It started during fashion week, when models walked the runway at Anna Sui’s spring 2017 show with a wash of burgundy around their eyes. At Kenzo, Max Mara, Ferragamo, and Tadashi Shoji, there were more variations on red lids. Then Selena Gomez won the Met Gala red carpet with a combination of red and pink eye shadow, the perfect foil to her otherwise low-key look. The least-likely eye accent was officially having a moment.

According to makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, the bold shade—once relegated to lips, cheeks, and of course nails—is surprisingly easy to execute around the eyes because it’s strangely flattering. “For lighter eyes, it really brings out the brightness,” she explains. “And on dark eyes, it’s a pop of color against a neutral palette.”

But how do you wear red pigment on your eyes (when you’re not Selena Gomez) without looking high, hungover or worse—conjunctivitis-stricken? Hughes recommends taking a page out of the Ferragamo playbook by experimenting with a thin line of red in the crease before graduating to full on red eye gloss. Here, she demonstrates four versatile new ways to wear red eyes in real life.


Take a cue from Ferragamo’s spring 2017 show and trace the crease with crimson pigment. To get the look, Hughes applied M.A.C Lip Liner in Cherry topped with NARS Blush in Exhibit A.


The models at Tadashi Shoji spring 2017 wore a hazy wash of red color on their eyelids. Hughes takes the look one step further coating lashes as well. For a similar finish, try M.A.C Mixing Medium with M.A.C Basic Pigment in Red and NARS Matte Eye Shadow in New York.


Hughes cocktailed Pat McGrath Labs Copper 002 pigment and M.A.C Fix to create a custom bronze eye color. For the perfect matte crimson lips, she mixed M.A.C Lip Liner in Red, Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Love Bite, topped with NARS Blush in Exhibit A.


Hughes anchored glossy lids with matte skin. To get the look, try Laura Mercier Secret Concealer topped with Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. Next, Hughes dusted NARS Matte Eye Shadow in New York all over eyelids and sealed it with M.A.C Clear Brilliance Gloss for shine that doesn’t smear.

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