Has there ever been a more coveted item than a Telfar bag? Not only are they enticingly difficult to get your hands on, but they’re also affordable (in the grand scheme of bags, at least) and actually practical for carrying stuff. But on top of that, those shades. Telfar’s most recent bag restock had all of social media in a mad frenzy, and it’s not hard to see why.
But let’s face it—it’s more likely you didn’t get a Telfar bag than that you did. So, if you, like most of us, missed out on the bag of your dreams, we have a temporary solution. Mimic those iconic Telfar shades with your eye makeup. It’s better than nothing, right?
The yellow shade of the Telfar bag is that perfect egg-yolk, buttercup, sunshiney vibe that would brighten up any outfit—and any day. For a direct take on the look, take the matte bright yellow shade from the Colourpop Uh-Huh Honey Eyeshadow Palette (top right) and apply all over the eyelid using a flat brush. Gently buff the edges to blend, but try to keep the shape graphic.
For a more fun yellow eye look, though, the Lemonhead Glowjam Glitter in “Electric Daze” is incredible. This neon yellow glitter is one of the most joyful makeup products on the market. It applies best with a finger and can be focused just on the inner corner for a slightly more subtle look. Oh, and, it glows in the dark, too.
The baby pink Telfar shade is another that just instantly sparks joy. To mimic, first, apply the NYX Vivid Brights Creme Color in “Sugar Rush” across the entire lid. You can use a pencil brush to buff it into the lower lashline, too. Use a pink-toned shimmery shade to highlight the inner corner and brow bone. The Glossier Lidstar in “Slip” is perfect for this. Finish with a lot of black mascara, (I’m loving the L’Oreal Paris Bambi Eye False Lash right now) as otherwise, this sort of pastel shade can make the eyes look washed out and sickly.
Blue eyeshadow can get a bad rep as outdated, but done right, I think it can look undeniably cool. Pick a matte, baby blue shade and stick to it—overcomplicating the look will only make it look fussy and overblown. I love the Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eyeshadow in “Something Blue” for a simple blue eye. You can simply swipe on the color and buff the edges with a fingertip to blend. For an even more subtle take on baby blue, the Glossier Skywash in “Pool” has a similar tone but a sheerer finish, giving a gentle hint of soft blue to the lids.
I’m firmly of the belief that there’s almost no look cooler than a silver metallic foil lid. It’s simple but impactful, will always warrant compliments, but never looks too try hard. In my whole life of searching, I’ve only ever found two silver eyeshadows that fit my exacting standard. Both the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Foil Finger Paint Trios in “Lunar” and the Jouer Skinny Dip Palette in “Star Light” have that wet, reflective quality that truly is reminiscent of molten metal. Apply with a finger, though, as no brush can adequately create the sort of shiny opacity these eyeshadows deserve.
Darker red colors are notoriously difficult to make work on the eyes, as they do tend to err on the side of irritation and soreness. It’s important to make your oxblood eye looks obvious, as a subtle one can just read as pink eye. A swoop of graphic liner across the top lash line is a perfect way to go and is an interesting twist on the classic black cat-eye. The Glossier Colorslide in “Disasterclass” is perfect for this, and the slightly tougher, waxy formula means the product really lasts all day. For a smokier vibe, use a fluffy brush to blend out your liner with the Clinique All About Eyes Shadow Singles in “Black Honey”—known by all to be the most universally flattering deep red shadow out there.
I’m a huge fan of a simple, graphic green eyelid look. Take the deep matte green shadow from the Huda Beauty Precious Stones Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette (middle right) of an angled brush, and draw an oversized wing. You can even work it through the crease, for a fun take on a ‘60s mod look. If shimmery is more your thing, the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in “Zodiac” is absolutely beautiful and can be buffed fairly lightly over the lid to give just a hint of reflective emerald shimmer.
White graphic liner is always a cool look, and the NYX Professional Makeup White Liquid Liner is a bargainous way to achieve it. It’s incredibly easy to apply, so the world is your oyster in terms of shape. Get creative with it!
A different way to incorporate white into your eye look is with a translucent white glitter. The Bodyography Glitter Pigment in “Halo” is a beautiful (and amazingly easy) way to achieve this Y2K vibe. I like to apply these cream-to-powder formulas using only fingers, which helps give the best reflective, glossy effect.
A bright red matte eyeshadow always looks striking and is a fun alternative to the classic red lip. The NARS Single Eyeshadow in “Pure Pops” is a great pillar box shade that looks amazing contrasting with every eye color. Apply this in a winged-out shape across the eyelid and up to the crease. In my opinion, this looks way cooler if you don’t blend the edges too much, and pair with just a slick of barely-there mascara (Glossier Lash Slick is perfect for this).
I know I’ve mentioned the product before, but the NYX Vivid Bright Creme Color in “Cyberpop” is the best matte orange shade out there. Smudging a bit of this onto the lids with a small brush or fingertip is one of the quickest routes to a cool makeup look out there. You also don’t need a primer with this product, which is a pleasant bonus.
For even more orange intensity, though, a shimmery shadow like Make Up For Ever Single Eyeshadow in “Tangerine” will give a super-cool shiny reflect. Use a small detailer brush to apply this shadow over your NYX base down the center of the lid for a super easy spotlight eye look. Now, who’s feeling better about missing out on the Telfar drop?
Annie Walton Doyle