In the beauty world, khaki is having a moment — and it’s totally glam. A refreshing departure from the traditional black or gray, khaki is still deep and smoky without being boring. “With khaki, it’s possible to create the depth and drama needed to achieve the smoky look,” says Gato, a Maybelline New York Global Makeup Artist who loves to work with the hue. But there’s a warmth to the shade that makes it softer and more wearable, he says. “There are golden pigments in it that make it perfect for spring.”
Even better: “It’s a surprisingly universally flattering shade,” says makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci. Everyone can wear the olive-y green hue, but Ciucci suggests varying it in richness depending on your skin tone. Keep it more sheer if you have light or fair skin, and play up the intensity if you have a darker complexion. And because khaki has hints of yellow, blue, gold and black pigments in it, it goes well with all eye colors, adds Gato. Though those with hazel and gray blue eyes will look particularly radiant in this shade, he adds.
Already obsessed? How to get the look, ahead:
Get The Look:
Here’s how Gato created the bold eye for the Rebecca Minkoff S/S ‘17 show.
Off the runway, you could simply layer the khaki shadow over black liner to get a similar depth with a pop of rich green. If you don’t want to go full-on smoky, another variation is to ditch the dark liner and line the waterline with a nude or cream pencil to brighten, says Ciucci. To get the look, try Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in Walk of Shame. Tweaking the texture of the khaki can also lighten the look. Go with a sheer, shimmery formula (powder or cream), Ciucci suggests. We like Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew, a pretty golden mossy green (despite its off-putting name). Apply it with a fluffy eyeshadow brush to get the sheerest application. Or, to just dip your toe into the trend, try a swipe of khaki liner along top and bottom lash lines and smudge it out. Try it with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Stash.
What to Wear With Your Khaki
At the Rebecca Minkoff show, Gato paired the eye with a golden highlight on cheeks and a clear balm on the lips, but there are a lot of options that work with the green shadow. Like the pants, the khaki shadow serves as a neutral — it can go with almost anything. “You can combine it with one of the colors that it is made of: gold, blue, yellow, black,” says Gato. Here are few foolproof combos and how to get the looks.
Khaki + Coral Glossy Lips: A strong eye doesn’t have to mean a barely-there lip. A khaki eye and a bright pop of color on lips strikes a nice balance. Slick lips with a bright coral or even a tomato red gloss, suggests Ciucci. Try Lancôme Gloss In Love in Glittermania.
Khaki + Fuchsia Lips: A green eye and a blue-based pink fuchsia look are another strong pairing. Try L’Oréal Colour Riche Balm Pop in Wild Lily.
Khaki + Light Blue: “Personally, I find the contrast between khaki and light blue or even vivid orange very cool,” says Gato. “For example, use khaki to create the smoky eye and use light blue or orange shadow or liner to pop in the inner corners of the eyes,” he says. Try it with Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow in Teal The Deal.
What’s your favorite way to wear khaki makeup? Tell us in the comments below!
About the Author:The daughter of a hairdresser, Krista Bennett DeMaio likes to say she has beauty in her blood. She has well over a decade of beauty editorial experience. The former magazine-editor-turned-freelance writer has covered all things beauty from anti-aging skincare to NYFW runway trends. Her work has appeared in national publications and websites including Women’s Health, Redbook, Shape, Dr. Oz The Good Life, bhg.com, and prevention.com. She lives in Greenlawn, New York with her husband and two interns, er, daughters.