GREEN WITH ENVY

The Color Green Is 2022's Biggest Beauty Trend

Experts reveal the best ways to wear this surprisingly versatile color in your makeup, hair, and on your nails. 
three side by side photos starting with a fair skinned model with neon green makeup on her undereye kelis with blue and...
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Many people are going green with their beauty routines — no, we're not talking about reducing, reusing, or recycling. Last year, Beauty brands such as Urban Skin Rx and Humanrace started to embrace green in their packaging and branding. The shade has even been coined Gen Z green, replacing the millennial pink we once obsessed over. Now, green — both Gen Z and other shades — has jumped off our packaging and onto our face, nails, and hair to become a trending color in beauty looks. 

Whether you're looking for something dark like hunter green or something brighter that resembles Nickelodeon's signature neon-green slime, there's a verdant shade for you. It makes sense that so many folks have recently been adorning their nails in dark emerald hues, adopting vibrant green skunk stripes in their hair, and covering their lids with lime green pigments

Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes attributes the color's rise in popularity — at least as far as makeup goes — to fashion brands like Bottega Veneta, which featured knit dresses, bags, and more in the color for its Spring/Summer 2021 show. "They've made this kelly green color extremely trendy in fashion," she shares. "I think a lot of things that people wear in makeup stem from fashion tones and colors." She also credits nostalgia, seeing as beauty trends from the '80s and '90s (when bright colors were all too common) have come back in style.

Hughes is of the mindset that green is a neutral color, so she believes it's fairly easy to incorporate into any beauty routine. "Green is everywhere," she shares. "Even though it might not be something you consider a neutral, just reframe your mind and how you look at that color."

Green seems to be one of the next "it" colors for beauty trends, so we chatted with beauty experts to figure out the best ways to incorporate the shade into your makeup looks, manicures, and hairstyles.

Adding Green to Your Makeup

Beauty is what you make it, so you're more than welcome to use whatever shade of green you choose. But if you're looking for a little help, New York City-based makeup artist Tommy Napoli suggests looking at your complexion. "I'd say it's best to find greens that really complement one's skin tone or contrast ones' eye color," he says.  

For people with olive skin tones who are looking to ease into the color, try khaki- or olive-colored greens because those will look neutral on your skin, according to Napoli. He recommends shimmery pastel greens for deeper skin tones for bright payoff and an ode to early-2000s glam. 

Dua Lipa at the Versace show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022

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Makeup artist Danessa Myricks agrees that working with your eye color can help you find an ideal shade of green. To bring out the green in hazel eyes, try olive shades. Myricks and Napoli recommend yellow- and gold-based greens, respectively, for hazel eyes. For blue eyes, she recommends darker, richer green tones like hunter green. 

On the other hand, Napoli says, "blue-based teal greens will make blue eyes look really electric." Green eyes can be tricky, according to Myricks, but she says that "if your irises are light, go with dark olive. If they're darker, try a jade shade." Any green will work well with brown eyes, but she especially loves blue-greens to bring out the warmth.

Florida-based makeup artist Lennie Billy, on the other hand, recommends finding colors that contrast your skin's undertone. People with cool undertones should try warmer greens, while those with warmer undertones should lean towards cooler greens (think olive versus turquoise). This will make the colors stand out against your skin. On the flip side, Myricks says you can work with shades that match your undertones for a softer look. Fair skin, as one example, can try pale pastel greens. 

Models on the runway for Giorgio Armani show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022

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If you're really stuck, Myricks recommends olive as the one must-have shade in your makeup bag because it works on all skin tones. "It has a beautiful earthiness to its tone that makes it so easy to integrate into a look regardless of eye color or skin tone," she shares. "It feels the most like a wearable neutral."

There are multiple green shades that can work for your skin tone and style, so don't feel limited. All you'll need to do is a little swatching to figure it out. 

Green Eye Makeup Looks to Try 

Once you've figured out the green shades you're going to use, it's time to decide on the makeup looks themselves. A simple way to go is creating a sharp cat-eye with green eyeliner. You can also mix different shades of green liners together for an ombré winged liner.

Me wearing shamrock green eyeliner in 2021

Courtesy of subject

Napoli recommends mixing shimmery and matte greens for a monochrome look, and don't be afraid to really dip into the pigment and saturate the color on your lid. Pair the blended-out shadows with black eyeliner and mascara to "make it a regal, sexy, fashion-forward statement."

You can also use color theory to wear different colors at the same time. Myricks suggests pairing green shadows with darker purple ones because the shades complement each other well. "Try tapping a reflective green shadow or cream over a matte purple shadow," she shares.

