The ‘face paint’ eye makeup trend you’ll wanna copy ASAP

The anti-Instagram-glam makeup that’ll unleash your inner Picasso ­čÄĘ

cosmopolitan south africa painted eyes

Fun fact, I used to be a painter in my heydays, a pretty good one at that, then adulting (and life in general) sort of steered me away from the hobby until I discovered a newfound love for makeup.

Now looking back, my transition from painting to makeup made total sense. I mean, makeup is a form of artistry in itself. The face is your canvas and like painting, brush strokes, blending and the mixing of pigments are all involved in creating your work of art – in this case, a bomb AF, Instagrammable beat, honey. So when I noticed the recurring Instagram trend of painted-looking eyes, it was as if my two loves had finally collided.

‘Painted Eyes’ is the term being thrown around to describe a new style of makeup seen splattered all over New York Fashion Week runways. Modern and unconventional, the expressive trend embraces imperfect, graphic and visible strokes and shapes (reminiscent of those seen in artworks) paired with vibrant, in-your-face colour.

In our May issue, we showcase our take on this newfound eyelid art. Makeup artist and beauty content creator Renee De Wit (IG: @reneedewitmakeupartist) breaks down exactly how she created each look in our Made in Africa editorial so you can pull them off too, for…you know…your next grocery run.

Dotty Eyes

cosmopolitan south africa painted eyes
Katinka Bester
  1. Prime your eyelids with Smashbox Lid Primer in ‘Dark’.
  2. Blend a vibrant, blue cream eyeshadow over your entire lid as a base colour. I used ‘Hi-Def Cyan’ (a turquoise) in the MAC PRO Palette Paintstick.
  3. Using the back of a small eye shadow brush, randomly apply a variation of colours from the Kryolan Aquacolor palette in stippling motions.
  4. Layer your now dotty lids with different-sized glitters for a textured effect.
  5. Finish off with two layers of black mascara.

Rainbow Brows

cosmopolitan south africa coloured brows
Katinka Bester
  1. Set your eyebrows with Swiitch Beauty Beach Brow in ‘Clear’.
  2. Using a MAC 217SH Blending Brush, blend any choice of shades from the Kryolan Aquacolour palette with Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (for intense colour hold) and apply along the brow in your desired shape.

Fine Liner

cosmopolitan south africa painted liner
Katinka Bester
  1. Prime your eyelids with Smashbox Lid Primer in ‘Dark’.
  2. Layer a variety of shades from the Kryolan Aquacolour palette, lining your lids with random short strokes of colour up until the crease of the eyes.
  3. Add two coats of mascara to your lashes.
  4. Set your look with Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.

Colour-Block Lids

cosmopolitan south africa colour block eyes
Katinka Bester
  1. Prime your lids with translucent powder.

Left eye:

  1. Start by colouring the entire eye with a pale pink eye shadow.
  2. On the inner corners of the eyes, apply the shades ‘Geniune Orange’ and ‘Primary Yellow’ from the MAC PRO Palette Paintstick, extending the colour to the centre of your lids.
  3. For the blue eyeliner wing, I used blue eyeshadow from Swiitch Beauty’s Unicorn Sauce Palette, mixing this with Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray and applying the colour along the bottom lash line as well.

Right eye:

  1. Over the lid, apply mint-green cream eye colour in a square shape. Clean the edges with an earbud and Bioderma micellar water for a more precise and defined look.
  2. Apply an electric blue cream eyeshadow on the outer corner of your brow bone.
  3. Using an angled eyeshadow brush, apply Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner over the crease of your lid.
  4. Coat your lashes with two layers of black mascara.
  5. Create a fake mole on the cheek area with lash glue. Apply a small dot of the adhesive to your skin, give it a sec to dry then top with a dark brown eye shadow.

Shop Renee’s makeup staples below…



R850MAC Cosmetics

“A tailor-made palette that features a full rainbow of 12 paintstick colours.”


Kryolan Aquacolour Palette


“Aquacolor is universally applicable, primarily as a make-up for face and body painting.”


BOBBI BROWN Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner


“This award-winning long-wearing eyeliner offers the precision of liquid liner with the ease of a gel-based formula.”


Swiitch Beauty #BeachBrow

R150Swiitch Beauty

“A┬ábrush-on brow mousse that fills, fluffs and sets in one go.”


MAC 217SH Blending Brush

R420MAC Cosmetics

“For shading or blending of powdery or creamy products.”


Urban Decay All Nighter

“This weightless setting spray works for all skin types and keeps makeup from fading, smudging or melting down.”


Bioderma Sensibio H20 Makeup Removing Micelle Solution Sensitive Skin


“Bioderma gently cleanses and removes make-up from the face, even the delicate eye area.”


Fashion: Cleo Marcopoulos and Clare Robertson
Beauty: Zipho Ntloko
Photographer: Katinka Bester at Hero Creative Management
Models: Chan├ę H├╝sselmann and Kgatlhiso Annah Seroalo at Fanjam Model Management, Xai Narain at Topco Models
Production Assistant: Maria Small-Smith
Hair: Yonela Makoba
Makeup: Renee De Wit at Gloss Artist Management

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