It's standard wisdom that Elizabeth Taylor's eyes were violet. Violet eyes? Really? Take a closer look at the windows to La Liz's soul...

Elizabeth Taylor’s Eyes

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When you’re born in a black-and-white era, really weird debates take place. For example? One of the things that always drove me absolutely crazy when I was little was my grandmother talking about Elizabeth Taylor’s “violet” eyes.

First of all, most of the pictures I’d seen of Elizabeth Taylor at that point were in black and white. Second of all, she had purple eyes? Saywhatnow?

It would have made more sense if she’d said Liz had black eyes. At least that’s, you know, an actual(-ish) color for eyes, and it would have backed up the photos of the star I saw.

Let’s be clear: I was a unique child, but I was no dummy. It only took me, oh, a year or two to learn not to expect eyes this color:

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Or even this color (and yes, I know it’s not really a violet!):

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But if an entire generation’s claiming you’ve got violet eyes, I don’t think this…

violet-292367_1920

…is too much to expect.

So imagine my shock and disappointment when I saw pictures of Liz Taylor with decidedly unviolet eyes!

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This is really more the Liz Taylor of my era. Eyes? NOT. VIOLET.

 

Elizabeth Taylor:

BLUE. BLUE BLUE BLUE. Also, not an appropriate picture for a child.

So let’s open the debate, people.

Ready to hear about the craziest beauty tips from Classic Hollywood? Grace, Audrey, Marilyn and more star in Old Hollywood Glamour!

Were Elizabeth Taylor’s Eyes Really Violet?

Here’s one tricky thing about determining Elizabeth Taylor’s true eye color (other than never having seen her in person, met her, kissed her feet, etc.): because so many classic Hollywood pics were in black and white, and even then people thought black and white was boring, editors colorized pictures. That’s basically just what it sounds like.

Coloring books, advanced edition. For example, in the photo below, the colors are a little too saturated–they’ve definitely been messed with somehow. (Same is true for this post’s cover photo, so don’t use that as an argument against me!) Do I think Taylor’s eyes were this blue?

hollywoodlady:  Elizabeth Taylor, 1950s
No.

 

But do I think they were kind of blue?

 

Uh…yeah.

 

More evidence for “blue,” or even hazel:
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But then again…

Were Elizabeth Taylor’s Eyes Really Blue?

On behalf of the defense, I present:
EXHIBIT A.

Elizabeth Taylor, a rare photo where you can really see her Amazing Violet Eyes.
To be fair, that one may be colorized.

 

I’m pretty sure this one’s not:
Elizabeth Taylor posed on the front cover of

Even pics of a young (very young) Elizabeth Taylor emphasize the purple in her eyes, studio-enhanced:

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WHAT’S THE VERDICT?

I’m going to go way out on a limb here and declare Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes NOT VIOLET. The “violet” tones that you see in publicity pics were usually touched up to make them look more purple.

If you watch Taylor’s movies, particularly her later ones where color processes were more true to “nature,” it’s pretty clear: they’re blue, bordering on hazel.

They are, however, still totally gorgeous.

 

So What’s So Special About Liz Taylor’s Eyes?

Like some other people’s, Taylor’s eyes do appear to shift color depending on what she’s wearing. That’s why that purple satin dress above makes the warm tones in her eyes stand out.

While millions of young girls and women might have mourned the fact that, unlike her raven hair, there was absolutely nothing they could do to get Elizabeth Taylor’s violet eyes, the uniqueness of her eyes actually goes way beyond their color:

  • That shape. Slightly elongated, deep-lidded. So mysterious, so elegant.
  • Those lashes! Real or not. And those eyebrows! (Going to assume those were real.)
  • And, above all, the expression. Sleepy or wide-eyed, Taylor was an incredible actress who used her eyes as a primary tool of her craft.

 

How Can I Get Elizabeth Taylor’s Eyes?

(Or something way less creepy to that effect.)

Again, Liz was famous for her eyes, and she made the most of them. And throughout her long career, there were a few constants she used to accentuate what was arguably her best feature, while other tricks (like crazy Cleopatra mascara) came and went.
  • Full lashes, probably with some individual falsies thrown in and a heaping pile of mascara added to both top and bottom lashes;
  • Dark liner on the top lid, thickly applied, AND;
  • Additional liner (thinner or thicker depending on your mood) on the inside of the bottom lid (not hygienic, just FYI, but it looks pretty cool), or (less frequently) on the outside.

But, as we’ve seen–you can skip the violet contact lenses.

…But that’s not all! Check out more of Liz’s fashion DOs and DON’Ts in Old Hollywood Glamour!

2 thoughts on “Elizabeth Taylor’s Eyes

  1. Fabio (@Fabioleon777) says:

    They were dark blue, but she had red brownish spots cause melanine didn’t cover totally the retina…I collect pics of her (buying originals from photographers, not the trash above…) In my opinion it’s correct to say they were a shade of indigo.

    Like

    • Fates and Stars says:

      Hi Fabio–thanks so much for this information! It’s really not easy to tell for those of us not lucky enough to have access to direct photos, as even the lighting in films can be misleading and photos floating around the Internet are just confusing and have often been changed, as I point out here. What you’ve said will be valuable info to many fans!

      Like

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