I know what you’re thinking: red eye shadow… are you serious? Rimming your eyes with warm reds and pinks is a surefire way to look like you’re undead, or equally awkward, like you've been punched in the face. But no color should ever be completely banished from your makeup kit, so by following these simple tips, you can pull off a sultry red eye without the subsequent inquest as to what’s wrong.
Mary-Kate Olsen and Rachel McAdams artfully wear red eye makeup. Images: Sean Thorton/WENN.com, Apega/WENN.com
The first thing you need to remember about wearing red eye shadow is that not all colors are the same. Women with darker skin tones have it much easier when it comes to choosing red shadow tones because rusty reds, warm plums, and saturated crimsons naturally suit darker skin tones. No matter your skin tone however, you have to choose a pigmented shadow such as Illamasqua’s Powder Eye Shadow in Angst $20 because a sheer red will only make you look ill.
Be weary of applying red shadow all the way around your eye. Instead, concentrate the shadow on either the top or bottom lash line, not both. Also, don’t be afraid to mix in another color. A black or dark plum shadow artfully applied in the inner or outer corner of the eye adds depth to the look and can ensure that the shadow looks deliberate. No one wants to walk around looking like one of Viktor & Rolf’s red-faced models, so make sure you are thoughtful when applying it.
Altuzarra and Givenchy runway looks. Images: IMAXtree
Red eyeliner may sound like a terrible idea at first, but if applied correctly, it could be a great way to mix up your favorite smoky eye look. This is not the time to apply it to the waterline though; one of the most important things to remember when wearing red eye makeup is that mascara and liner are your best friends. If you want to use a red liner, such as Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liner in Iridescent Red $23, apply it above the lash line while applying a dark kohl on the waterline. Mascara and eyeliner will immediately halt any notion of looking bruised or swollen and enhance the look.
Wearing red eye makeup is not the time to be shy, if you’re going to wear a matte color, make sure it has a high pigment and will really pop, but if you’re looking for something more iridescent, red glitter eyes work surprisingly well. If you can’t find a glitter shadow that you like, try Too Faced’s Glamour Dust in Glampire $17, the pale blue glitter will brighten your eyes and bring out the pink tones in the shadow.
It may be daring, but red eye shadow is a look worth experimenting with!