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Best Onstage Pageant Makeup for Blue Eyes

Katherine McQuade, National American Miss 2016-2017, with makeup by Austin Ryde. Photo courtesy: Katherine McQuade Instagram.
Katherine McQuade, National American Miss 2016-2017, with makeup by Austin Ryde. Photo courtesy: Katherine McQuade Instagram.

Makeup: love it or hate it, it will always be an important element of your stage competitions. Hiring a makeup artist well-versed in the pageant scene will undeniably help you achieve the perfect look to make those sparkly blues pop on stage.

However, if you choose to task this on your own, improperly applying eye makeup for the stage could make blue eyes go from fab to drab. Read on for tips to help you and/or your makeup artist create the perfect stage-ready look!

Best Onstage Pageant Makeup for Blue Eyes

To achieve some of the best onstage looks for blue eyes, let’s start at the beginning. Creating a makeup look is like painting a canvas; you’re creating a beautiful work of art.

Always start with a fresh face (including the eyelid and brow area). Be sure to exfoliate and have your brows shaped a few days prior to the pageant, then begin your look with a clean and moisturized face, free of any previous makeup. Your canvas is now ready!

Kylee Solberg, Miss Idaho 2016. Photo courtesy: missidaho.org.
Kylee Solberg, Miss Idaho 2016. Photo courtesy: missidaho.org.

When I apply stage makeup, I tend to do my eyes first, prior to foundation, contour, etc. Consider the amount of product that may flake off during application to the under eye area. Having foundation already there tends to act like glue for eye shadow. It may create the look of dark circles, especially if you try to blend or remove it after the fact.

“Be sure to start with a good eye primer, such as Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, which is sure to stay in place,” said freelance makeup artist Johanna Tufte.

Apply the product on your eyelid all the way to the brow bone. Eye primer helps ensure that eye shadow stays in place under the warm stage lights and keeps the color vibrant.

It’s important to consider color theory and remember that blue eyes come in a variety of shades. From very light blue to deep blue, there are also shades in between. Complementary colors are located across from your target color on the wheel. These hues are perfect for designing your eye shadow look and tell us that shades within the orange family (bronze, gold, coral, etc.) are ideal colors.

The color wheel. Photo courtesy: Pinterest.
The color wheel. Photo courtesy: Pinterest

As for application technique, blue eyes just can’t go wrong with a smoky eye on stage. It creates depth and dimension to blue eyes and really can help them stand out under the harsh lights. One popular color combination is black and gray and tends to look great on most shades of blue.

“I feel blue eyes are one of the easiest colors to work with on a variety of what looks good,” said Tufte. “My all-time preference is to do a gray smoky eye. Using a neutral base in a cream (such as Blanc Type by MAC) and a cool-based gray will help bring out the natural blue in the eyes while keeping a neutral palette for wardrobe changes. To add even more pop, add some copper, gold or rosy pink on the lid to enhance to blue.”

Madison Jonely, Miss Utah International 2017 with Amy Morgan Davis, Miss Utah 2004. Photo courtesy: Utah International Pageants Instagram.
Madison Jonely, Miss Utah International 2017 with Amy Morgan Davis, Miss Utah 2004. Photo courtesy: Utah International Pageants Instagram

Don’t be afraid to experiment when working with your eyes! You don’t have to limit yourself to just black and gray toned smoky eyes. A modified smoky look can be beautifully achieved on blue eyes in quite a few colors, such as browns and purples. (Read: How to Create a Smokey Eye for Green and Blue Eyes)

Lighter blue and gray-blue eyes tend to impact well with shades of orange-brown and coral. For medium blues, it is safe to try blacks/charcoal, browns, camel, heather and copper. To enhance dark blue eyes, consider neutral browns and shades of salmon and peach to really bring out your blues.

Interesting to note: purples like plum and lavender are not across from blue on the color wheel. Due to the fact it is analogous (next to blue on the wheel), purples tend to do well with most shades of blue eyes as a smoky look.

Lauren York, Miss Nevada USA 2017. Photo courtesy: Miss Nevada USA Instagram.
Lauren York, Miss Nevada USA 2017. Photo courtesy: Miss Nevada USA Instagram

One simple trick is to pick out a great eye shadow palette at your favorite cosmetics counter when considering how to pair your colors. Many complementary colors can conveniently be found within these palettes to easily add dimension. Use the darker or more vibrant color in your crease for the smoky effect, as well as on your lash line for the perfect added definition. Use the lighter shades to highlight and accentuate brow bone and lid areas. (Read: Naked Basics Palette For A Great Smoky Eye)

False eyelashes are perfect to partner to your beautiful eye shadow. Curl your lashes first, then add one coat of black mascara before applying your false lashes. We recommend several brands that you may want to read about. Stacking two strips of falsies is a great trick and perfect for your stage competitions. (Read: How to Stack Your Eye Lashes)

Top your look off with a black liquid or gel liner to help blend the lash band into your natural lash line. Also, try a beige or taupe on your waterline as opposed to white. This simple technique will pull even more blue from your eyes.

Last but not least, don’t forget to fill in those brows! Consider brows as the “frame” to your piece of art, used to enhance and compliment the masterpiece. Choose a brow pencil that is one to two shades darker than your hair color.

Madilyn Marohn, IJM Minnesota Teen 2017, with makeup by Emerie Jones Gifford of Springboard Girls. Photo by Dan Hennings Photography. Photo courtesy Madilyn Marohn.
Madilyn Marohn, IJM Minnesota Teen 2017, with makeup by Emerie Jones Gifford of Springboard Girls. Photo by Dan Hennings Photography. Photo courtesy Madilyn Marohn

Going Forward

Creating the perfect look for your blue eyes is just a portion of your stage competition makeup. Utilize these helpful blue eye tips yourself or with a makeup artist to help create the perfect look the next time you step foot under the bright lights. To learn more about completing your overall look, check out more articles in our makeup series!

Good luck!

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