Red eyeshadow can work on anyone. It’s just a matter of finding the right shade and application for you. Whether you wear it as a quick flash of color or a full-blown smoky eye, here is how to rock the red eyeshadow look.
Choose the right red: Just like any colored makeup product, the right tone of red eyeshadow makes all the difference. You have to consider your skin tone. For example, if you have dark skin, a light red won’t show up against your skin. Here are the rules of thumb:
Fair: Rusty reds work best on light skin tones.
Medium: Bright, primary reds look radiant on medium skin tones.
Dark: Rich bordeaux, burgundy and eggplant reds look beautiful on darker complexions.
Even out your skin: Don’t pick up that red eyeshadow just yet. You want to conceal and perfect your skin before applying your eyeshadow. A red eyeshadow can bring out more redness in the skin. So using a creamy concealer to spot cover any blemishes, acne scars, or broken capillaries around your face, and pay extra attention to your eyes, which can also have red tones. Apply the concealer all the way up to the bottom lash line and don’t forget about dark shadows in the inner corners of eyes. While not usually red, the blueish hue of under-eye circles can be exacerbated by red eye shadow, so cover it well.
Then, use your concealer or a tinted lid primer to neutralize those tiny red veins on your eyelids. To finish, apply a sheer or medium coverage foundation (depending on your skin’s needs) all over.
Swap out bronze for terracotta: Replace any warm earth tone (bronze, copper, gold) for warm red. Because the two tones are very similar, it’s a really easy switch that doesn’t take you too far out of your comfort zone. If you’re wearing a red eyeshadow all over your entire eyelid, blend a more neutral color (in this case brown will work well) in the crease to serve as an anchor and give the lid definition.
Trade your usual colored liner for red: Give your cobalt blue liner a break and swipe on a red with a deep, plum-y undertone instead. The dark undertone will help give the bright color some depth and add definition to the eye. Another way to create the effect? Layer a red liner over black pencil. You’ll see the red but get the depth from the black. Line just the top lash line. Or swipe it across the bottom, too, softly smudging it with a cotton swab.
Try a two-toned smoky eye: A modern take on the traditional black smokey eye — apply red eyeshadow on the inside half of the eyelids, blending the bright color into a black shade on the outer half.
Add a flash of color to your liner or mascara: Swap a solid black winged liner for one that is red from the inner to middle of the eye and black from mid-to beyond outer corner.
Play with different tones and textures: Layering on a couple different shades of red with different finishes gives eyes more depth and definition than wearing one single red shade alone. To get the look, apply a red eyeshadow all over the lid as a base and blend the edges into the crease. Then apply a metallic red — metallic cranberry, rose gold or a coppery red — to the center of the lid and blend it into the base color.