Blame it on Lynda Carter and Heather Locklear, but back in the 1970s and ’80s, makeup was all about blue eye shadow—and the more the better. We added some sparkle to our lids in the ’90s, then decided that cat eyes and smoky eyes were good ideas in the new millennium. Now we’re looking a new makeup trend square in the eye: brightly colored eyelids, sometimes so bright they border on neon. Is the look avant-garde and edgy, or does it smack of another popular ’70s trend, the Lite-Brite? The 4-Way, our panel of resident dating nonexperts, weighs in.
The Gay Man’s Perspective: Darren Maddox
Is the circus in town? Then why do women suddenly look like they fell into the clown-makeup bin? What is this bright-eyes trend? Ladies, unless you’re an artist skilled in canvas painting, avoid this one. You can blend into any crowd with a variety of muted eye shadows, but you’re gonna stand out like Tammy Faye Bakker at a Tupperware party in the ’burbs if you make the wrong move with colors resembling a peacock or parrot. Until this one is widely accepted, stick to what you know and don’t try to be a trendsetter.
The Straight Woman’s Perspective: Rebecca Brown
Oh, the indignities of fashion! I hope this model was paid like Derek Zoolander; that is to say, I hope she was paid really, really ridiculously well, because it looks like somebody unleashed a vat of French’s Mustard on her eyelids. Who could blame her if she turned to hand-modeling after this, the poor girl.
Now, bright lips I can get behind; a sexy, red Marilyn Monroe–mouth is hot, and I have to confess that I’m slightly obsessed with the NARS Carthage lipstick I just bought. But coral, peacock-blue, and mustard eyes? No, thanks—not unless I’m going to appear as one of the beautiful she-males on RuPaul’s Drag Race. But since I have my very own authentic vagina, I doubt that me, my vag, or my eye shadow–less eyelids will be asked to appear anytime soon.
The Lesbian Woman’s Perspective: Jody Fischer
Everyone has something that they notice first on a person. For many, it’s the eyes. Eye shadow, unless done very well, always looks clownish to me. And ultrabright eye shadow just makes someone look like a circus freak.
The only woman who could pull off bright blue eye shadow was Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra. And now that the Queen of the Nile has gone to the afterlife, we really don’t need imposters.
After all, eyes are the windows to the soul; they don’t need a bold window treatment to let us see how beautiful they are.
The Straight Man’s Perspective: Chris Kennedy
As I mull over this bright-colored eye shadow trend, I can’t help but recall the refrain in the Bonnie Tyler song “Total Eclipse of the Heart”: “Turn around, bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart …”
Marking your lips, eyes, and other body parts with bright, unnatural colors signals that you just might indeed be falling apart and turning into a sad neon clown saturated in the downpour of too many cosmetics in the bathroom closet.
Neon is a tool used in advertising; it summons thoughts of diners, Dodges, and dive bars. Not beauty. You want to look bright? Keep your eye shadow dim.