It used to be that unless you were a geisha, or into kabuki or glam rock, red as makeup was mostly reserved for lip colour. That, however, shifted considerably recently when French luxury giant Chanel debuted a whole makeup range centred around the hue last Fall.
Immediately in the S/S ’17 season that followed, the look – ruddy cheeks, David Bowie-esque cherry eyelids – dominated the runways, from Kenzo to even the usually safe Salvatore Ferragamo and Max Mara. Kooky French singer Soko, whose signature beauty look has always been a daring smudge of red around her looming cat eyes, became a Fashion Week front row ﬁxture.
Fast forward to now and while the trend is not yet ubiquitous here, it has all the makings of becoming so – and it’s not just because of the slew of launches hitting the scene.
Red eyeshadow and blush often contain pigments of pink, brown, or both – shades that ﬂatter Asian complexions. In other words, depending on the intensity, they’re actually easy to pull off, adding a fresh punch of colour to one’s everyday look.
Urban Decay’s Naked Heat Palette ($85, #5) boasts 12 amber-hued neutrals including dark coppers and terracotta that make a modern yet glamorous alternative to brown eyeshadow. For something even friendlier, Laneige’s Ideal Shadow Quad in No. 10 Red Fox Fur ($42, #2) marries a bright red shadow with browns. Dab the former just on the outer corners of your lids and you’ll get instant depth.
Those into an edgier look can go for a deeper red like Chanel’s new eye colour range, Ombre Premiere Powder Eyeshadow, in #36 Desert Rouge ($53, #3); or Cosme Decorte AQ MW’s Eye Crayon in BR321 ($38, #4). Complete by lining peepers with a brownish-red liner like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Alkaline ($32, #1) and you’re instantly Soko-ﬁed.
Meanwhile, the perk of rosy-red blushers is that innocent glow of Pre-Raphaelite beauties. Two to try: Shu Uemura’s Glow-on in CM151 Vivid Red ($33, #6) and M.A.C Casual Colour in You Make Me Blush ($42, #7), a mix of crimson and rose.
And, of course, there’s always red lipstick. New classics to add to one’s arsenal include the cream Nars Audacious Lipstick in Louise ($40, #8) and matte Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in #63 Nightfall ($50, #10). For something more natural, Elizabeth Arden’s Sheer Kiss Lip Oil in Rejuvenating Red ($34, #9) also hydrates, while YSL Beauty’s Vernis A Levres Pop Water lip stain in #217 Red Spray ($51, #11) checks the boxes for shine and intensity. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong.