The Red Eye

Moi, in red eyeshadow (well it’s more of a pink tone, but let me have this one, please)? Take. It. In. Bet that’s a sight you’d never see, eh? But after seeing ruby hues be bandied about at Fashion Weeks and in the pages of my beauty-centric reading material, I thought why not push the eyeshadow boat out and trial it for ‘The Trend’. How hard can pulling off a russet blend on the eyes be? Answer: a wee bit tricky. Armed with Tom Ford’s Beauty Eye Colour Quad in Burnished Amber* in one hand and a MAC 217 in the other, here’s what I took away from the red eyed experience…

Stick with shimmer. A slight glow in the texture of the shadow will help to avoid a ‘punched in the face’ or even worse, eye infection look. Nice. But steer clear of anything too glittery or you’ll be in with a chance of recreating the eye makeup that I sported in my Year 8 school photo courtesy of a pink glitter shadow crayon I was given for my birthday.

Line that waterline! If there’s one repugnant property of red, it’s that it often unattractively enhances any other areas of redness in the face, which I most notably find on the waterline; to detract from this, get lining. I went for the flesh-toned MAC Chromographic Pencil in NC15-NW20, but black, brown, whatever you fancy – slick it on.

Lashings of Mascara. Lashings. I go heavy with the mascara anyway so this was an easy hurdle for me to stride over, but a strong halo of black around the eyes helps to diffuse anything that could look a little ‘pink eye’ about the situation. And that is most definitely something we do not want.

Keep it simple. I fall into the beginner stage of eyeshadow wearers so of course I’m going to preach what I practice here – but less is more. I used just one shade from the quad, the top-right, pinki-er of the two red colours and applied it all over the lid and on the outer corner under the eye. I then took a MAC 224 dipped in face powder to blend it out to avoid the colour being pulled up above the eye socket too much. Simples.

The best of the rest of the rust coloured bunch? MAC Cranberry Eyeshadow, Sleek Eye Dust in Inferno, Barry M Dazzle Dust in Winter Berry, NARS Eyeshadow in Grenadines, and & Other Stories Eyeshadow in Worsted Aubergine.

By the time I finished my last spot of blending I was actually not as uneasy with a blushed-up lid as I expected to be. Arguably it won’t become my daily eye shade of choice, but I think I’ll end up cracking out it again as a bit of an evening colour nod, perhaps with a slick of liner. Am I heading for a crimson crush?

*PR Sample


  • talisa
  • Gosh Anna this is so beautiful, I love reading your blog it is such a pleasure. The lip you’ve teamed with this look works really well.

  • This looks beautiful on you! I was always weary of red tones, till I tried MAC Cranberry, granted you have to apply it right, but I think it’s a spot on colour for blue/green eyes. Lovely post! x

  • While it look really lovely on you, I doubt I’m going to be sporting reds in my lids anytime soon! I’d look really hangover!

  • WY

    It looks so pretty on you! I know that when a MUA applied red/pink-ish eyeshadow on me it looked like I had an eye infection… not so pretty ‘ya see. Though that might’ve been her skills as well, ha. What are you wearing on your skin? It’s flawless! xx

  • Beca Alderson

    This looks amazing on you! Thanks for the tips, I may have to try some out sometime soon 😀 xxx

  • Pippa Jones

    Looks gorgeous with your eye colour! 🙂


  • This looks really pretty. That palette looks gorgeous too! xx

  • Sarah S.

    Actually I find orangier reds a lot easier to wear than pink-reds because pink-red is the color your eye area will turn after a crying jag, no? Also, If you line your upper lashes as well with black to keep the red away from your lashline, it looks a lot more like an eyeshadow look and a lot less like skin irritation.

    • Claudia

      yeah, I agree! that was the first thing that popped into my mind.. the colour reminds me of pinkeye or crying :/ a black eyeliner on the upper lashline would have definitely turned the look around!

  • It looks lovely with your green eyes 🙂 MAC Cranberry is a favourite of mine xx

  • I always have a bit of a fear of looking like I have an eye infection if I use red eyeshadow but this looks really lovely on you! Your eyes look so green 🙂

  • victoria

    I’m not sure if its just me, but I can’t get your website to display very well as a mobile site, whether going through Bloglovin or direct to the site. I can read your post, but your picture appear very small and when zoomed in they become blurry. Is this just me?

    But well done on pulling off the eyeshadow, looks amazing, when I’ve tried I’ve just looked ill :/

  • Harris Cabrera

    I think the color really makes your eye color stand out. Beautiful!

  • Hannah Desai

    I gasped when this popped up, SO beautiful, Viviana! Pull it off so well xxx

  • joysteib

    This color is very chic and classy on you! You look awesome!

  • Amy

    This looks gorgeous! I love reddy-pink eye shadows, like MAC Cranberry. x

    Amy |

  • Aurora Ammy

    This look is absoultely gorgeous with your eye colour! Wish I was daring enough to do the same, reds really suit green and blue eyes! XO

  • alanaburke

    It actually looks great!! Red eyeshadow is something I’ve never ventured into before, but it actually looks do-able thanks to your post (:

  • Chloe Robinson

    I think this looks gorgeous! In the winter months I’m definitely going to be sporting MAC Cranberry as I think it’s a beautiful shade.

  • Alittlebitunique

    I’m scared to do a red eye, but this looks so pretty on you

    A little bit


  • Hollie Galvin

    This would probably be a no go for me as I have weird coloured blue/green/grey eyes but this suits your eye colour perfectly. It’s blended just the right amount, the bottom right colour would look great for the evening!

  • Gigi

    Oh my gosh you pull it off so well! It looks gorgeous with your green eyes x

    This Happy Little Blog

  • Jessica Ringle

    I love reddish toned eyeshadows! Cranberry is an all time fav. You wear it well!

  • Kasia Lichota

    I think a little highlight in the inner corners of your eyes would make it look even nicer!

  • Lois Kelly

    I really like this 🙂 might have to give it a go myself! x

  • Brilliant tips, love this look but it can be a hard one to pull off – beautifully done x

  • I braved the red shadow recently and funnily enough tried MAC Cranberry that you mentioned later in the post and I actually love it! If paired with brown it tones down the “pink eye” look and makes it more sultry. Love this look on you! x

  • nathalie

    i really like the look!you make it sound so easy haha. i feel like you are ready to step up to the advanced stage of eyeshadow wearers 😉 🙂


    Never thought I’d see the day when I liked red eyeshadow, but it looks lovely! Not sure I could pull it off though, I’m really fair skinned so would probably just end up looking like a vampire.

  • Andrea

    I’m afraid you’ve not quite pulled this off. The key to wearing this sort of shade, or an actual red, it to put a darker colour across the lashline to stop it looking like something is wrong with your eye! Next time, try a bit of dark brown or black liner next to the lashes.

  • Emma

    These are SUCH great tips on how to rock red eyeshadow shades! I have a hard time pulling this off without looking like I have an eye infection. I will definitely be trying these out! 🙂

  • Genevieve

    Garnet from the Lorac Pro palette is another GREAT red to use. I just put it all over my lid and blend it out and done. Makes green eyes look so great.