Model on the runway for Del Core show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022

Getty Images

If you're intimidated by the vibrant hue, Myricks recommends using green as an accent color. Line your waterline with a neon- or shamrock-green hue, for example. Billie likes blending a light-green shade in the inner corners of the eye, a rising makeup trend. For more intermediate makeup users, she recommends a halo eye look with shimmery green pigments blended right onto the middle of the lid.

Makeup artist Lennie Billy wearing two green eye makeup looks  

Courtesy of subject 

For the bold and daring, try a graphic liner look, Billie says. With graphic liner, you can simply paint abstract shapes on your face in any way you choose. You can draw rectangles, dots, hearts, or add squiggles in multiple hues. 

Best Green Makeup Products  

Though we haven't yet seen green blush (not sure that'll ever take off, TBH), there are plenty of eye and lip products on the market. Starting with shadows, you can opt for a monochromatic green palette, like ColourPop Cosmetics's Just My Luck, which Billie recommends. She also likes the Huda Beauty Wild Obsessions Eye Shadow Palette in Python, Natasha Denona's New Mini Gold Palette, and Melt Cosmetics's Smoke Sessions Eye Shadow Palette

ColourPop Cosmetics Just My Luck

Huda Beauty Wild Obsessions Eye Shadow Palette in Python

Natasha Denona New Mini Gold Palette

Melt Cosmetics Smoke Sessions Eye Shadow Palette

Napoli likes the Maybelline New York City Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Urban Jungle because its unique shades look great on most skin tones. For a glittery finish, Myricks recommends Cozzette Beauty's individual eye shadows in the shades Peridot (lime green) and Infinite (hunter green). She also loves the brand's matte dark green shade Mystic

Don't be afraid to have fun with multidimensional greens, too. Myricks suggests her brand's duo-chrome Twin Flames liquid eye shadow in the shades Olivine (light green) and Serpetine (emerald green).

To line your eyes, Napoli advocates for Pixi's Endless Silky Eye Pen in the matte shades Sage Gold (deep olive) and Matte Khaki (moss green). For an eye pencil with a shimmery finish, Billie loves the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in the metallic-green hue Overdrive. 

Maybelline New York's City Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Urban Jungle

$10
CVS

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen

$12
Target

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Overdrive

If you're looking for a liquid alternative, Billie loves the water-activated Suva Beauty Hydra FX Liners in the neon green Fanny Pack. You can also use one of Danessa Myricks's Colorfix pigments, of which Hughes is a big fan. These multipurpose creams are available in Secret Garden (hunter green), the metallic Limesickle (emerald green), and neon Wasabi (bright green) to blend to your heart's content. 

Suva Beauty Hydra FX Liners in Fanny Pack

$16
Suva Beauty

Danessa Myricks Matte Colorfix in Secret Garden

$18
Danessa Myricks Beauty

Danessa Myricks Metallic Colorfix in Limesickle

$18
Danessa Myricks Beauty

Danessa Myricks Neon Colorfix in Wasabi

$18
Danessa Myricks Beauty

For the lips, Napoli suggests Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in the deep-teal hue Dark Forest because it has "high-pigment payoff and bulletproof longevity." The Melt Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Toke is a forest-green hue that Billie likes using. There's also the Coloured Raine Liquid Lipstick in the matte hunter-green shade Ivy. 

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Dark Forest

Melt Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Toke

Coloured Raine Liquid Lipstick in Ivy

Green Manicures

Whether it's olive or emerald, green makes the perfect nail polish color in any context. In the past, nail artist Sigourney Nuñez shared with Allure that green was a nail color reserved for holidays like St. Patrick's Day and Christmas. But she says that the COVID pandemic pushed people to embrace green manicures all year round. "More people are gravitating toward those nature-inspired versions of [green] that inspire zen," she says. 

A green gradient manicure from nail artist Sigourney Nuñez 

Courtesy of Instagram/@nailartbysig

You don't have to stick to simple manicures in one solid color, by the way. Try a green gradient manicure, which we predicted would be a big trend in 2022, instead. Nuñez says all you have to do is pick one green hue and pair it with a couple of similar green shades. You can also do the opposite and pair a green hue with contrasting shades for more of a Skittles-style manicure. 

Two green manicures from nail artist Sigourney Nuñez 

Courtesy of Instagram/@nailartbysig 

Another approach is to play around with negative space, which is one of her go-to nail-art techniques. On a natural nail, add different shapes of green polish to only certain sections of the nail. You can paint an angled French tip, a half-moon shape, or abstract shapes with one green shade or multiple hues. 

