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I Tried The Beauty Trend That Scared Me

Three women roadtest directional looks

By Erin Cook, Enid Sung and Jamie-Lee Burns

As someone who has worn the same grey-ish eyeshadow since she was 17, and owns about 25 lipsticks – all of which are almost exactly the same colour as my lips – I know a thing or two about playing it safe when it comes to beauty, writes Anna Saunders.

This week, I managed convinced three writers to try a beauty look that both scares and tempts them in equal measure.

Here’s how it went.

Erin Cook takes on pink eyeshadow 

If my Instagram feed is anything to go by, colourful eyeshadow is having a moment. Yellow! Pink! Orange! Green! The bolder, the better. 

In my endless social media scrolling (my average screen time is three hours per day – I know, I know, it’s something I’m working on…), I’ve hit save on several pink eyeshadow posts. Of all the bright colours, pink feels like the most user-friendly entry point to the trend – and the prettiest. 

But have I actually tried the look on myself? Not once. Without an actual make-up artist on hand, I assumed I’d end up looking like Ronald McDonald’s little sister.

Today is the day! With the help of make-up artist Cat Smith, I’ve learnt that pink eyeshadow is surprisingly wearable, flattering and easy to apply.


Erin and her Insta-beauty look. CREDIT: Georgina Egan

Cat applied a pinky-nude cream shadow (MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly) as a base before going in with blush (By Terry Densiliss Blush in Nude Dance) to create a wash of hot pink. If you already own a powdered blush, that one will do; if it works on your cheeks, it’ll work on your peepers. To make the pink pop, Cat used a compact eyeshadow brush to really press the powder into my eyelids and then blurred the edges with a fluffy blending blush.”

Jamie-Lee Burns tries a dark-red lip

With autumn just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about ways to lift my beauty game. I’ve always loved the drama of a dark red lip – at least on other people. 

But despite my Greek heritage, my complexion is very fair and I worried this trend would completely wash me out. Less vampish Greta Garbo, more vampiric Bella from Twilight. 

But Cat was confident we could make a dark lip work.

Taking on a vampy red lip. CREDIT: Georgina Egan

To keep the colour even, and reduce the chance of it bleeding beyond the lip line, Cat filled in my lips completely with a liner in a dark shade MAC Lip Pencil in Nightmoth. Then she used a mix of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Vino, deepened with MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in Caviar to give the colour depth. Brushing bronzer (Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel) all over my face – focusing particularly on the apples of my cheeks, and blended up and out under the cheekbone – gave me a subtle radiance. And my top tip? Wear a lighter-coloured top, which makes the lip seem less intense.

Enid Sung trials turquoise liner

I’m a simple gal – ‘It-Girl’ beauty looks are not for me. Thanks to a slight hang-up about the sparseness of my eye lids, I contour each day by smudging a little brown shadow through my crease, and I steer clear of anything more vibrant (years of gymnastics competitions, where I wore bright makeup, have scarred my beauty psyche).

That said, I always loved my mum’s electric turquoise liquid liner, so I swallow a chill pill and prepare to have a go. 

Enid trials electric blue eyeliner

Cat suggests using small strokes (of Sephora Collection Waterproof Eyeliner in Pool Party) to create the line, and not getting hung up on “beauty rules”. Once she’s finished the liner, she presses MAC Electric Eel Eyeshadow on top. Another hot tip? Once you’ve nailed one eye, open both eyes and place small dots where the flick of your liner ends on the opposite eye so you know where to stop. This creates symmetry, which is everything when you’re wearing bold liner.

When I’m done, I’m actually surprised – it’s really not that aggressive. What’s more, I dig that you get some colour without having to use 20 million brushes for blending (I am very lazy). Cat adds a few extra lashings of black mascara which further accentuates the pop of colour. I order coffee at 11am with my bright blue-lined eyes, and when I go to pick up my order, there’s definitely a little hair toss in there somewhere.”


BY Erin Cook, Enid Sung and Jamie-Lee Burns

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