How To Do Pastel Eyes (Without Looking Like a 2001 Throwback)


The massive Y2K resurgence in fashion and beauty has pretty much dominated social media. Have you seen Tik-Tok lately? It’s no surprise, as every trend eventually gets a second chance (yes, even low rise jeans, Juicy Couture, butterfly print and diamanté encrusted everything). In the beauty world of the bedazzled decade, the tones that adorned our faces were infinitely frosty pastels. The more shimmery, the better. At the peak of the new millennium, light, iridescent-hued tones reigned supreme on lips and nails. However, it was the eyes that were our prime focus with pastel shades.

In the early aughts, formulas weren’t at their peak for all day wear – cream eyeshadows applied patchy and uneven, and shade ranges in the drugstores didn’t evoke huge amounts of inspiration.  Fast forward to 20 years later, the pastel eyes trend is back with a modern twist and exciting new variations. And, this time around the affordable products of the drugstore have really upped their game. Case in point: cruelty-free, vegan ranges are now the norm, eyeliners are now long-wearing, and smudge-proof, cream eyeshadow ranges now offer great crease-proof options without limiting on shade selection.  With that being said, we love drugstore picks such as Essence’s Welcome To Miami palette and Lottie London’s super cute Follow Me! Gel Eyeliner pencils.

In terms of modernizing the look, celebrity makeup artist Zoe Taylor tells us “You’ll want your pastel look to be matte rather than shimmery, as this immediately feels more cool. Pastel eyes are so beautiful and versatile and can quite easily be punk or romantic depending on how the rest of your makeup is”  Zoe recommends Maybelline’s Color Tattoo cream shadow in a neutral shade as a base, and then blending it out. “Anything you add on top becomes an intense pop of color – try a pastel powder over the top, build the intensity until you have a deep velvety finish. The Morphe palettes also have some gorgeous colors in them.” 

Scroll down to see our favorite picks from Instagram: 

Mod Madness


We’re loving this look by @beatsbylizzie which went viral on Tik-Tok – A classic 1960s inspired look complete with Bambi-eque lashes. Twiggy who?

Color Blocking Wings


A pastel wing looks killer alone, but add in a triple threat liner combo like @jazcrush.artistry has, and the look takes a dramatic new up to date turn – and we’re so here for it. 

Lime & Lilac Combo 


This amazing look by @blushing_bookworm should be all the confirmation you need that pastels are infinitely cooler then you may have previously thought. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to pick a color. And why should you? The baby lilac liner paired with acid yellows and greens is an unexpected combination that works so well. 

Minty Moments


Refreshing and super-cool, @newlipstickclub has made us rethink mint green with this gorgeous ombré effect lid – a splash of a brightly pigmented shade in the inner corner gives the look an editorial edge whilst still being wearable for everyday looks. 

Purple Haze


Three words: Blending on point! We’re transfixed with this look by @merry.laney which invokes lots of nostalgic feels, whilst being kept up to date with fresh faced, glazed skin (a la Hailey Beiber) and glassy, glossy lips. 

Rethink Pink


We love this editorial look by @zoetaylormakeupartist. Pair up vivid pink lids with a subtle sheen and a flushed matte lip and bare skin. There’s definitely an edge to this pretty-in-pink look and we’re obsessed.

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Sara Pollock

Sara Pollock is a London-based freelance beauty contributor to The Tease. She has a penchant for lipstick in fancy packaging and a not-so low-key obsession with 90s teen magazines.


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