Nail artist Gina Edwards recommends using green as an accent color with a contrasting base color for a statement-making manicure. You can try a blue or orange base with polka dots in a lime green hue for example. She likes multicolored French manicures as well. Use green as the base with neon tips or add green tips to a colored or neutral base. She says you can also play around with the finish and add a chrome effect to a green manicure with nail polishes from China Glaze. We recommend the olive hue Little Green Invaders.

Bejeweled manicure and green metallic French manicure from nail artists Gina Edwards and Sigourney Nuñez, respectively 

Courtesy of Instagram/@ginaedwards_/@nailartbysig

Additionally, you can adhere 3D decals, another big nail trend for 2022, to your nails. She recommends trying green gemstones, even if you add just a few like the above manicure. But why stop there? Try other green nail accessories, like teddy bears, fluffy pom poms, and even flower charms

Best Green Nail Polishes 

Edwards loves deep jade and olive green nail polishes. We recommend the Côte's Peacock Green Nail Polish and OPI's Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish in Olive for Green

Côte Peacock Green Nail Polish

$18
Côte Shop

OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish in Olive for Green

Nuñez has a few favorite green nail polishes. If you're looking for a muted and light green shade, she enjoys Holo Taco Matcha Maker. She likes Jin Soon Palma hue because it's "a vibrant and tropical palm tree green for a pop of color and a bold statement." For a glittery hue, try Gotti Nails Money! Money! Money!, which is a shimmery emerald color, but don't forget the UV lamp for this gel nail polish. Her last recommendation is the dark hunter green Cirque Colors McKittrick.

Holo Taco Matcha Maker

$11
Holo Taco

Jin Soon Palma

$18
Jin Soon

Gotti Nails Gel Color Money! Money! Money!

$12
Gotti Nails

Cirque Colors McKittrick

$13
Cirque Colors

How to Dye Your Hair Green 

Yes, green hair might be intimidating, but if you're not ready for the commitment, ease into the trend with temporary hair sprays and masks from brands like Good Dye Young and Overtone. You can make a statement with lime-colored hair or try minty hues for a pretty pastel style. Darker greens are a more subtle option. 

If you're not a light blonde, bleaching your hair is necessary for the best color payoff, according to hair colorist Nikki Ferrara. Because going blonde can require some intense processing, she recommends leaving it to the professionals (as do we). "Some of these [green] shades can really wreak havoc on a porcelain sink or tub with staining," she adds. She advises bringing inspirational photos to your hair colorist so they can customize a shade for you.

Kelis in the early 2000s and me in 2021.

Getty Images/subject

Dyeing your whole head green is extremely fun, though — last year, I tried a shamrock-green hue on my hair, and 10 out of 10 would recommend it to a friend — but you can experiment with different placements. Dyed roots are a good option; just look at Billie Eilish. Before she bleached, then dyed her hair brown, the singer was known for her neon-green roots that faded into a jet-black color.

There's also the skunk stripe trend, which basically involves a single strip of hair dyed in a contrasting color from the rest of the head. You can try it as money piece highlights or anywhere else you see fit. Another alternative is dyeing just the underside of your head green. Mixing different colors together for an ombré style works well, too. The bottom line is there is no limit to the styles you can try with green.

Billie Eilish with her neon-green roots 

Getty Images

Best Green Hair Dyes 

Ferrara recommends using hair dyes from brands such as Manic Panic and Arctic Fox, which are known for their rainbow assortment of hair colors. We suggest Manic Panic Classic High Voltage Hair Color in Venus Envy and Green Envy for a true green color. Arctic Fox's Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Phantom Green is a darker emerald hue. 

Manic Panic Classic High Voltage Hair Color in Green Envy

$14
Amazon

Manic Panic Classic High Voltage Hair Color in Venus Envy

$15$14
Amazon

Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Phantom Green

For pastel green shades, Arctic Fox's Neverland and Good Dye Young's Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Wondermint are perfect. If you're looking for a more temporary option that washes out after a few shampoos, there's Good Dye Young Poser Paste in Kowabunga and Overtone's Vibrant Green Coloring Conditioner. If you're not interested in bleaching your hair, Overtone has options that work for brown hair, though the color won't appear as vibrant.  

Good Dye Young Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Wondermint

$18
Good Dye Young

Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Neverland

$17
Arctic Fox

Good Dye Young Poser Paste in Kowabunga

$18
Good Dye Young

Overtone Vibrant Green Coloring Conditioner

$25
Overtone

As evidenced above, green can be incorporated into your beauty in a myriad of ways that work for you and your personal style. Whether you're looking to go big and bold or just want a subtle addition of color, the first step is just finding which shade works best for you. 


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