Makeup Inspired By: Slimy, Slippery, Splashy Snails

Snail with little snail on back.

When I was a kid, I used to love beetles and snails and all things colorful that crawled. Nowadays, I’m one of those people who becomes hilariously frantic when arthropods are anywhere near me, but I still love snails. They’re awesome little creatures. Plus, they don’t buzz. That will always, always be a plus.

Blue and yellow snail

In honor of Disney’s Turbo coming out this week, I thought I would do something a little weird (you know, because shooting stars and Porno and hangovers were really, really normal). Snails come in so many beautiful colors, from neutrals to pastels to brights (to neons, if you count the ones in Turbo).


We all love cuddly creatures, but snails are beautiful, weird and awesome in their own ways — perfect as inspiration for makeup and fashion. Their variety and vividness are incredible. I mean, check out this amazing lemon nudibranch, a type of underwater slug (which, okay, isn’t a snail but OH MY GOSH look at those colors).

Lemon Nudibranch Snail

So, let’s pay tribute to our lovely little friends who leave pretty trails behind with their slime, shall we? This was kind of a weird tutorial to do since it uses so many different shades, but I wanted to play up the blended, multi-hued nature of these guys, as well as the aforementioned slime trails. Hopefully you all dig!

Step 1: Apply base makeup as per usual. I used Tarte 12-Hour Primer because it is hot as balls in New York right now and this will melt off otherwise. For concealer, I chose Smashbox High Definition Liquid and for powder, I used Make Up For Ever HD.

Snail makeup

Step 2: Apply eyeshadow primer on your lids, like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Potion. Take a very pale yellow shadow (Smashbox‘s Butter or Linen) and brush it all over lids up to the brow. Then, apply a luxe gold shadow like the lightest color in Too Faced‘s Glamour To Go palette (Spun Sugar edition) all over lids. I actually used a wash of Sephora in Banana Split underneath, but this is optional — it just makes the yellow shadow a bit more intense.

Lightly apply a semi-shimmery brown shadow — like the brown from L’Oreal‘s What Happens In Vegas palette – on the outer halves of lids, blending with the gold. Then, take an aqua-blue shadow like Cargo‘s Aegean and apply it in the crease and in a soft “V” on the outside (over the brown), blending slightly upward. Use a little orangey-brown eyeshadow on the lower lashline (I used the one from the same L’Oreal palette as earlier, which reminds me of the Grand Canyon, as a random side note).

Snail makeup - eyeshadow featuring Cargo shadow in Aegean, Too Faced Glamour To Go palette's Spun Sugar edition, L'Oreal Paris eye shadow in What Happens In Vegas and Sephora eyeshadow in Banana Split.

Step 4: Use the same gold as last week – Urban Decay Eldorado — and draw a thick line on your upper lash line and swoop it outward into a long wing. Take a cobalt liquid liner, like Wet N Wild Mega Liner in Indigo Blue, and apply it in a thinner line along the lash line to mimic the striping of many snails’ shells. I added a little bit of Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx to the lower lash line. Apply a lengthening lash primer, like Lancome Cils Booster XL, and then two layers of thickening mascara (I picked Benefit BadGal Lash).

Snail makeup - eye liner and mascara, with Wet N Wild Mega Liner, Urban Decay 24/7 liquid liner in Eldorado, Smashbox eyeliner in Onyx, Benefit BadGal Lash.

Step 5: Define brows in a rounded shape using an angled brush and short, light strokes with a brow powder (I always use Clinique‘s, seen here). This keeps the look soft, not harsh. I also skipped brow gel in order to avoid any stiffness.

Snail makeup - brows

Step 6: Brush on a pale pink shadow to pinken cheeks a bit.

Snail makeup

Step 7: I mixed together L’Oreal Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Berry Persistent (an amazingly flattering gloss if you ever need one) and Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment to create my own shade of purplish-pink.

Snail makeup

Oh, and P.S.

Photos: Shutterstock & Turbo (2013).

Share This Post:
    • Alexis H

      AAAAHHHH, Gail the snail! Digging that layered eyeliner though, for reals.

    • Tania

      I’d like to take this opportunity to tell anyone trying to get rid of slugs/snails in your garden to not use salt on them, as that is incredibly cruel – you are basically covering them in acid and waiting for them to die.

      Use beer. It’s more humane (they die drunk and presumably happy), and it’s more effective since they’re attracted to the beer and you don’t have to track them down individually.

      • MR

        Yep, I do that to the slugs in my yard. They’ll screw up the large leaves of my hostas if I let them – cause yeah, those plants are so close to them on the ground.

      • MissMiya

        Please never never hurt snail,for they are cute… innocent

    • Joanna Rafael

      DAT GIF

    • aish

      Wow great inspiration for Great makeup.

    • Hanna Brooks Olsen

      Can I see a photo of your nails, too? Because they appear to be bangin’, as well.

    • MissMiya