Elizabeth Taylor Eye Color – Did She Really Have Natural Purple Eyes?

Elizabeth Taylor eye color is blue
Here is a good picture that shows that Elizabeth Taylor eye color as being really blue. Although it's true, eye color changes

In this article, we’ll discuss Elizabeth Taylor Eye Color and if she really had them.  Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was an actress known for many things, not least of which were her “violet” or purple eyes. Many people have marveled over her unusual eye color and wondered whether she lucked out in the genetic lottery or if there were extensive efforts to cultivate a perception that her eyes were purple throughout her film career. It seems the answer is that the appearance of Elizabeth Taylor’s eye color was cultivated through strategic make-up, clothing, and lighting choices to take advantage of the blue pigment in her eyes.

If you want to learn more about her eye makeup and eyelashes, go to this article.

What Causes Violet/ Purple Eyes?

The mechanics of naturally occurring purple eyes are due to pigmentation issues resulting from varied expressions of genes with albinism mutations. Some people with Albinism have purple eyes. Eyes with low levels of pigment appear blue, and in some extreme cases of albinism, eyes appear red. Purple eyes due to albinism occur when the individual has just enough pigment to straddle between red eyes and blue eyes so that light reflecting off the irises appears violet or purple to observers. [1] This confluence of genetics is very rare and occurs in less than 1% of the population. [2]

Purple eyes are not caused by “Alexandria’s Genesis (AG).” AG is a mythical condition created by an author in the late 90s. However, due to the power of the internet, there are numerous pages, sites, and articles discussing the condition and its back story without citing to any reputable sources. [3]

For people who do not have naturally occurring purple eyes, it is possible to use contact lenses to obtain them. For static image presentations, image editing software can help provide violet eyes too.

Elizabeth Taylor eye color
Elizabeth Taylor eye color seems to be purple here but it’s hard to tell from the glare

Elizabeth Taylor Eye Color – So did she have Natural Purple Eyes?

Elizabeth Taylor did have a genetic mutation, but it resulted in her thick eyelashes, not her distinctive, signature eye color. 4 Her eyes were a deep blue color that could be made to look purple through make-up, clothes, lighting, and film processing techniques. Her career began in the early days of color filmography, so the procedure for manipulating film also led to some distortion of eye color before audiences watched the final product. [5]

How did Elizabeth Taylor enhance the appearance of violet/ purple eyes?

There were three key strategies to creating the appearance of purple eyes. The first strategy was the use of make-up. Taylor’s eye makeup was most frequently drawn from the palette of blues, purples, and grays and applied in blended or smoky looks, so there was a significant amount of makeup framing her eyes. By sticking with that palette, she enhanced the ability of cameras to catch the purple reflection from her eyes.

The second strategy was in her clothing and wardrobe selection. Many of her outfits revealed shoulder, collar bone, and decolletage so that there was minimal interference from her clothing with her makeup palette and eyes. When she did wear clothes that concealed her shoulders, they were frequently in gray scale which also minimizes competing reflection or in red, blue, or purple which would assist with reflecting violet / purple hues in her eyes.

The third strategy was in the lighting used on set and in photo shoots. By manipulating the amount of magenta and cyan light waves shining on the subjects through filters and gels, it was possible to enhance the appearance of particular colors such as Elizabeth Taylor’s purple eyes.

Elizabeth Taylor Eye Color -Blue - Purple Eyes?
It’s hard to tell in this photo, Elizabeth Taylor eye color seems to be more blue… it looks a bit purple though too.

Elizabeth Taylor was skilled in flaunting her features

In conclusion, it is unlikely that Elizabeth Taylor had an albinism mutation in her genes that gave her purple eyes. She did have a very striking set of blue eyes, and through multiple strategies was able to provide the appearance of having purple eyes.