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The Best Ways to Do Your Makeup for a Red Dress

by Jennifer Blair

When you wear a red dress, you're definitely going to turn a few heads. But with such a bold outfit, choosing the right makeup to go along with it can be a challenge. Since red is such a striking color, make your dress the centerpiece of your look -- this means it's best to go for understated makeup and natural colors so you look pretty and polished instead of overdone.

Perfect Skin

A red dress can emphasize ruddiness and other discolorations in your skin, so you should start with a good base. If your skin is mostly clear, a tinted moisturizer or sheer liquid foundation and some concealer may be all you need to even out your skin tone. However, for skin that has severe redness, hyperpigmentation and other blemishes, start with a color-correcting foundation primer with a green tint to help counteract the redness. Top it with a medium to full-coverage foundation to give your complexion a flawless look. If there are any discolorations that show through the foundation, apply concealer in those areas for extra coverage.

Go Neutral on Eyes

With your bold red dress making the big statement, you shouldn’t wear bright, colorful eye shadow that competes with it. Instead, opt for neutral shades like ivory, beige, tan, brown and gray that allow the dress to be the star of your look. This doesn’t mean your eye makeup has to be boring. Go for a glamorous, retro-inspired pinup eye by using an ivory, beige or skin-tone eye shadow from lashes to brow bone and a matte mid-tone brown in the crease for definition. Add drama by using black liquid eyeliner to create a winged cat eye. Opt for sexy, smoky eyes with a shimmery bronze-brown on the lid and chocolate-brown liner smudged along the upper and lower lashes. With either look, add plenty of mascara to really frame your eyes.

Get Flushed

If you have fair skin, a red dress can sometimes make you look a little washed out, which is why blush is a must. A soft neutral pink, peachy pink or rosy bronze shade is ideal because it has a natural look but still perks up the skin and adds definition to your face. For darker skin, you can apply a rosy shade just to the apples of your cheeks and use bronzer to contour beneath your cheekbones for a subtle look.

Keep Lips Soft

With a red dress, you may be tempted to wear matching lipstick-- but that look is difficult to pull off and can feel a little dated. Instead, opt for a more natural lip. A nude lipstick shade that’s similar to your natural lip color is an ideal option when you want to keep the focus on your dress. If you need added definition along your lips, use a matching lip liner first, and then top the lipstick with a sheer nude or pink gloss for a soft, natural look.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images