Let me set the scene: It’s January 2017. After months of seeing the same heavy contour and over-lined lips, both makeup trends that I’ve never been able to really get into, I was hurting for something new this year. So when I stumbled upon photos of Solange Knowles at her 2015 performance at FYF Fest and saw her intense red eyeshadow part of her monochromatic red outfit, I was totally floored. After some research, I found that a handful of other celebrities have also tackled the look (one of the most noteworthy being Kirsten Stewart at Cannes in 2016) and I was sold.
I got my hands on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eye palette and fell head over heels with the deep reds, oranges and pinks. I won’t lie, it took a few minutes and a lot of blending for the first application to cross over from, “it looks like I have pink eye,” to something wearable. Once the switch occurred, I decided I’ll be loyal to this look for the rest of my life. I love the pop of color coming from my eyes in my mostly dark wardrobe, and the look always garners compliments.
Red eyeshadow is much more versatile and flattering than it seems. If you have green eyes like mine, I promise reds and pinks will make them glow like you’ve never seen. If yours are blue, try their red-orange complement to make them pop. The look can be light or heavy, for day or night: a light red shakes up a neutral look with ease while a burgundy or blood orange smoky eye is a fresh alternative to the standard black or brown.
Many people shy away from warm red and orange tones on their eyes because they’re afraid of looking like a zombie. Personally, I’m into looking a little dead, but if that’s understandably not your thing, there are always ways to liven up the look. Adding some shimmer to a red eyeshadow look will totally negate any dead-ness. Highlighting the inner eye and the brow bone and applying dark mascara will give the same effect. The key to pulling off red eyeshadow is making it look 100% intentional. Bolder is better. And hey, if it’s good enough for Solange, it’s sure as hell good enough for me.