How to Nail the Red Eyeshadow Look

How to Nail the Red Eyeshadow Look
Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images

Red is one of those eyeshadow shades that looks gorgeous in the packaging or on the runway, but wearing it successfully in real life takes serious skill. Even though red eyeshadow is totally intimidating, we’ve seen countless celebs pull off the bold shade on the red carpet and it got us itching to try it.

If you’ve found yourself gravitating towards the look but are a bit afraid you might wind up looking a little like a vampire, we’ve got some tips and tricks that can help you pull it together without looking like a character from Twilight.

red eyeshadow How to Nail the Red Eyeshadow Look

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Go subtle with off-red

Jenaye Noah’s red eyeshadow look at Cannes 2017 (pictured above) is the perfect everyday version because it’s applied lightly and the color has a brown hint. It’s not a perfect match to her vibrantly red dress.

MORE: OK, Here’s Exactly How to Apply Eyeshadow, Step by Step

Brighten your eyes first

If the whites of your eyes have even a hint of red (we’re not even talking full-on bloodshot), red shadow is only going to highlight it even more. The last thing you want is your makeup making you look more tired, or worse, sick. Use a couple drops of Visine before attempting this look.

Apply lightly on the bottom

Dabbing too much shadow along the lower lash line can also make you look sickly. Stick to a light dusting like Noah did, above. It brings the look full circle without darkening the skin around the eyes too much and creating a sunken-in effect.

rooney mara How to Nail the Red Eyeshadow Look

Photo: Getty Images

Blend into a smoky eye

If you want a bolder look like Rooney Mara’s, blend the red with a reddish-brown shadow to create a burgundy smoky eye. Don’t forget to brighten the eye with a light shadow in the inner corners to balance the color.

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Originally published October 2013. Updated June 2017.