9 Tips On How To Rock Red Eyeshadow Without Looking Like You're Sick
There are some beauty trends out there that look oh-so-chic on our favorite beauty vloggers, and then a total disaster when applied with our own hands. The red eyeshadow trend is an apt example of that: On an expert, it looks smoky and gothic and edgy with its cranberry and pink hues. But if you're more of a "I barely know what to do with concealer" type of beauty lover, the whole look can quickly take a U-turn into pink eye territory. And no one is going to want to talk to you at the bar if you look like you've got puss leaking out of your eye.
But this isn't to deter you! The red eyeshadow trend can be pulled off by anyone - we just need solid tips on how to correctly apply it so it looks more high-fashion and less cashed-in-sick-day. So how do you pull off the red eyeshadow trend? It might sound like it'd entail a lot of work, but you just have to focus on a couple of key things: First, blending is going to be your best friend, and second, you're going to need the right tools. Ahead are nine tips how to rock a red eye, according to makeup artists.
1. Create A Solid Foundation
In order to help your color not only stand out but last all night, you need to add primer. "Start with your eyeshadow primer from the lash line to the brow bone. I like Urban Decay eyeshadow primer in 'Eden,'" Andrea Whittle, a makeup artist at KARMA Salon with 20 years experience, shares in an email to Bustle. "This primer goes on creamy and drive down to a nude matte finish. Not only will your eyeshadow last longer but your pigment will pop!"
Dab it across your lids to make sure you don't put all this effort into building a smokey eye only to have it fade in an hour!
2. Go For A Smokey Eye
To help make your red eye seem more trendy and less I-have-a-cold, Whittle suggests building a smokey eye so it pops in a dramatic, intentional way. "Use a small flat shader brush to press the red shadow into the lid, and then work your way up to the crease. Buff the red into the crease with the tip of a tapered crease blending brush using a back-and-forth 'windshield wiper motion,' she explains.
By focusing on creating a dramatic eye, your makeup look will be more in tune with the red shadow looks we're seeing across Instagram lately, rather than veering into '90s emo-kid territory.
3. Make Sure You Blend Your Shadow Super Well
Here's the tricky bit: When you use a highly pigmented color like red, you have to make sure you really blur and blend the color into the crease of your eye, or else it'll look too jagged and messy. "It's important to blend, blend and blend a little more to give the red a seamless, blown out, airbrushed effect," Whittle agrees. Use your blending brush and really work that shade into your upper eyelid til you get a tapered, airbrushed look.
4. Wrap The Red Underneath Your Lower Lash Line
If you're feeling bold, a beautiful way to rock this look is to extend some color underneath your eyes. "Wrap the red shadow around the lower lash line with a very small eyeshadow brush. Load your brush very lightly for the under eye area, land it on the outer corner of the lower lash line, sweeping toward the inner corner," Whittle recommends. This will round out your smokey eye look.
5. For More Intensity, Add Black Shadow
You can add more depth and intensity if you shade your lid using black shadow. "For a more intense effect layer some black eyeshadow over the top of the red along the lash line and into the crease for some dimension using the same techniques you used for applying the red," Whittle shares. This will help give it even more drama.
6. Keep The Rest Of The Face Simple
This isn't a fast and hard rule — you can choose to sport a deep lip with this look if you want, but Whittle suggests keeping everything else fresh and light if you're not 100 percent confident with loud trends.
"Red eyeshadow has always been a bit taboo; perhaps because it's pulled out of the make up drawer every Halloween for that Gothic-sexy vampire look. Because of that, I try to keep the rest of the face pretty low-key when I'm doing a red smoky eye. I like to keep the skin clear and bright, with very little blush or cheek color and the lips monochromatic, or nude so as not to detract from the future we are focusing on," Whittle shares.
7. Don't Be Afraid To Play With Different Shades Of Red
As you probably know, there are so many different shades of red you can experiment with here — just because one shade looks all wrong on you doesn't mean the trend isn't for you. Just test drive different variants until you find one you're comfortable with! "To be on trend for this look does not require you to wear a Crayola red," Whittle points out. "For example, you have options like a hot pink matte red or a satin finish Burgundy red. There is also a warm matte orange red or a metallic copper red." Feel free to explore.
8. For A Smaller Baby Step, Try The Red Cat Eye!
If you're not mentally prepared for a full blown smokey eye, Whittle recommends trying a cat eye first. "The red cat eye can be created with a red eyeshadow instead of a fully red smoked eye. Then using our red shadow WET we can create our cat eye by using just shadow!"
9. How To Turn Your Shadow Into Eyeliner
PRO Winged Liner #37, $7, Sephora
If you're not exactly sure how to turn your red shadow into liquid eyeliner, it's super easy. "Using a synthetic angle brush dipped in some water (and wiped off) load your brush on both flat sides," Whittle explains. "Take your angle brush from the inner corner of the upper lash line and drag it out past the outer corner of the upper lash line to make your cat eye." And that's it! Just finish with some black mascara for contrast and you're done.
Following these steps, you can definitely pull off a red eyeshadow look even if you are fairly new to the whole makeup world. Just follow these tips and you'll look just as flawless as any beauty vlogger.
Images: @NikkiTutorials/ Instagram; Sephora (4); Ulta (1); Andrea Whittle (3)