Abstract makeup can take many forms, and that’s putting it mildly. When this topic was presented to me, I was not sure what to expect. From eye makeup to full face and hair looks, the possibilities are endless for this trend just for the fact that abstract is abstract.
Well, art is in the eye of the beholder, and abstract art brings the very essence of that description to life. Abstract makeup is the same as abstract art. Its concept is your own and can be nearly anything, except basic.
It may be challenging to get started with your abstract makeup creations, so I have collected some of my favorite pieces of abstract makeup from across the internet. These abstract makeup looks are the epitome of talent.
Abstract Makeup Ideas
This abstract makeup look featured at Vfiles NYFW show mimics one of Jules’s makeup looks in HBO’s first season of “Euphoria.” The look features painted eyebrows, a dust of glitter on each eyelid, and seriously dramatic flame cat eyeliner.
This abstract eye makeup look is one simple enough to try out and dramatic enough stand out. The look features white eyeliner on the inside corner of the eye and a contrasting royal blue on the outer corner.
Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, was one of many to feature black models at this year’s NYFW. Each look featured eyes adorned with vibrant eyeshadows and topped with striking Swarovski crystals.
Ellen Kern got tight with the abstract eye makeup trend in early May with this eye-catching eye shadow look. She puts her color skills to work, creating chic lines and angles with blues and yellows, lining her upper crease with shades of pink, blue and white; the cleanliness of her lines is total goals. I adore the bold purple tones beneath her eye, which creates a very prism-like feel that inspires me.
This abstract makeup look by makeup artist Celine Bernaerts was inspired by the natural iridescence of a beetle. Try this makeup look by combining four complementary glittery and matte eyeshadow colors.
When celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes’ isn’t giving model Ashley Graham show-stopping makeup looks, she’s playing with various makeup trends like halo eye makeup and abstract makeup. Seen here, Hughes’s put a metallic plum eyeliner to use by creating an abstract outline that accentuated the almond shape of her eye.
Teisha Williams’ abstract eyeliner looks are legendary on Instagram. When asked which bold-shiny eyeliner she uses, Williams never hesitate to say it’s a $7 tube of NYX eyeliner.
Makeup artist Drew recreated a look worn by Ezra Miller to the Met Gala this year, in early May. The overlaying of colors to form the super-realistic eyeballs is incredible. I wouldn’t necessarily wear this look for a night out on the town, but that is the point of abstract makeup. It can be scary and unusual, and no one knows the difference.
Drew mimicked the blue-ish tones of her eyes pretty precisely, although if you look hard enough, you can tell some are drawn on. She has one of the best versions of this look I have seen though, so more power to you, girl.
Speaking of inspiration, let’s talk about the phenomenal talents of celebrity abstract makeup guru, Mimi Choi. This woman has some of the most incredible abstract makeup I have ever had the pleasure of viewing, and I’m not exaggerating.
Choi has a talent for bringing facial-based artwork to life, with astounding detail to depth and color. Her ocean wave look has me in awe because I tried to draw something like this myself last week and entirely fell flat. She brings life to her images, a difficult feat on a surface that is not flat.
Germany-based Makeup Artist Antoinette crafted this romantic abstract makeup look by first combining several neon eyeshadow colors for a mosaic base and then adding pearl jewels as finishing touches.
MyKaila took a gorgeous stab at the tie-dye eye shadow trend currently floating its way across Twitter and Instagram. She combines the beautiful, bold shades of the rainbow and blends them perfectly in a tie-dye pattern across her lids, before accentuating the look with a perfectly fine line of silver glitter liquid liner. My favorite part is the blue eyeliner she coated the inner part of her lower lashline with for a final pop of color.
Anne Wenzel took a fun spin to the abstract makeup trend by creating a most appealing look. This look popped up on my feed a few weeks ago, and I go back and look at it every couple of days because it intrigued me so much. A “jelly” eye in every sense of the word, Wenzel coated the upper and lower parts of the eyelid with some form of green gloss (I still can’t quite figure out what it is despite the product tags, but it looks so cool) and blends the colors both inwards and outwards. The lashes are also coated with the jelly gloss, and drizzled with specks of glitter.
