How To Pull Off The Burgundy Eyeshadow Trend

Don't look like you've been crying

Photo courtesy of Kylie Cosmetics

The hottest makeup trend this fall isn’t wine-stained lips; now, it’s all about putting that autumnal wine color around your eyes. Eyeshadow shades ranging from faded red to deep burgundy have been spotted on seemingly every celebrity in 2016: Beyoncé wore glossy red eyeshadow in her "Formation" music video, Lady Gaga went for a bold red shade for her rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, and Kristen Stewart wowed with a smoky red eye at Cannes. Most recently, Kylie Jenner released her Burgundy Kyshadow Palette along with a video and photos demonstrating how to use it.

It’s safe to say that the burgundy eyeshadow trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as far as celebrities are concerned, so the rest of us might as well hop on board. Still, it’s understandable to be a little hesitant about wearing any shade of red around your eyes. It’s a bold look, and if done wrong, it can make the wearer appear to have conjunctivitis. That’s why we spoke to professional makeup artist and style director of BECCA, Kerry Cole, to get some pro tips on how to make this trend work for us. Below is a step-by-step guide for achieving the perfect burgundy eyeshadow look this fall.

1. Choose the right shade.
According to Cole, choosing the right shade is half the battle. “I am a fan of the red eyeshadow look as long as it is done right. Tonal variations of red can be beautiful on the eyes. Shades like burgundy, black cherry, and rouge can make eyes pop.” She also says that crimson and copper shades are universally flattering.

If you’re not sure where to find red eyeshadow, don’t stress—there’s actually a ton of options. Cole recommends Becca’s Ombré Rouge Eye Palette or BECCA's Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush in Blushed Copper (“It's infused with the perfect amount of red and gold and looks beautiful on the eyes and cheeks,” she says). There’s also the Kyshadow Burgundy Palette, the MAC Burgundy Times Nine Palette, and NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Rust if you don’t want an entire palette.

No matter what shade of red you go with, the key is to pick one that leans warm. “If the shade is warm enough it can look beautiful on all ages and skin tones,” says Cole.

2. Start small.
If you’re nervous about venturing out of the house with red eyeshadow on, ease into the trend by using a red shade as an accent color or as a liner. “Smoke the reddish hue out with other neutral hues to create on ombré effect,” Cole recommends. “Burgundy tones to line the eyes also look stunning.”

Instead of lining your entire eye with a red shade, choose a warm burgundy shade and brush it softly under the eyes. Then add a neutral shade like black or brown to your lid, as Cole suggests. Red shades also look great when paired with metallic gold and copper shades as demonstrated by Jeffree Star.  

3. Smoke it out.
So you’ve dipped your toes in the water and experimented with a few different red-tinged looks. Now it’s time to jump in with both feet. An all-red eyeshadow look can be intimidating, but the way you apply it makes a big difference in how wearable it is. When working with red shades, a smoky eye is not only easier to apply but also looks softer and more flattering than a graphic punch of color. Compare Kristen Stewart’s smoky red eye at Cannes to Lady Gaga’s bold red lids at the Super Bowl. The latter is stage makeup, meant to make a bold statement. For most of us, red eyeshadow alone is enough of a statement, so aim for softer edges and a washed-out hue.  

4. Frame it with black.
One of the most important elements of a red eyeshadow look is mascara: lots and lots of mascara. Framing your eyes in black is what keeps it from looking like conjunctivitis. “If you’re going with a more dramatic eye using red hues pair it with simple lips and an extra few coats of mascara,” Cole says. You could even add black liner for some extra definition around the lash line.

5. Keep everything else simple.
Like Cole suggested, it’s best to pair eye makeup this bold and colorful with a neutral lip color. As for the rest of your face, be sure to cancel out any redness in your skin with BB cream or foundation, and switch out blush for highlighter.