Step by step eye makeup for red dress

Red dress, red lipstick, smokey eyes — this glam look is the perfect choice for your upcoming New Year’s Eve party: it’s got all of the classic hallmarks of glamour, with a fresh twist. Try this makeup tutorial for step by step instructions and tips for achieving silky black eyelids and soft ashen brows.

Makeup for red dresses is a great way to show off your style. Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Apply primer to your eyelids and under-eye area.
  2. Use a shimmery eye shadow in a neutral color on the lid, crease, and brow bone.
  3. Apply a matte lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick or gloss.
  4. Line your eyes with black eyeliner and apply mascara to both lashes and brows.
  5. Finish with red lipstick or gloss!

Step by step eye makeup for red dress

Red is a power color that refuses to be mistaken for anything short of bold, vibrant, and noticeable. While we could certainly dream up makeup looks to wear to every single occasion we have on the calendar (let’s face it, most of us have looks planned for months to come), what happens when we want to pair beautiful makeup that makes a statement alongside such a memorable color?

“It depends on what you’re trying to achieve in terms of makeup and the red dress. Are we talking sexy, confident, and also in what environment? A red dress is such a statement depending on how rich the shade, the fabric, and style of dress,” says makeup artist Kenneth Soh.

Everyone has some variation of a red dress hanging in their closet (and waiting to be worn out). With the help of Soh and celebrity makeup artist Gilbert Soliz, we’ve rounded up the best makeup looks to wear with a red dress that will instantly make you want to unzip that garment bag or treat yourself to a new dress altogether.

Keep reading to see the best beauty looks that will complement that red number.

A Touch of Sparkle

“I love a bit of glitter, it’s an opportunity to create a look that will catch light and attention to the eyes,” says Soh. A glittery eye combined with flushed rosy cheeks and a glossy lip is key when wanting to keep makeup natural, but dimensional. “Just make sure when you use glitter to choose products that don’t smudge or have terrible fallout,” adds Soh, who is a fan of Lemonhead LA’s glitter products, which are suspended in a gel that won’t smudge when dried.

While the color on Taylor Swift’s lids is more of a champagne tone, feel free to play with any soft-hued sparkle when wanting to play up your eyes. We like Hourglass Cosmetics Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow ($29) in “Reflect.”

Before you decide on your makeup, Soh recommends looking at the dress. If the fabric is sequined and shiny, it may be too much with glitter. Instead, go soft and velvety matte. 

Soft Smoky Eye

Kerry Washington’s makeup is always to die for, but this particularly soft smoke show is a great alternative to the traditional, moodier smoky eye⁠—letting your dress do the talking. “A softly-smudged smoky eye in gray is always striking and modern without looking overly severe and vampish,” says Soh. “Smoky eyes in shades of gunmetal, pewter, black, or dark browns pair nicely with bright red dresses,” adds Soliz. “Sisley Phyto-Eye Twist No 4 Steel ($53) and Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara ($33) in Jet Black can help you achieve this look. As for a nude lip, Soh’s pick is CTZN Nudiversal Lip Duo ($25).

Metallic and Dewy

Some things just work perfectly together, and this metallic eye with dewy skin is a great way to balance this makeup look for a red dress. “A clear sparkling complexion that’s fresh and slightly dewy, strong boyish brows gives an edge to a red dress that can sometimes be too girly,” says Soh. Use a waterproof eyeliner like L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner ($9) and smudge it all around the eyes, bringing in the metallic eyeshadow on top.

For the perfect dewy face, apply Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($47) and a liquid highlighter like Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter ($30) under the brow and on the apples of the cheeks (on top of blush) to create a healthy glow. Be sure to use a great moisturizer daily under makeup as a primer. All that dew enhances the sequins and crystals in a sparkly dress.

“If you’re going for a fuller beat or skin that is more matte, I would recommend opting for a matte lip. For sheer, glowy skin pair it with gloss, this creates harmony and allows makeup to flow seamlessly,” says Soliz.

Fierce and Fresh

Gabrielle Union’s fierce black eyeliner paired with a nude lip is a perfect look to wear with a red dress. “If you’re going to focus on the eyes and do them dramatic and strong, I would keep the lips natural, like a lip balm or tint to make it modern,” says Soh.

A Hollywood classic makeup look with a twist, here, Union’s eyes are lined on the top and bottom, meeting at the outer edges in a sharp wing. Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner ($20) is precision perfect. Add lots of mascara, like Grande Cosmetics GrandeDRAMA Intense Thickening Mascara ($25) as your finishing touch.

Bronze and Peachy

As if J.Lo needed to give us any more reason to drool over her makeup, this look pairs incredibly well with a red dress due to the warm peach and bronze undertones carried throughout the eyes, cheeks, and lips. This is another perfect example of a look you can wear with any kind of red, including dresses that have a more orange-red undertone (which will be enhanced by the peach tones in your makeup). Swap out your traditional blush for bronzer instead. Try Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, $12, and apply a slightly deeper bronze eyeshadow right around the eyes to make them pop. Charlotte Tilbury’s Luxury Eyeshadow Palette ($53), in “Bella Sofia” offers a good blend of copper-toned shades to create your look.

Clean Skin and Bitten Lips

Jamie Chung’s perfectly balanced makeup look shows how different variations of red lip colors can pair with a red dress, depending on your skin tone. This berry-red paired with a softer berry blush and thick, voluminous eyelashes is a look even the minimalist of makeup wearers would be willing to give a try. Soh’s pick for a Bordeaux stain is Rouge Dior Forever Liquid ($38) in 943 Forever Shock. To really make things easy, use a cream lip and cheek combo in one, like Tata Harper’s Vitamin-Infused Cream Blush ($42) in “Very Naughty.”

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