When you think of a smoky eye, what shade comes to mind? Dark blue, black or a grey with a subtle shimmer? Traditionally we’ve been taught to steer clear from bright eyeshadows, led instead to their safer, drearier counterparts. But a quick look on any beauty Instagram will tell you that the latest ‘it’ colour is of the bolder variation. Red eyeshadow might sound scary but it has been spotted on bloggers and celebrities alike rapidly gaining cult status within the beauty Industry. Palettes containing brick, terracotta and similar hues have been selling out faster than you can say smoky. Take Huda Beauty’s hotly anticipated Desert Dusk Palette, £25, comprised of a mix of colours, all of which are variations of red. Despite launching last year, Cult Beauty have had to issue a limit to three palettes per customer, which says it all, really.
If like us you’re sold on the shade but are struggling with how to wear it, fear not – MAC’s senior artist Rachel O’Donnell has given us her tips and tricks on nailing the trend.
Red eyeshadow is all the rage right now – why are so many people wearing it?
These tones have long been make-up artist favourites as they give a fresh warmth to smoky eyes, rather than the cold hues of greys, blues and browns. They also create a lot of mood and intensity.
Is it true it suits all skin tones?
Yes and no. Red is a primary colour so will absolutely work with all skin tones. The terracotta and brick shades seen everywhere right now are the most wearable on the eyes. I would, however, avoid using the redder hues if you have a lot of redness in your skin.
Should different skin tones be wearing different variations of the hue?
It really depends on the finish you’re looking for. These intense shades will appear much truer to colour the fairer your skin is and more neutral on deeper skin tones. A good way to start is to think of the tone of your favourite red lipstick – is it a blue red, a true red or an orange red?
Should it be applied like the traditional smoky eye or more cautiously?
Again, this totally depends on the look you’re after. You can add red hues as accents to a smoky eye like in the centre of the lid or into the socket for a fiery intensity, or as a washed stain for a more modern look.
What product do you recommend for first timers trying it out – are there any don'ts when it comes to what other make-up you pair it with?
MAC’s eyeshadow in Ruddy is a great all-rounder. The texture allows you to build up intensity and is much easier to blend than a matte eyeshadow. It’s richly warm on fairer skin tones, beautifully burnt on medium skin and intoxicatingly jewelled on deep skin. Keep the rest of your make-up classically simple and avoid a bold lip until you are more confident and comfortable to take it to the next level.