In 2017, Pat McGrath proved that blue can be modern, sophisticated, and bold — in all the right ways — with the launch of her sold-out Dark Star 006 kit. It's the kind of blue that is so luxe that you want to bathe in it until you fully look like a glamorous, lost member of the Blue Man Group. As 2018 is coming to a close, cobalt blue is breezing into palette after palette, and celebrities are trying out the brave shade more and more. With this in mind, we rounded up the 11 best cobalt blue eye shadows based on picks from professional makeup artists and Allure editors.
No matter which blue you choose, New York City-based makeup artist Nick Barose recommends using your finger or a sponge tip applicator to press on the pigments to up their intensity. "They pick up more pigment than a brush," he explains. "Then, use an eye shadow brush to smooth, blend, and clean around the edges." Keep scrolling to find the exact cobalt Barose keeps in his kit.
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Make Up For Ever Artist Color Eye Shadow in ME-216
The Make Up For Ever Artist Color Eye Shadow won a 2018 Best of Beauty Award in the Bright Powder category for its extensive shade selection, and ME-216 proves that it really does include every single color of the rainbow. Allure editors love how the formula is so smudge-proof that it doesn't require a primer.
$17 (Shop Now)
Flower Beauty Wanderlust Eyeshadow Palette in New York
The palm-sized Flower Beauty Wanderlust Eyeshadow Palette in New York features a Best of Beauty Award-winning blue shadow that's incredibly impressive. All you need is one swipe of it for maximum impact.
$11 (Shop Now)
Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Smartorial
Makeup artist Hung Vanngo recently swept the matte blue shade from the Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Smartorial onto the lids of model Winnie Harlow, and the result was stunning. Vanngo recommends smearing on a primer like the Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Eye Primer first so "the pigment will grab better and stay longer."
$49 (Shop Now)
Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Sapphire Obsessions
Every shadow in the Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Sapphire Obsessions is inspired by the many facets of the iconic blue gemstone, including the matte and shimmer cobalts in the middle column. The other columns offer perfect pairings for the rich blue hue like lime green and aqua. All work amazingly well wet, so try painting them on with a damp liner brush for colorful flicks.
$27 (Shop Now)
Nars Outremer Single Eye Shadow
New York City-based makeup artists Nick Barose and Yuui Vision count the Nars Outremer Single Eye Shadow as one of their go-to cobalt eye shadows. Art history buffs will appreciate Barose's reasoning. "It’s a chic, matte bright blue that looks like a Yves Klein painting," he says.
$19 (Shop Now)
Nars Showgirl Single Eye Shadow
Nars Showgirl Single Eye Shadow is like Outremer drenched in shimmer, making it a favorite of Los Angeles-based makeup artist Fiona Stiles. "It’s vibrant and rich with a bit of sheen, so it blends easily," she says. "It works on all skin tones as it’s vibrant enough to show up and look beautiful on darker skin. It’s very pretty and versatile."
$19 (Shop Now)
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I Eyeshadow Palette in Subliminal
The original Dark Star pigment might be off the market, but the Pat McGrath Labs Mothership I Eyeshadow Palette in Subliminal boasts the next best thing in the right-hand side of its bottom row. Dubbed Blitz Blue, the vivid hue is flecked with sky blue shimmer for a dimensional finish.
$125 (Shop Now)
Shiseido Kajal InkArtist in Gunjo Blue
If you prefer a cream over a shadow, reach for Vision's favorite option: the Shiseido Kajal InkArtist in Gunjo Blue. The velvety pencil acts not only as a shadow, but also as a liner, brow filler, and kajal.
$25 (Shop Now)
Stila Vivid & Vibrant Eye Shadow Duo in Sapphire
The royal blue pans in the Stila Vivid & Vibrant Eye Shadow Duo in Sapphire might look identical, but each half of the circular duo touts a different formula. The left side will give your eyes an intense foil-like finish. The right, on the other hand, has a sheer base infused with tons of the glitziest cobalt glitter.
$20 (Shop Now)
Tom Ford Shadow Extrême in Sapphire Blue
For a heavy metal take on cobalt blue, try Tom Ford Shadow Extrême in Sapphire Blue, a Best of Beauty Award winner in the top splurges category. The foil-effect formula comes in a teeny-tiny compact that's perfect for slipping in your purse for those moments when you need a last-minute color on your lids.
$36 (Shop Now)
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Couture Mono Eyeshadow in Zellige
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Couture Mono Eyeshadow in Zellige is another must-have royal blue for Vision. The matte formula comes with the perfect sponge applicator for packing the pigment onto your lids for its best, brightest color payoff.
$30 (Shop Now)
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