Beauty

6 Mask-Appropriate Eye Make Up Looks, Tried & Tested

Half the face, double the fun.

Rebecca Fearn / Jon Challicom/Moment/Getty Images

Wearing a face covering is now more important than ever. It's become a necessary part of modern life in order to protect ourselves and others from the ongoing threat of coronavirus, and is now legally required in areas such as on public transport and in shops. But if you're a big beauty fan, wearing a mask can make you question how to approach your makeup in order to make it last, and still stand out when half your face is covered. TBH, I've been thinking the same thing, and after some trial and error, I present you with six eye makeup looks to wear with a face mask.

Whatever kind of mask you wear, the most important thing is that you’re wearing one. But nobody said you couldn’t have fun with your makeup while obeying the law and keeping others safe, right?! And with so many super cute face covering options around now, you can tie in your makeup with your chosen pattern or colour scheme to look as stylish as is reasonably possible.

I scoured social media to find inspo from some of the coolest beauty editors, makeup artists, and Instagram users, all of which I have used to create my own eye makeup looks. Keep reading to find out which I got on with, and which I definitely won’t be trying again!

Sherbet eyes
Rebecca Fearn
Inspired by

"With half of our faces covered up for the foreseeable future, now is the perfect time to experiment with colour," says Karl Hodson, Laura Mercier's Education Manager. And trust me, experiment I did.

I'll be honest: this isn't a look I would be brave enough to wear usually, but combined with a plain mask that covers the rest of my face, I've got all the confidence to pop down to the shops sporting sherbet eyes.

While it may not look it, this is a relatively simple look to achieve from home, as the colours and lines don't have to be super defined. My version is far messier than the inspo, but I kinda like it that way. Just keep those colours separated; Hodson's top tip is "to not over blend, as this will muddy the colours and look a little 80’s."

Products used: Huda Beauty Lilac Obsessions Palette, Glossier Skywash in 'Pool,' Glossier Skywash in 'Lawn'.

Glossy eyes
Rebecca Fearn
Inspired by

Complete transparency leads me to tell you this is NOT an easy look to create and maintain. Sure, it looks damn cool in pictures and appears to be as simple as swipe and go, but trust me, simple it ain't.

I've tried myriad products in the past designed to give glossy eyes, all of which promise not to be sticky and to last (within reason for a gloss formula). None work. I'm SORRY. But it's the truth.

Anyway, that aside, I thought I'd give it one last go and it does look uber chic with a floral mask and cat eye, but if I were you, I wouldn't bother unless you're just doing it for the 'gram. It's incredibly un-practical. And it makes you feel like you have gunk in your eyes every time you blink (TMI, but true).

Products used: Becca Zero No Pigment Glass Highlighter for Face + Lip.

Neutral smoky eye
Rebecca Fearn

Inspired by:

Back to looks I can actually do and will always go back to. A neutral, shimmering, smoky eye is by all accounts a safety net look for many of us, and one that suits all skin tones and formula preferences.

Hodson recommends using "a nude shadow in a shimmer texture around two to three shades lighter than your skin tone." This, he says, will "create dimension on the eye whilst still looking effortless."

"Try applying the colour in the inner corner of the eye – this will brighten the eye and create contrast with your mask," he adds.

This look will go with just about any mask as the colours are fairly muted, making it a brilliant option for day and night.

Products used: Fenty Beauty Snap Shadows Eye Shadow Palette in True Neutrals, Fenty Beauty Flypencil Longwear Pencil Eyeliner in Space Cookie.

Pastel wash
Rebecca Fearn

Inspired by:

This is one of my favourite summer looks and you can mix up the colours depending on the style and pattern of your mask. A wash of colour works with any shade, but IMO pastels are best, and look so cute in the warmer months of the year.

The great thing about a pastel wash is you can keep the rest of your makeup to a minimum, as the eyes really steal the show. I think a blue tone looks amazing on all skin tones, and you can either use one product, or add a little depth in the crease line with a darker product, as I did.

Products used: Glossier Skywash in 'Pool,' INC.redible Lid Slick Eye Pigment in 'Dose of Ego.'

Cat eye
Rebecca Fearn
Inspired by:

"Wearing a mask draws the eye to the centre of the face – by creating a fierce winged eye makeup the attention is drawn to the eye and will look striking, bold and sexy," says Hodson.

A cat eye can be a great go-to look for any occasion, and I wear one pretty much every time I wear makeup (on a more subtle scale). And that's the beauty of winged eyeliner: it can be as low-key or dramatic as you so choose.

I'm certainly no Katie Jane Hughes, but I followed her lead with quite a long line and a touch of brown smokiness around the eyeliner. A great way to take attention away from a mask, if you ask me, and a versatile option to combine with any pattern or colour scheme.

Products used: UOMA AFRO.DIS.IAC Cleopatra Ink Liquid Eyeliner in 'Blackety Black Y'all'.

Sunset eyes
Inspired by:

The most 'out there' of the bunch, and yet definitely the coolest, Sable Yong's stunning eye creation was calling out to be copied. Surprisingly easy to achieve, this requires just two colours: a red and a shimmering purple.

Simply apply the red all over your eyelid, and take the purple into the outside corners and below the eye slightly with a fine liner brush or creamy shadow stick.

This will most definitely let your makeup do the talking, no matter what kind of mask you're wearing, and will also "inject a little bit of Balearic heat into your eye makeup," says Hodson, seeing as many of us won't be enjoying beautiful sunsets abroad this year.

Products used: The red shade in this Pat McGrath Labs Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette Bronze Seduction, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Orchid, the purple shades in this Morphe 24A Artist Pass Artistry Palette.