Pigmented lavender look and a teal blue under-eye look

Cottagecore & cat eyes: Best lavender makeup products for People of Color

December 21, 2020

So You're Getting into Makeup Part I:
We're on the hunt for the perfect lavender makeup products.

By Janvi Sai & Samia Abbasi

Romantic and calming, lavender’s ability to be universally flattering on all complexions (Buh-bye ashiness!) allows for cottagecore to be BIPOC-friendly and flattering. Lavender is cottagecore level: Miss Honey from Matilda if she wore the internet-famous Lirika Matoshi strawberry dress. Playful and classic, lavender can be worn throughout all seasons for makeup reminiscent of the ‘60s, inspired by Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, and Sharmila Tagore.

Rowi Singh wearing lavender flower makeup
photo credit: Rowi Singh, @rowisingh

But don’t underestimate lavender. It isn’t one-dimensional.

Lavender is soft and ethereal, yet can also be an eye-catching electric statement.

And that’s why we’re beginning our So You’re Getting into Makeup series with a BIPOC-friendly look at lavender makeup products. 

Looking back, we wished had a guide to makeup that didn’t treat BIPOC as an afterthought. That is how ‘So You’re Getting into Makeup’ began. It’s a Kulfi Bites series that aims to demystify beauty in an approachable way, through the lens of Gen Z South Asians and BIPOC. We hope to bring you everyday makeup tips & tricks and weave in product recommendations from BIPOC &/or indie brands whenever we can.

We are your cheerleaders: encouraging you to take risks, experiment, explore, and use makeup as a spirited mood-lifter.  

Pastels for darker skin tones:

With pastel eyeshadows, sometimes there isn’t enough pigment for it to show up well on darker skin tones or it takes on an ashy tone. You can buff some concealer onto your eyelids first so that the color pops when you apply it. Jackie Aina has a great video tutorial on how to wear pastel colors for deeper skin tones. Jackie mixes Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Primer ($13) and Pat McGrath Full Coverage Concealer ($32) and blends it onto her eyelids.

Approachable ways to try lavender eyeshadow:

2 methods you can try are a.) Using a warm matte brown eyeshadow, such as the one in Fenty Beauty’s Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette: True Neutrals ($25), like SEPHORA 352 Mocha Latte ($9), or a favorite bronzer as a crease color to soften the look, and b.) Try a neutral base on your eyelids and pack a lavender shimmer in the inner corner of your eyes for a more subtle look. The shade Luna in the Colourpop Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon palette ($22) is an iridescent lavender that’s great to try for this look. It reminds us of ethereal moon dust. Make sure to add eyeshadow primer on the inner corner of your eyes so that the pigment pops. 

Here are 8 lavender, lilac, and violet makeup products that meet all your makeup needs, including approachable tips on how to wear lavender eyeshadow.

Affordable picks: Colourpop eyeshadow in Heiress ($4.50) and Jelly Much Shadow in Big Ego ($8)

Colourpop lavender eyeshadow
photo credit: Colourpop

Colourpop has an array of purple-toned eyeshadow products that you should check out. Heiress is a single-pan eyeshadow in matte pastel lavender, and it’s a unique color to experiment with. What we love about Colourpop’s matte eyeshadows is that they blend onto your eyelids really well and aren’t patchy. In contrast, the Big Ego Jelly Much Shadow is a highly pigmented pale lavender, with the perfect consistency for those who have oily eyelids. It also has a duochrome finish with a teal flip, that’s great for a Euphoria-inspired look. 

Pick for darker skin tones: Juvia’s Place The Violets Eyeshadow Palette ($14): 

Juvia's Place the violets eyeshadow palette
photo credit: Juvia's Place

Juvia’s Place The Violets palette has velvety shades of eggplant, amethyst, and orchid and delivers the pigment you need for a popping lavender look. We were naturally eyeing shade 6, a matte pastel lavender, but shade 2 is what you really need to try: a dark pewter shade with silver and violet shimmer. With its taupe-y notes, it’s a stunning all-over lid color—and a subtle way to wear purple. We recommend you pair it with a light gold or champagne shimmer in the inner corner of your eyes. 

Taylor Anise wearing The Violets palette
photo credit: Taylor Anise, @tayloranise wearing The Violets

Multi-purpose highlight pick: FENTY Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Unicorn ($25)

FENTY highlight in unicorn
photo credit: FENTY Beauty

FENTY Beauty’s Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Unicorn can be used as highlighter, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush, lipstick, you name it. It’s versatile: perfect for space cowgirl costumes and boldly standing out as the main character on Zoom calls. Use this platinum lilac multi-purpose skinstick to be absolutely prismatic and polished with a cosmic monochromatic look. 

Liquid eyeshadow pick: Kosas Cosmetics 10-Second Liquid Eyeshadow in Cool Lavender ($28) 

Kosas liquid eyeshadow in cool lavender
photo credit: Kosas Cosmetics

Glossier’s Lidstar in the shade Lily ($18) immediately came to mind in terms of liquid lavender eyeshadow, so we wanted to introduce you to a different and equally exciting product. Kosas has a 10-Second Liquid Eyeshadow in Cool Lavender that is great for those who want a quick and efficient makeup routine or if cool-toned eyeshadows suit you. It is a clean beauty product and ‘goes on like water color.’ 

Pigmented eyeliner pick: SUVA Beauty Hydra FX in Lustre Lilac ($14) 

SUVA Hydra FX Liner
photo credit: SUVA Beauty

This SUVA Beauty Hydra FX eyeliner in Lustre Lilac is a unique product for eyeliner that pops. It’s water activated and allows you to get an opaque look that’s smudge proof and transfer resistant. We love the metallic chrome finish! You can use this liner to create a classic, lavender wing or an editorial look when you’re feeling fancy: put a swoosh under your brow bone or line the crease of your eyelid with a sharp edge. 

Lilac & violet blush picks: Em Cosmetics Color Drops Serum Blush in Little Lilac ($25) and FENTY Cheeks Out Free Style Blush in Drama Cla$$ ($20)

Fenty blush in Drama Cla$$ and Em Cosmetics Serum Blush in Little Lilac
photo credit: FENTY Beauty & Em Cosmetics

Purple-toned blushes can be a surprising concept to some but are a fun addition to the blush landscape. Em Cosmetics Serum Blush in Little Lilac fuses skincare with blush and is perfect for that dewy, glass skin look. Make sure you read the directions on the website on how to dispense and use this blush properly (take it from Samia!). We can’t forget to mention that the adorable packaging is another reason you need it in your makeup display.

And secondly, FENTY Cheeks Out Free Style Blush in Drama Cla$$ may seem like an intense color when you look at the product, but it’s actually a very approachable way to wear violet. Like the Em Cosmetics blush, Fenty blush has a sheer finish and is a lovely pink-ish, soft violet.

Fenty Drama Cla$$ blush
photo credit: FENTY Beauty

These 2 blushes will be amazing complements to your lavender eyeshadow or eyeliner look or as a fun way to play up your no makeup - makeup look.


About the Series Lead — Janvi Sai is a student at Barnard College of Columbia University, who started the So You're Getting into Makeup series on Kulfi Bites. She is passionate about Rooh Afza, soundtracks, and the heated debate over what constitutes as “real” biryani. Janvi can be reached at js5707@barnard.edu or found on Instagram @janvisai #BigDesiEnergy

Images and information from brands' websites. Cover photo credit unknown.

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