Who needs eye makeup when you have sunglasses? No, really—wouldn’t you agree that they come out with us less for sun protection and more to protect the public from seeing our bare faces? Admit it. Sometimes it’s easier to cover up with a giant-size pair of shades than fiddle with eyeliner and shadow palettes, or worse—expose your fresh-out-of-bed eyes to the world first thing in the morning.
If you think you’re guilty of this, rest assured you’re not alone. Just look at half of Hollywood! Sunglasses are the unofficial eye makeup of the stars—a look that works just as well on women as it does on men. A naked face is instantly transformed into paparazzi fodder with a pair of oversize frames and a quick swipe of lipstick. Who knew a red carpet look was as simple as balancing a pair of sunnies on your schnoz?
From a makeup artist perspective, sunglasses are a huge cop out. Why go around hiding your peepers from the world, when you could be sporting glamorous and creative eye makeup looks day after day? Sunglasses to the face are akin to a puffer coat to the body—both may provide environmental protection, but just think of what they’re covering up.
Or was covering up the point to begin with? Are sunglasses a crutch for a bad makeup job? We’re willing to bet yes on at least a few counts! We recall one harried morning spent with a brand new palette was a recipe for disaster. Lucky for us, our tinted shades held us over incognito, until we found a safe corner in the workplace restroom to clean up our color mess.
But how about embracing sunnies as a form of expression? With over-the-top shades like those from celeb favorite A-morir, sunglasses become an almost second layer of makeup. Designer Kerin Rose adorns sunnies with pearls, chains, rhinestones, and porcelain flowers for a wild look to coordinate into the rest of your makeup scheme. If any sunglasses could double as eye makeup, surely it’s a pair of way-out shades piled high with glittering bling. It’s the ultimate eye cover-up, and one that surely trumps anything a few false lashes and a rainbow of shadows can do. Alternately, wearing festive shades can add another layer entirely to your eye look. The iconic image for Stanley Kubrick’s film Lolita features a young Sue Lyon lowering a candy apple red pair of heart-shaped frames to reveal her innocently sultry shadowed eyes—a makeup job that plays a supporting role to her coveted glasses.
Ultimately, your everyday plastic frames will never be as fun or creative as painting on eye liner looks, or sweeping your lashes over with a favorite mascara. They will never be as interesting as glittering shadow shades or shimmering cream colors. They are, however, a great back-up plan, a teaser before the full reveal, and more often than not, a hiding place—like a hat on a bad hair day. So if you spot us around town shrouded by a pair of oversized shades, you know our motives behind the look. Just between us though, if anyone asks, we’re just trying to keep the sun out of our eyes.