Red is no longer just for your lips. Red eye makeup has become a surprising beauty trend. Here’s how to pull off the look.
Red isn’t just for your lips or cheeks. The fiery shade is showing up more and more on people’s eyes. We’ve seen it on the red carpet, with stars like Olivia Wilde and Lady Gaga adopting the look. We’ve also seen it at Fashion Month at shows like Barbara Bui. It is one of the more unexpected looks to gain popularity. Blue shadow was also a surprising trend, but blue is a more common color for your eyes than red. Even more surprising is that red-eye makeup can look very cool when it is done right.
Tempted to try it? Here’s your guide on how to pull off red-eye makeup:
1. Start off with red-brown shades.
If you want to dip your toe in the trend before diving right in, start off with red-brown shades. They aren’t that different than your go-to neutral shadows so you can mix them together, and you won’t feel too far out of your comfort zone. Eyeshadow Singles in Red Earth ($12, Anastasia Beverly Hills) is a good starting point.
2. Consider all the different shades of red.
Once you get comfortable with red-brown shades, there is no need to go for a true red shade if you do not want to. The red spectrum includes everything from soft rose shades to last year’s Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala. The colors at the lighter and darker ends of the scale are easier to pull off than the ones in the middle. If you want to go darker, try Artist Shadow and Powder Blush in M844 ($21, Make Up For Ever). It’s a pretty matte burgundy.
3. Remember that a little goes a long way.
This is especially important to remember if you’re choosing a bold red shade. Repeat: Less is more. Less is more. Less is more. If you’re wearing a red shadow, concentrate it on the eyelid.
4. Be careful about red all the way around your eyes.
One of the reasons that red shadow hasn’t been a mainstream favorite until recently is the fear that it will make you look like you have pink eye or some other nasty eye infection. Play it safe and avoid wearing red around your entire eye, especially if you choose brighter or lighter shades.
5. Be open to other options besides eyeshadow.
Does red eyeshadow still sound way too intimidating for you? Try liner or even colored mascara. A flick of red liner on the eyes is practically foolproof because it is difficult to overdo. If you want to go for mascara, try wearing it on the outer corners of the eyes only or just the tips of your top lashes. Colorful Waterproof Eyeliner in 19 Bag It ($5, Sephora) is the perfect liquid liner for the trend thanks to its shimmery red-brown shade.
6. Balance the bold shade with black mascara.
If you’re wearing red on your eyelids, you do not need to add more color to your mascara. You already have plenty. Plus, black mascara can help ground the look. If you’re wearing eyeshadow, you can also try adding in a flick of black liner. Ink Liner in Trooper ($19, Kat Von D) is an ultra-black liner with an easy-to-use felt tip.
7. Don’t get too matchy-matchy with your eyes and lips.
Choosing complimentary shades for the rest of your face is important, but sporting matching reds on your eyes, lips, and cheeks will look clownish. If you’re wearing a bold shade on your eyes, choose a softer one for your lips, or vice versa. You also cannot go wrong with wearing neutral tones on your cheeks and lips. Lush Lip Tint in Cherry ($24, Bite Beauty) is a glossy tint that would work well with a bolder eye.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.