Punk Eye Makeup

Tanya Sharma
Enhance your eyes with this edgy look.

The beauty of punk eye makeup is that it's a surprisingly versatile look. Don't think you have to emulate Joan Jett to sport this look with success. A spectrum of colors, ranging from moody darks to eye-popping bolds, makes this style instantly unique, fun and playful, all at once.

Going Punk

Going all punk, all the time seems a bit of a stretch unless it's Halloween, but the truth is that this vivacious look can easily translate into everyday life. That's because, contrary to popular belief, it's not all about heavy black lines, thick coats of dark mascara, smudges of gray shadow and a coat of shimmer across the brow bone. Though these products all have their place on a punk makeup shopping list, they don't define punk eye makeup. Nowadays, the most eye-catching peepers are those that turn heads with bright colors, flawless blending techniques and dramatic applications.

The Right Products

Unleash your inner punk with a healthy dose of vibrant eye makeup. A word of warning before you get started: This look isn't for wallflowers! Expect to garner some serious attention if you're sporting an outrageous blend of eye shadow colors. Don't shy away from those excessively brash shades that gleam enticingly at you from their Sephora displays. If you're opting for a punk look, now is the time to get acquainted with those pinks, yellows, greens and blues you never thought you'd wear.

It's certainly true that the eyes have it! If you're planning to show off them off, keep the rest of your makeup minimal (that means steering clear of cherry red lips when your eyes are all done up in pink and gray). Here are a few eye shadow colors just made for the glamorous punk:

  • DuWop Smoke: The smoky eye doesn't have to be completely black. In fact, with this little palette you can make plum, navy or olive your smoky color of choice. If you're devoted to black, don't think twice about the black gold shade. Flecked with hints of iridescent metallic, this unique shade adds new pizzazz to the traditional smoky eye.
  • Bare Escentuals Laugh Out Loud Customer Comedy Eye Collection: Pair one or more of these ultra-bright colors with black liquid liner and plenty of dark mascara for a shocking look. On their own, shades of pear, aquamarine and indigo are springtime fresh, but they can easily take on a more outrageous stance when accented by black.
  • Hard Candy Punk Palette: Have some fun with this multifunctional palette. In addition to eggplant, khaki and pale green eye shadows, this set also includes a punk-worthy blush, shimmer and two lip glosses. They're ideal when you want to play up the eyes and keep everything else low-key.

Punk Eye Makeup Ideas

Get started with a few of these dynamic looks. Some are just updated takes on more traditional looks, with a little spin designed to give them an edgy effect. Others are wild, exuberant and require more than a little confidence to pull off!

The Pink Smoky Eye

Set aside those dark colors and grab a hot pink eye shadow for this snazzy look (try Urban Decay Deluxe Eye Shadow in Sting). You'll also need black liquid eyeliner, black mascara, sparkly black shadow (such as LORAC Midnight Sparkle Shadow/Liner) and a highlighting eye gloss or cream (like Too Faced Shimmer Veil in Pixie Dust or Angel Hair). Then follow these simple steps:

  • Line your upper and lower lids with liquid eyeliner. Be sure to line the color as close to the lash line as possible.
  • Brush the entire lid with hot pink shadow, packing it in as you fade outward.
  • Apply a hint of highlighting gloss to the inner corner. The color should be a light yet stark contrast to the pink - shades such as lemon and lime are ideal. Blend it into the pink.
  • Run a sparkly black shadow over the top lash line, smudging slightly for an undone look.
  • Apply two coats of mascara.

True Blue

Though there are literally hundreds of shades of blue out there, the best color for this look is metallic turquoise (like MAC Rebelrock Blue). You'll also need a green shadow, a small jar of shimmer (such as MAC Pigment), black liquid eyeliner and black mascara.

  • Line the upper and lower lids with liquid liner.
  • Apply the metallic turquoise shadow all over the lid, extending from the lashes to the brow bones in an outward fashion.
  • Blend green shadow (such as MAC Humid) above the blue on the brow bone.
  • Using a small shadow brush, smooth some shimmery pigment over the entire lid.
  • Apply two coats of mascara. To really kick up the look, add false lashes to the equation. You can also apply false feather lashes, like these Rainbow Feather Eyelashes from Shu Uemura.

Basic and Dramatic

If you can't envision sporting such bold shades on a regular basis, yet still want to take advantage of a wilder look, consider a look that's dramatic yet relatively basic. For this, you'll just need your favorite mascara, liquid eyeliner and two or three shades of eye shadow.

  • After lining the upper and lower lids, apply a light shade (such as gray) all over the eyelid.
  • Follow with a darker shade (like deep, shimmery gunmetal or black) in the crease, blending carefully in the outer corner.
  • Optionally, add a light coat of sheer, light shadow (like an icy white or cool pink) over the entire lid to soften the look.
  • Apply mascara. Depending on how dramatic you wish to look, you can forgo this step completely or use a very light hand.

Other Tips

Of course, these ideas are just a taste of the thousands of options available to you. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Always use a base on your lid prior to applying eye shadow. This will help all of that makeup stay put!
  • Be adventurous. Pair unexpected colors together and practice in the comfort of your home.
  • Make use of eye accessories. Body jewels, wild false lashes and varying shades of liquid eyeliner can all work together to create an artistic, wild look.
Punk Eye Makeup