The History of Eyeshadow. (And Modern Looks that will Rock your World!)

Eyeshadow is probably the most fun and expressive way to decorate your face. We use foundation the color of our skin, we use standard black mascara (most of the time) and lipstick just does not offer the same, unique opportunity of creativity. Eyeshadow, however, is sold in every single color you can imagine. Not only that, some are metallic, sparkly, and give you some creative freedom to create an absolutely stunning look. Have you ever wondered who decided that our eyelids needed to be colored? Did someone just sit there and say “Hmm, maybe I need to put some purple powder on my eye so I can look better for sweet little Jimmy down the street.” Ha, one can only wonder, right?!

Here is what we do know though:

So according to the website “History of cosmetics“, eyeshadow has been in existence for 12 thousand years in Ancient Egypt. In Egypt, however, eyeshadow was called “Kohl” (Is that where you got your name, Kohl’s?). Kohl consisted of ingredients such as lead, copper, crushed antimony and burnt almonds to name a few.

At that time, eyeshadow was not just for enhancing ones appearance like it is today. It used to additionally serve as a medicinal remedy that reduced infections and was worn for religious purposes. Initially, only royalty rocked the look to make themselves look better, or identify more with their Gods Eventually, of course, everyone started using it.

Eventually eyeshadow lost its religious affiliation (definitely true!), and fancy shadows were offered to upper-class women who could afford them. Obviously this has changed now because it is fairly cheap.

Now we can’t know what colors the Egyptians used, but we definitely can remember certain eyeshadow trends in the 1900’s and 21st century. (Can you believe that those of us who were born before 2000 can now say “I was born in the 1900’s” – Omg, feel old? I do.

Let’s take a look at eyeshadow through the years just for a bunch of little kicks and giggles:


The lovely ladies of the 20’s loved dark, smoky colors. (At least the flappers did!)

1920s Flapper Charmeuse
Laura Mcphee


Blue, Green and Lavender shades were popular…all the way up to the brow. Wow.

History of Blue Eyeshadow
The Non-Blonde


Oh my. The 80’s scare me. I am all for bright, popping colors but they sure loved them weird colors. And Sorry, but are her bangs crimped?

Cyndi Lauper Makeup 80s


My favorite make-up era! (Why? well because of glitter eyeshadow being the norm!) Now, Christina Aguilera is my favorite singer of all time, but this eyeshadow is not the best look, but blue and pink tones of eyeshadow were popular in the 90s so it serves as a good example. Metallic eyes and glossy lips!

Christina Aguilera Makeup 90s


I think we have definitely toned make-up down, when you compare the trends of the past. I have noticed more artists sporting a more natural look, or using natural tones in their eyeshadow (and lipstick) like below. Now, of course, we still have some funky trends going on but those are mainly worn by performers or during nights on the town.

Zara Larsson Makeup

Eyeshadow really does help bring out our eyes. I think that the fact that we can make our eye-color pop by simply applying a certain color of eyeshadow is life-changing. I mean, have you ever seen the way green eyes look surrounded my purple shadow? I guarantee you they didn’t look as green before the makeup application. (I know, because I have green eyes).


And blue eyes with blue eyeshadow looks incredible. But, as you may already know, blue eyes can pull off any color eyeshadow. They also look nice with a bronze color, green or pink.


And brown eyes obviously look amazing with green eye shadow.

green eyeshadow brown eyes

So, clearly you can see that eyeshadow’s greatest strength is that it can make our eyes pop and look so dreamy. (especially if you add glitter!) Of course, some brands of eyeshadow are better than others but the following eyeshadow are ones that I have found that go above and beyond your typical department store selections. This is the Crystal Eve blog, so expect vivid ideas!

1. Stila’s Magnificent Metals

This eyeshadow is such a glamorous look that can be applied easily using a tube and application wand. It comes in a variety of shades that just happen to have a beautiful touch of sparkle to them. My favorite shade is Kitten Karma

Stila Cosmetics – $24

2. Urban Decay Vine Palette 2

Have you ever seen a more mesmerizing shade of green? (Hee-Hee I rhymed). This one would be the “Diamond” shade in the palette.

urban decay eye shadow green

3. 6 Colour Shimmer Eye Shadow Palette

This gorgeous blue and gold blend looks absolutely incredible! I think it would look good with any color eye as well. Stunning! The colors would be available at Rosegirl.

Green Eyeshadow

4. Club Tropicana Palette

Don’t be afraid of the blue! Dive in and let your lids swim in this captivating color. Check it out at BH Cosmetics

Eyeshadow Blue Shimmer BH Cosmetics
BH Cosmetics

5. ColourPop in Bubbly and Envy

Pink blended with a deep purple looks amazing! The shades are Bubbly and Envy from ColourPop.

ColourPop Eye Shadow
Fara A.

And for fun, check out these stunning, fun looks and their tutorials:

Pastel Fun Makeup

Tutorial: Here at Makeup Geek

Make-up Fun Makeup Geek Purple Blue
MakeUp Geek

Beautiful Bright Blue

Another win from the talent at MakeUp Geek: Tutorial Here: Makeup Geek

blue eyeshadow tutorial
Makeup Geek

Neon Brilliance

Man, I know if I attempted to try this look, I would look like a drunken clown, but if done right, look how amazing it looks! Check it out: Stylish Board

Eyeshadow Neon Bright Red Orange
Stylish Board

Bright Gold and Purple (In other words…Magic).

Oh dang. This one is miraculous. Who knew yellow eyeshadow actually had a purpose!? I always thought it was the “white crayon” of eyeshadow. Apparently not! Video tutorial: YouTube

Eyeshadow Purple Yellow Pink

And last but not least, SUNSET EYES:

Sunset Eyeshadow

I wasn’t able to find a tutorial source for the sunset eyes but there are many different kinds on the web if you google search It looks pretty simple though, as long as you get the same color shades and just layer them to the brow ending with the white.

If you try any of these looks, post the pics! Eyes are so pretty, so show me yours =)

Here are mine, but without make-up because, well, I ain’t very good yet. 😉 I do plan on trying some of the ones in this post though. They are too good not to!

Green Eyes

Written by 

Hello! My name is Crystal Kelley. I have a love for writing to express my thoughts on a variety of topics. I am always inspired by new things, therefore, what I will write about next is pleasantly unpredictable. I enjoy singing, drawing, playing piano, photography and my dog. Oh, and glitter really does run through my veins.

Related posts

Leave a Comment