Autumn Pitkin

The History Behind Blue Eyeshadow

Class of: 2027

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Watercolor, Mixed Media, Photoshop

Faculty: Alaiyo Bradshaw

Prompt: Students were given the freedom to choose their topic for the project. The assignment required us to use a combination of selected images and a watercolor painting to create a single-frame Photoshop montage narrative, with a visually appealing composition and relationships that reflect our concept. It was mandatory to incorporate the watercolor painting to challenge us to use a layered mixed media technique to produce a coherent image.

As a bridal makeup artist, I have noticed that older people often request blue eyeshadow, which was a popular color in the 60s to 80s. I became curious about the history of this vibrant eyeshadow and decided to do some research. Traditionally, blue was considered a color for boys, while pink was for girls. However, blue eyeshadow was associated with a bold, daring, and free-spirited personality, and those who wore it were seen as wild and rebellious. During the 1960s, blue eyeshadow gained cultural significance and appeared in movies, coinciding with the rise of drugstore makeup. This inspired me to create a Maybelline Magazine ad that tells the story of blue eyeshadow’s history. I chose a paintbrush as my object to paint the blue eyeshadow in my Photoshop montage and create a narrative about its origins.