Pink Eyeshadow (And Other Pastel Makeup) For Not-So-Girly Girls

I like the idea of softening my beauty look, so I'm giving it a shot with few affordable options.

I have never been very into pastels. When it comes to clothing, I prefer to wear black, white, gray, and the occasional jewel tone if I must. With makeup, I am all about dark red and purple lips.

That said, I do think pastels are very pretty, and I like to admire them from afar. I'm envious of those who can wear them and look like ethereal fairies. (Hi, Alyssa!)

It's slowly warming up outside as spring drags its feet, so I'm reluctantly easing up on all of the black and dark colors (except the hair--that's staying for now). I like the idea of softening my beauty look, which led to the most novel, groundbreaking idea ever: pastels for spring. Crazy, I know.

Specifically, I wanted to try out pastel pink eyeshadow. I've never worn pink eyeshadow before, usually sticking with a smoky eye or black eyeliner, so I had no idea how this was going to look. I decided to keep an open mind and to try wearing the pink eyeshadow a few different ways to see what works best on me.

First off, swatches. Here's the three eyeshadow shades I used for the looks I'm about to show you.

The pink and yellow don't have individual names. The pink is from the Wet 'n' Wild ColorIcon Eyeshadow Trio Sweet As Candy and the yellow is from the Wet 'n' Wild ColorIcon Eyeshadow Palette Poster Child. The purple is Wet 'n' Wild MegaEyes in Lovely Lilac.

And here's the two lip colors I used: Maybelline Color Sensational in Blushing Beige on the top and Maybelline ColorWhisper in Oh La Lilac on the bottom.

This is what the Wet 'n' Wild pink eyeshadow from the Sweet As Candy palette looks like on me all by itself (that's my natural lip color and I'm not wearing mascara):

I like this eyeshadow a lot--way more than I thought I would. It's pastel, shimmery, and very girly so normally it's something I would avoid but I can't deny that it went well with my eye color. Also, it was surprisingly high-quality for the price. Most eyeshadows settle into my eyelids' creases immediately, but not this one. It stayed on almost perfectly all day. I was impressed.

Then I decided to try canceling out my natural lip pigment to allow the pink eyeshadow to have the spotlight. I haven't had the best of luck with nude lipsticks but I figured I'd give it another try. I used the Maybelline Color Sensational lip color in Blushing Beige with a dab of concealer under it for completely nude lips.

Was this my favorite look? Um, probably not. Turns out I look a lot better with pigmented lips, even if it makes for a lot of pink with this particular look.

Next I decided to go the opposite end of the spectrum and go all out with the pastels. First, I tried combining various products in similar shades of pink and purple.

Sticking with the pink eyeshadow, I added a sheer lavender blush. To be honest, it's not blush at all--it's another Wet 'n' Wild eyeshadow, the Lovely Lilac one. Whatever, I do what I want!

Using a fluffy kabuki brush, I blended it upwards along my cheekbones.

So far, so good. Then I took it one step further and added lipstick in a similar shade, Maybelline Color Whispers in Oh La Lilac.

Yeah. That's a whole lot of pastel. It was fun to wear and take pictures of, but I doubt I'll ever wear it out of the house. And that's OK. I think it's important to have fun experimenting in the safety of your own home from time to time.

Speaking of out-there looks... I had the idea to pair the pink eyeshadow with a contrasting pastel shade next. Specifically, yellow.

I used the yellow shade from the Wet 'n' Wild Poster Child palette. I found that using my e.l.f. concealer brush and mixing it up with a tiny bit of coconut oil made it easier to paint it on in a thin line.

I'm actually excited to try wearing this look at some point this summer. It's unexpected and fun. Plus I just love yellow and pink together. The next time I wear it, I think I'll see how it looks with mascara.

Alright, alright. I understand: this is too much pastel for you. You need to get some black mixed up in here. Well, what goes better with pink eyeshadow than a black cat eye?

An exaggerated cat eye will add some grown-up sexiness to the sweetness of the pink eyeshadow. For this look, I stuck to the nude lips and finally filled in my brows and added some mascara.

I liked it a lot, but I might make the line along my lids a bit thinner next time. With my hooded eyes, it was hard to see much of the pink when my eyes were open.

I'm always trying to perfect my cat eye technique, and I think the right eyeliner helps a lot. I've been using Sephora's Long Lasting High Precision Eyeliner in Glitter Black lately. The thin brush makes for a precise application, and it stays on all day.

Finally, what you've really been waiting for: the ultimate tough girl's trick to wearing pastel pink eyeshadow is heavy black eyeliner. Lots and lots of smudged black eyeliner.

I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion thickly along my top lid, and then tight-lined my waterline and the inner corners of my eyes before doing a thin, smudgy line under my eyes.

It's simple and obvious, but it works.

It's the beauty equivalent of wearing a leather jacket over a floral dress. With your eyes open (and the jacket on, to continue the metaphor), you look like a badass.

Then you blink or look down (or take off the jacket) and people realize you're just a misunderstood softie, like Weevil in Veronica Mars.

Now you're picturing this dude in a floral dress and pink eyeshadow, so my job here is done.

Did I at least convince you to try pastel eyeshadow? I know I convinced myself. I'll be wearing this pink eyeshadow with a swooping black cat eye for the rest of the week.