Sophia Bush turned heads at last weekend's SAG Awards in her glamorous hot-pink dress—with neon eyeshadow to match. She's the latest star to step out wearing a bold, rosy-toned shade, which can range from the deep burgundy Joan Smalls rocked at the Tony Awards and the maroon sported by Shay Mitchell at last year's Teen Choice Awards to the more subtle coppery pink Jennifer Lopez wore throughout her stint as a judge on American Idol.
Yes, this look is daring; it seems like it could easily veer into hay fever or pink eye territory (ick) with the wrong shade. But these shadows easier to wear and more versatile than you would probably think. Patrick Ta, the celebrity makeup artist behind Sophia Bush’s show-stopping peepers, makes a case for seeing red.
Step outside your comfort zone
Ta thinks this trend grew because these reddish shades aren’t too far off from the neutral browns and coppers that women tend to gravitate toward. “I think if someone wants to add some color into her look, this is the way to go it instead of blue or something crazy,” he says. Most palettes contain warmer shades; you can’t go wrong with any of the shadows from the CoverGirl Tru Naked Eye Shadow Palette in Roses ($10; target.com).
Find the right hue
If you have lighter skin and you’re hesitant to dive right into the richer colors, you may want to look for paler shades like peaches and pinks like the first row from the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette ($49; macys.com) so that there’s not too distinct of a departure from your skin tone. Ta believes that there are colors in the warm family that can fit any skin tone. Look to Sophia Bush for inspiration on fair skin who went all out with a neon pink at the 2017 SAG Awards or Joan Smalls at the 2016 Tony’s, who has a deeper skin tone and went with more of an eggplant vibe. If you’re worried about accentuating fine lines, stick with matte shadows, Ta says, because shimmery ones can age you. A good one: Makeup For Ever Artist Eyeshadow in Red Wine ($21; sephora.com) for a look like Olivia Wilde’s at the 2016 Golden Globes.
Keep it in the same color family
When choosing the rest of your makeup, go the more monochromatic route. “Whatever color you decide on for your eyes, find a blush in the same family— not necessarily the same exact color, just close enough that it ties the whole look together,” Ta recommends. You can even put the blush color into the crease or the middle of your lid to bring the look full circle, he adds.
Smoke it out
Create a gradient effect with three shades using a brush like the Real Techniques Eye Shade Plus Blend ($7; amazon.com). Apply the lightest shade over the whole lid. Then, use a darker shade starting from the outer corner of your eye, sweeping up into the crease about midway and back to the inner corner until there’s a smokey effect. Pop your blush color right into the middle of the eye and dab with your finger so that all of the powders blend seamlessly. Finish by smudging what’s left over on the brush onto your bottom lash line. And of course, load up on the mascara to amp up the drama and make eyes the eyes the center of attention.
RELATED: How to Do the Perfect Smokey Eye
Choose cream if you’re a novice
Ta’s latest product obsession? Giorgio Armani Eye Tint—we like #’s 8 and 10 ($39 each; saksfifthavenue.com) “You just put it on your eye with the applicator it comes with," Ta says. "Then blend with an eyeshadow blending brush and it ends up looking like it’s part of your skin rather than caked on." You can top it off with powder to add dimension, but don’t necessarily have to.