Students at P. Louise Makeup Academy created this more wearable abstract makeup look, and I think it’s incredible. Using a feathered brow as an accessory, they blended deep emerald, sapphire, and amethyst tones along the crease of the eyelid to create depth. They then added a glowing blue cut crease to increase dimension and layered blue sequin-style glitter onto the outer corners of the eye. The completed look displays a vibrant, green cat-eye outlined with black; a geometric addition to an otherwise mermaid-esque look.
Vanessa Davis is also known as The Skullstress for a reason. In all my searching, she creates some of the most wicked, abstract makeup designs I could find. She uses cut up pieces of old Barbie dolls for her creations and makes up her models with full hair and face makeup.
I don’t have words for her work, other than gnarly, ethereal and awesome. I think she deserves some creds because even without the wigs, the application of the makeup looks is incredible.
Pat McGrath designed this “Euphoria”-inspired abstract eye makeup look for the Anna Sui fashion show. The look was crafted with pink lipstick as the base, cloud eyeliner layered on top, and two star appliqués as finishing touches.
Katie Elizabeth Butt is one of my favorite makeup artists on Instagram. She is incredibly creative and comes up with some of the most inspiring abstract makeup. The look I chose is just one of her more recent posts, and she uses eyeshadows and fine-tipped brushes to paint three-dimensional bricks and graffiti on her face. She uses liquid latex to secure mini-spray paint cans to her face and neck as well, which I thought was pretty cool. It isn’t a very wearable look, for sure, but the detail she puts into its creation is incredible.
Makeup artist Jessie takes abstract pretty literally with her abstract makeup look. The delicate lineup of her painted on shapes is perfect for the trend. I find this look very wearable, and super cute since it matches her manicure to a tee. She uses bold purple and pink eyeliner, lined with black to lend a geometric feel to the look’s aesthetic that I much appreciate, and she didn’t just let her eyes do all the work. She extended the look down to her lips and accents the colors with a pretty mauve lipstick.
At the Cynthia Rowley fashion show during NYFW onlookers watched this cloud abstract makeup look glide down the runway. This look was inspired my Jules’s cloud eyeliner, one of the main characters on "HBO’s “Euphoria.”
David Koppelaar, makeup artist for House of Orange brings the abstract trend to life on the face of this model. He highlights her brow ridges with a sweep of bold orange, which is smoothed outwards towards the temple and blends it down to the eyelids with a lovely mix of teals, mints and blue. There is a hint of pearlescent purple at the inner corners of her eyelids that creates a soft luminescence. Bright pink accents the smooth chocolate tone of her skin and makes it stand out impeccably. I love how simple, yet astoundingly different this abstract look is.
Fiona is a makeup artist located in Prishtina. Her works are abstract by nature, and this one is absolutely my favorite. Most of the model’s face has simple, basic makeup, but her jawline, ear, and neck are where the party is. Fiona painted the pretty lines of the model’s features with a mint green paint that perfectly accents the warm, caramel tone of her skin and complements her blue-green eyes. It creates a mesmerizing look.
Venezuelan Makeup Artist Enzi specializes in vibrant abstract makeup looks that feature edgy elements, like the black heart appliqués seen here.
Ombre Hypnôse Stylo Longwear Cream Eyeshadow Stick
$25 at time of publication
Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette
$49 at time of publication
$4 at time of publication
We think abstract makeup is a gorgeous trend that comes in as many forms as we can dream. It is kind of shocking to discover new styles and options for wearing certain types of products. Whether it’s eyeshadow as lipstick or blush as eyeshadow, with abstract makeup designs, you really can’t go wrong. I cannot wait to see where the makeup community’s imaginations take us in the future because the heights that can be reached by this abstract trend are limitless.