Ethereal Makeup Is Trending For Summer 2023 - Here's How To Give Your Eyes A Light And Airy Look

Ethereal makeup is the latest beauty trend that ensures when someone tells you that your makeup looks out of this world, they'll really mean it. Featuring a cosmic color palette that takes inspiration from otherworldly creatures like fairies, mermaids, and even aliens, ethereal makeup is a fun way to incorporate unique hues and finishes into your makeup routine. 

Unlike other popular trends that focus on warm, natural colors, ethereal makeup leans more toward cool tones — think shimmering blues, iridescent purples, and bejeweled greens. The ethereal trend builds on the aqua blues of the 1980s and the metallic tones of Y2K to create a whimsical, airy look that's sure to turn heads. 

And like all the best makeup trends, there are virtually endless ways to incorporate this look into your own style. Whether you prefer subtle shimmer or full-on galactic gems, incorporating ethereal makeup into your beauty routine is as easy as following these simple steps.

Soft and simple shadow is key

Because ethereal makeup emphasizes light and airy qualities, creating an otherworldly eye look can actually be easier than recreating intense, graphic beauty trends. As celebrity makeup artist and KIMIKO founder Dani Kimiko Vincent told PureWow, it's best to keep things simple. 

Vincent recommends using neutral or pastel eyeshadows to diffuse the color all across the lids. Light blues, greens, purples, or magentas all fit within the ethereal color scheme, and keeping the hues soft as opposed to richly saturated keeps the look delicate, not overbearing. If cool colors aren't your thing, not to worry — you can also use light peach tones to create a perfectly soft, ethereal look.

For an added touch of shimmer, dab a light, glittery eyeshadow on the inner corners of your eyes. To keep your ethereal look ultra-simple, you can stick with this step and skip the all-over color on your lids. Alternatively, you can go all-out with stunning, rainbow-hued prism eye makeup.

Keeping your lines and lashes delicate

Darker, bolder elements of eye makeup, like eyeliner and mascara, can also be modified slightly to fit an ethereal theme. To keep your liner look soft, use a small angled brush and closely trace your lash line with a dark shadow. Black or dark brown maintain a traditional element to the look, while eggplant, navy, or forest green can add an otherworldly flair.

For an ethereal mascara look, focus on lengthening and defining the lashes. The goal is to aim for soft, feathered lashes, not thick, bold ones. To achieve this look, place your mascara wand at the base of your lashes and slowly wiggle your way back and forth up to the tips. And remember, different mascara wands have different effects on your lashes, so you'll want to check that you're using one specializing in lengthening and feathering, not necessarily volumizing and thickening.

Once your eyes look as whimsical as you'd like, you can add sparkling elements like gems or sequins. (Jenny Patinkin, MUA and founder of her eponymous beauty brand, told PureWow she likes to use Duo Brush On lash glue for stick-on crystals for a secure, non-irritating hold.) You can also move on to creating an ethereal shimmery lip or try your hand at TikTok's bold aura blush to elevate your makeup into an even more cosmic dimension.