Black eye shadow isn’t necessarily the first makeup look you might think of when going for “wearable.” Black Swan, Morticia Addams, Jenny Humphrey from Gossip Girl, Julia Fox, Kris Jenner—the list of black eye shadow references is long, and probably not found on your “everyday makeup” Pinterest board.
Wearing black eye shadow is very much like putting on a character. The shade is so bold and transformative, it’s hard not to feel almost like a different person when wearing it. But considering the past few years we’ve lived through, don’t we all need a little escapism?
Designers at New York Fashion Week certainly think so. Black eye shadow has dominated the runways this season, appearing at a staggering number of shows. So far, Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Helmut Lang, Prabal Gurung, Altuzarra, Alice & Olivia and Area have all used black eye makeup on models.
NYFW 2024 marks the beginning of the CFDA’s official fashion calendar, serving as a beacon for the rest of the year. However, there’s no denying Pat McGrath set a beauty precedent a few weeks ago during Paris Couture Week on January 26, with her internet-breaking porcelain skin makeup at Maison Margiela’s spring 2024 show.
As much as runway beauty looks can surprise and delight, they can also bore. Designers and key makeup artists at NYFW 2024 seemed to forgo the usual clean skin and minimal makeup for something much more bold—a welcome change that follows McGrath’s lead.
Marc Jacobs kicked things off on February 2 with extra-long, dramatic eyelashes. Inspired by Diana Ross in the 1960s, key makeup artist Diane Kendal layered false lashes and applied black nail lacquer to them instead of mascara.
“We used lashes on the top and bottom. We actually coated the lashes with black nail polish to give that really ‘cloggy’ look so they’re a bit spidery,” Kendal shared in a press release. “Next, we lined the eyes with a black eyeliner followed by black duo glue, to give a real density to the eye. We did lashes on the top and bottom, but only used eyeliner on the top.”