath’s Gold Lust 001 and concentrating it towards the center of the lids. Don’t forget to blend the lighter gold shadow along the inner corners of your eyes, too, for a more wide-eyed effect.

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