Wear a red dress to a prom, wedding, festive occasion, am evening night out or even to the office, and it’s almost guaranteed to turn heads. The following makeup for red dress tips will ensure you look stunning every time you wear a red dress.
Match Your Red Dress With Your Skin Tone Not Hair Color
Which makeup or shade of red dress should you choose if you’re a blonde, brunette, or redhead? Actually, your hair color is not as important as your skin tone when it comes to choosing the right shade or tone of red dress or red lipstick.
That’s why you should match your red dress with your skin tone not hair color. So, for example, people with cooler blue-red skin tones will probably suit pinky-red tone dresses and lipsticks, while people with darker Mediterranean and Asian skin tones will probably suit orange-red dresses and lipsticks. (You can learn more about color on this Mastering Color: Beautiful Makeup Techniques and Application course.)
If you’re unsure about whether the red dress you’re considering wearing suits you, hold it up next to your unmade-up face and see what impact it has on your skin tone. If it seems to drain the color from your face, it’s probably the wrong tone of red for you. If the dress is an orange-based red (a ‘fire engine’ red), for example, try a red dress with a blue undertone instead and vice versa.
Highlight Eyes or Lips Not Both
Since red is such a vibrant color, your makeup for red dress occasions is very important: wear too much makeup (like bright red lipstick and heavily made up eyes) and you will look overdone or cheap but if you don’t wear enough makeup, you could look washed-out. To avoid looking vulgar, choose to highlight either your eyes or your lips not both.
Apply Your Foundation With a Light Touch
Use a foundation that matches or evens out your skin tone and apply it lightly. Make sure it’s blended well and there are no ‘tide marks’ under your chin or jawline. Fake tanners be aware that an orange face will clash horribly with a red dress!
Choose A Smudge-Proof Red Lipstick
If you want to wear a red lipstick with your red dress, choose one that is smudge-proof. That’s because red smudges will show up more than neutral colored smudges. Red matte (non-shiny) lipsticks are more smudge-resistant than glossy red lipsticks. If you feel a red matte is too severe, try a red satin lipstick instead.
Incidentally, to avoid leaving red lipstick marks all over glasses or cups (which can look tacky), blot your red lipstick with a tissue after you apply it. Before taking a sip of water or coffee, subtly moisten your lips with your tongue.
Prep Before Applying Red Lipstick
Prepare your lips before applying red lipstick by dabbing foundation around your lip area and over the lips. This will help tone down any redness and make sure the line of your lips is well-defined.
Prevent Red Lipstick Bleeding With Lip-Liner
Use a waxy lip-liner in the same color as your red lipstick around your lips. This will help prevent the red lipstick from ‘bleeding’ into the skin around your lips. Make sure that your lips look symmetrical. Once you’ve drawn around your lips, color them in using the lip pencil. This will help hold your lipstick in place.
Paint on Your Red Lipstick With a Lipstick Brush
Application mistakes with red lipstick show up. That’s why it’s best to use a lip brush to paint on your lipstick: it gives you more precision and control. Start in one corner of your lips and work inward. You can use the brush tip to paint the edges of your lips and the flat of the brush for larger areas.
For Neutral Lips, Match The Lipstick to Your Natural Lip Color
If you don’t want to wear red lipstick, go for a natural look on your lips. Ideally, choose a ‘nude’ lipstick shade that’s closest in color to your natural lips.
You can add definition to your mouth by using a matching lip-liner before your lipstick. To soften the look, coat your lips in a sheer or soft pink gloss. Don’t use a very dark lip-liner with a nude or natural lipstick – it could look ghoulish rather than alluring.
There is a risk that neutral or nude lipstick can make your skin look a little washed-out, particularly against a vibrant red dress. If that’s the case, here’s what to do: add blush in an extra rosy colour to your cheeks. Do check how this looks in the mirror. If you’re wearing the red dress in the daytime, look at your reflection in daylight. Make sure the blush is blended and doesn’t look too obvious.
Smoky eyes that accentuate the size and shape of your eyes and nude or natural looking lips is a fantastic combination.
Use Neutral Eye Makeup With Red Lipstick
Avoid eye shadows in green, yellow, blue, or purple because they will clash with your red dress. Go for neutral eye shadow shades in ivory, creme, beige, tan, brown, or gray.
Add Drama to Your Eyes With a Smokey Look
Smokey eye shadow will really draw attention to your eyes. For this look, use shimmery or matte black, gray or dark brown eye shadows. The key to a perfect smokey eye effect is blending: Use your eye shadow brushes to blend the lines.
Draw Attention to Your Eyes With Eyeliner
Make your eyes standout by lining your upper eyelids in black or dark brown eyeliner (pencil or liquid). For a retro look, thicken the line to create upward flicks or wings as it reaches the outer corners of your eyelids. To give your eyes an added sparkle, add a sheer, shimmery eye shadow to your lids.
Use Plenty of Mascara
Your eyelashes Use an eyelash curler to curl your eyelashes then apply at least two coats of mascara. To ensure your eyelashes don’t clump together (never a good look!), allow the first coat of mascara to dry before applying the second.
Remember Your Brows
The shape of your eyebrows can add impact to your overall look so don’t ignore them! Your eyebrows provide a frame for your eyes and give them definition. Comb them into shape. If your eyebrows are over-plucked or irregular, add a little more definition with an eyebrow pencil that matches the color of your eyebrows. The trick is to use a light touch.
You Don’t Need to Match Lipstick And Nail Polish Colors
Most makeup artists say that the ‘matchy-matchy look’ is dated – that’s the one where your nail polish and lipstick are the same shade. They suggest instead opting for a pink or clear nail polish color and either a nude or red color lipstick. Of course, if you love matching your lipstick and nail color, then go for it!
Don’t Match Your Blush to Your Dress
Unless you normally wear red-toned blushes, avoid using blush that exactly matches your red dress. Be aware that powder blushes can darken as they seep into your skin, whereas cream blush will stay the same color.
Finish With Translucent Face Powder
Once you’ve finished your makeup, lightly dab the areas of your face that tend to get shiny (typically forehead, nose and chin) with a translucent face powder. Brush off any excess powder. This will ‘set’ your concealer and foundation and help keep them looking fresh for hours.
Whenever and wherever you’re going, these makeup for red dress tips will ensure you look stunning the next time you wear a red dress. If you feel as if you could benefit from expert guidance with makeup, the how to do makeup basics course will teach you all you need to learn to master makeup techniques.
Planning to wear a red prom dress? Why not learn how to do prom makeup for yourself and your friends?
If you want to look as good as your favorite celebrities, why not learn how they do it from a celebrity makeup artist?
And if you’ve realized a career in makeup is for you, get a headstart as a makeup artist by joining the how to do makeup for print, fashion, runway and red carpet course.