We know, we know: The thought of wearing a bold red eye shadow likely makes you cringe. But recently, it's become more and more trendy, with everyone from Lady Gaga to Olivia Wilde rocking the daring look — and they look, dare we say it, good.
Off the red carpet, though, can the look be pulled off?
We think so. Here are a few simpler, subtler ways to make it work.
Try lining your eyes instead of going for a full-lid look.
“[It's] best to keep a defining line literally at the lashes so as not to look too theatrical,” Armani makeup artist Tim Quinn told TODAY.com. “Olivia [Wilde] nailed it by keeping warm liner framing her eyes and expertly blending the blush to keep the monochromatic look fresh and modern. A great trick is to use Giorgio Armani Eye Tint as the color wash."
Beginners, try blush.
Do you really want to invest in shades you'll only wear once? Of course not. Instead, experiment with makeup you already own and slowly adapt the look into your mainstay.
“If you don't want to invest in a one-night-only color, use a runway trick and apply your pop of color blush to both your cheeks and your lids and pair with a semi-matte lip in a matching shade,” advised Quinn.
Build up the look slowly.
Lady Gaga may have gone all out with her own red makeup at the Super Bowl, but there's no need to go straight to a full-lid look. Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg told TODAY.com the best way to try such a bold look is to start lightly and blend out on the top lid.
“If you like the way it looks, try adding a little to the bottom lash line. If you still like it ... add more. You have to build with the reds, otherwise you can make yourself look sick,” she cautioned.
Experiment with a spectrum of reds.
One fun way to try the red-eye movement is to go for a bronze metallic instead of a full-on, bright red. Julia Dalton-Brush of Brush Beauty told TODAY.com that metallics can help even things out and keep the red from looking too stark.
“Use the duality of the colors and textures to build a beautiful strong red eye ... then, add the metallic color to the center of the eye and blend it out, keeping the majority of the color on the center to give it that pop and to make the red more wearable,” she said.
Make sure your outfit (and your other makeup) is complementary.
This part may seem obvious, but it's important to match your lipstick exactly to your bold eye shadow or go for a more neutral look on the lower half of your face.
As for the ensemble you pair the makeup with, try following Gaga's lead and opt either for a red dress to match your red eyes (as she did at the Super Bowl), or a neutral or white dress (like the one she wore to the Oscars).
Blend, blend, blend.
Blending your makeup is key when using red eye makeup. It'll allow the hue to "melt" into your skin more readily and reduce some of the shock factor.
“This will take away any harshness and lines and give the color a beautiful finish, letting the color be the statement and not the application,” concluded Dalton-Brush.