The little black dress: it’s classic, it’s simple, it’s stylish. As a Wellingtonian, about 80% of my wardrobe is black. Like clothing, people take black makeup to be the go-to for simple style – black eyeliner and mascara, that is, not black lipstick! But black can sometimes be a little heavy around the eyes, and if you’ve been applying black mascara every day for your adult life you might be feeling bored of it.
The Emerge Ponti Belted Dress in Ink reminded me that there’s a softer alternative to the LBD. It’s the perfect little navy dress! Navy is a great base for workwear and it looks better with florals than black ever could. It’s a little touch of difference, which can translate to makeup really easily as well.
I’m going to show you three ways to work navy blue into your everyday makeup routine. Here’s my face with no eye makeup on it, for reference.
Try switching out your black mascara or eyeliner for something blue. If this conjures up frightening images of being a teenager and wearing frosted blue eyeshadow up to your eyebrows, don’t worry! We’ve all been there, but navy eyeliner is a much more subtle look. Almost every brand I looked at offers a navy blue pencil eyeliner, so if you don’t already have one, it should be easy to find something that suits your tastes.
To start off slowly, you can smudge a little blue pencil liner along your top and bottom lash line, and top it off with a lick of black mascara. This one is very low key, although you can dial up the intensity to your liking by smudging the pencil outwards with your finger or a brush.
The secret here is to keep the pencil on your lower lash line to the outer third of your eye. Smudge it right at the base of your eyelashes. If you take it too far in towards the centre of your eye it can make small eyes look smaller.
The next phase of Project Navy is liquid liner. This one requires a steady hand, but practice makes perfect. My tip is to look down into a mirror while applying liquid eyeliner. That may be using a freestanding mirror below you on a counter, or tipping your head back to look down at a mirror in front of you.
You can keep liquid liner to your natural eye shape, or continue the line slightly beyond your outer corner to wing it out. This is a nice technique to give some lift to eyes that are slightly downturned at the outer edge. Navy liquid liner looks lovely paired with a rich red lipstick.
This last tip is probably the most unconventional, but I think it’s fun. Blue mascara! To be honest, the mascara I have here isn’t quite navy. It’s called Electric Blue, but over my dark eyelashes it doesn’t look too electric. Blue mascara will complement all eye colours, and it’s a softer choice than black.
Winter is looming, so if you’re finding all the black in your wardrobe and makeup bag depressing, try some navy to soften the mood! I’ve got my eye on that Navy Emerge dress…