Monday, August 26, 2013

Red Eyeshadow Tutorial

Some products in this post purchased by me, some sent for consideration

Red Eyeshadow Tutorial 

If there is one eyeshadow color that many people are afraid to wear, it's red. As a color, it says, "look at me!"  Those who want to get noticed may wear a red dress to a special event.  In the evening, some women may rock a bold red lip.  For some reason, red eyeshadow is just one place some people won't go. The reason for many is fear of not knowing exactly how to wear it. Worn incorrectly, red eyeshadow can simply make you look ill, or as though you have had some sort of an allergic reaction.  When done properly, red eyeshadow can look simply stunning. 

If you read my previous post on red eyeshadow, you can see that many different brands from drugstore to high end sell the bold hue. Hopefully this tutorial will give you an idea of how to wear this color, and take away a little bit of the fear factor.

Some tips to consider when working with red eyeshadow:
  • Be sure any redness in your face from blemishes or discoloration are properly concealed. Unfortunately red eyeshadow can emphasize other areas of redness in the face if you skip this step.
  • Bring in some other colors to help balance it out. I love gold, or coral shades to help balance out the heaviness of the red.  However, depending on the look you are going for, red works well with a lot of different colors. Experiment and see what works best with your coloring. 
  • Line the eyes. Even if you don't normally wear eyeliner, I think rimming your eye with black liner really makes red more wearable. 
  • Load up on mascara or try some falsies. When working with darker shadows, extra mascara or lashes will help open up the eye and help complete the look.
  • Formula is key.  Decide if you like something with a little shimmer, or prefer a matte formula. Shimmery shadows can be easier to work with for some in terms of blendability.  If you choose a matte formula, make sure it is a good quality formula with a smooth texture.
  • Choose your lip and cheek color wisely. I tend to prefer a peachy blush and nude or light peach lips when playing up the eyes. There are of course exceptions to every rule. 
  • Do the eyes first. Even if you always do your foundation before the rest of your makeup, red eyeshadow is not fun to clean up if you experience fallout. To be on the safe side, I highly recommend doing your eyes first, and foundation second. 
Check out my Pinterest board on red eyeshadow for inspiration on other ways to wear red eyeshadow: 

Now on to the tutorial.  While, there are numerous ways to wear red eyeshadow, I tend to favor it in the crease, rather than on the lid.  Anyone can wear red eyeshadow, but it looks particularly beautiful on those with green eyes because red and green are complimentary colors (opposite each other on the color wheel).

The Tools: For my eye primer, I chose Stila Prime Pot in Taffy. As a base under the red shadow, I used Stila  Convertible Color in Poppy (red/berry), but this step is optional.  The red powder eyeshadow I chose for this look is from the Lime Crime Chinadoll Pressed Eyeshadow Palette. It's called Fly Dragon Fly (matte).  I chose this shade because I like the texture and pigment of the shadow. I find it very easy to work with. I also used the matte black shade in the palette called Lotus Noir, but any matte black will work. The other colors I brought in for this look were a shimmery coral-orange (middle color in the NYX Shangri-La Eyeshadow Trio), NYX Nude Matte Eyeshadow in Bare My Soul (cool matte brown with a tinge of gray in it), Arbonne Vanilla as a highlight (matte).  You will also want to have your favorite black eyeliner handy. I didn't use falsies, but gathered a lash primer and mascara to make sure my lashes looked extra dramatic. For foundation I chose, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness, to cancel out any red tones in my face.

 After priming your eyes, take a powder eyeshadow close to your skin color, and apply it from lash line to brow.

As an optional step, apply a red or berry colored cream base to the crease of the eye with a light hand. Blend out edges with a clean blending brush. Yes, this is breaking the rule of applying a cream product over a powder, but since we will be layering another powder product over it, it still works.

Over the red base you just applied, pick up the coral/orange shade from the NYX trio and blend into the crease. Apply a little bit to the outer corner of your top lid as well.  Use any color in your collection that is similar in color.

  Blend over any harsh edges with a clean brush.

Now for the fun part! RED!  Pick up just a little bit of your red eyeshadow onto a crease brush, and tap off the excess. You want to start with just a little bit of pigment to begin with, and then add more as needed, layering until you get the desired intensity. Go back and forth applying a little bit of color to each eye, and blend and build your layers until both eyes look the same.

Now pick up some of your highlight shade with a clean brush, and highlight your brow bone, inner corner of the eyes, and clean up around the edges.

If you look in the mirror at this point, you probably realize that this looks totally crazy so far. Don't be scared. Just keep moving forward, you'll love the final result, I promise!  Grab your matte cool brown shadow (I used NYX in Bare My Soul) and apply just to the outer corner of your eye. Blend the color inward toward the center of your lid.

Next, grab your matte black shadow, and using the same brush, go over just the very outer corner of the eye lid, not taking it as far in as you did the brown. Again, work in small layers, and always tap off the excess. Using the same brush, take the black shadow along the lower lash line as well. Don't worry if it's not neat, we will clean it up later.

Now go back to your red shadow.  Using the same brush you used to apply it to the crease, work the color along the lower lash line right over the black. You want to use a light hand so the color is diffused. We don't want a harsh line at this point.

Next, tight line and line your waterline with your favorite eye pencil. I used the kohl pencil from Hourglass, because I wear contact lenses, and find this doesn't transfer to my lenses the way gel liner often does.

With a black eyeliner, line your upper and lower lash line. I used my Stila Smudge Stick because it's waterproof and lasts all day.  Set with the matte black shadow, applying it with an angled brush.

Finish off the eye with a lash primer and lots of black mascara on top and bottom lashes.

Clean up time! Grab a cotton swab, and go over the edges of your shadow lightly to make sure the shape is even on both eyes.  If needed go back in with a clean blending brush.

Before you do your foundation, you want to make sure you clean up any fallout. I did my foundation last so that I could easily clean up with a makeup remover wipe.

You can also use the wipe to sweep upward, creating a cleaner edge to your eyeshadow look. Just be sure to go over the edge with a blending brush to soften the line.

Apply your primer, foundation, blush and lip color.  Fill in your brows if needed.  That's it! We are done.

Here is the finished look:

I actually wore this look out in the evening.  I think red eyeshadow can be wearable, as long as you keep the rest of the face neutral. If you try this look, or would like to see different looks using red eyeshadow, let me know in the comments below.  Tweet me a picture of your red eyeshadow look @MakeupMatters1

Thanks for reading!  Don't forget to share, and subscribe!

 *All opinions are my own. I do not get paid to write reviews. 


  1. Wow! great tips and great tutorial!

  2. i'm going to a concert next weekend so i have to try this. Thank you!!

  3. Love this tutorial!!! Your photos are great!! xo

  4. Excellent tutorial - as always! :) Looks beautiful too! Well done!!! :)


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