Tricks of the Trade: Best makeup to wear with a red dress

Hi! I will be attending my friend’s wedding at the end of the month, and I’ll be one of her bridesmaids. I’m planning to do my own hair and makeup on that day. What makeup will be best on this occasion? I have a medium to dark skin tone. By the way, their motif will be red rose. Thanks a lot! –Jonah

I’m sure we can all agree that red is a gorgeous color for a bridesmaid dress (kudos to the bride for an impressive color motif). It is dramatic and eye-catching, but for some can be a difficult color to pull off. Red translates to power and confidence, which can be intimidating to wear. Definitely not for shy wallflowers, the scarlet color requires its wearer to be bold and beautiful (again, confidence is key). Needless to say, your makeup and hair should perfectly complement your dress.

Not many of us realize that wearing red requires a new set of makeup rules. You see, red being the striking color it is can change the tone of our skin, making it appear pallid or washed-out. And depending on its shade and undertone, can give darker skin a grayish cast. The solution to this is simple: avoid looking ghostly or washed-out by adding a healthy dose of color to your cheeks and lips or create a contrast by defining your eyes. Now, if you’re not quite sure whether you’ve applied too much or too little makeup, simply wear your red dress. Right away, you’ll see how your dress changes your skin tone and you can adjust your makeup accordingly. Lastly, before you decide on your makeup look, remember the tried-and-tested makeup rule: focus on one feature at a time. This will help you avoid creating a look that’s clownish or overdone. As obvious as this tip is, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to go overboard with makeup when you’re wearing red.

For foolproof red dress makeup ideas, I looked to no less than Hollywood’s red carpet stars. Read on for easy looks you can follow that will no doubt make you standout at the wedding.

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Try red on red. If you think about it, wearing red lipstick with a red dress should be written off as a makeup no-no. But there is just something so right about it—you can say, it just works. The trick to doing it right is to find a shade of lipstick that matches the color of your dress. Take it from its undertone: match the shade of red to its tone whether it’s more yellow or orange, blue or brown. For your morena skin, it’s red with blue and brown undertones that complement you most. Makeup inspiration: Jessica Alba

Go nude. Nude makeup, that is. An easy palette of rich browns, grays and beiges looks beautiful when worn with a red dress. This kind of makeup works well with practically any color, and can be used for most occasions. The only problem you might encounter with nude makeup is its tendency to make skin look grayish or pale, when worn with red. Counter this with a sweep of rosy blusher on your cheeks. Makeup inspiration: Jessica Lowndes

Experiment with a smoky eye. A dark smoky eye is a great eye-opener, meaning it gives eyes gorgeous definition. This may just be what you need to balance the vibrant color of your dress. Blacks and grays are your best bets for eye shadows, in shimmery and matte finishes. Remember that blending is key here, so be sure to use your eye shadow brushes. To make your eyes appear bigger, line your eyes using black kohl eyeliner and apply three coats of mascara to your lashes. Makeup inspiration: Mila Kunis


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