10 Ways To Bring A Pop Of Red Into Your Makeup Looks

Have you ever done your makeup and felt like it just needed that extra ... something? Well, that one thing it may well be missing is red. Whether it's a bit of rouge on the cheeks, red sparkly eyeshadow, or a classic crimson lipstick — it doesn't take much to make a statement with this shade. All at once it's a color that connotes timeless elegance, power, seductiveness, and even rebellion.

Yup, you read that correctly. In fact, back in 1912, American suffragettes actually wore red lipstick as a way of promoting the notion of women's rights. "This was seen as the mark of the independent emancipated woman, which at the time was thought to be quite scandalous. This subversive action would have brought censure from men (and some women) who regarded these women was morally lacking," Gabriela Hernandez, Bésame Cosmetics founder, told Real Simple.

Of course, red makeup isn't seen as so outrageous today. But it's still a color that goes a long way with makeup — whether it's making literal history or elevating a simple everyday 5-minute face to night time glam. To prove it, we've rounded up some of our very favorite ways to bring a fabulous pop of red to your makeup looks.

Lipstick is one of the most classic ways to bring a pop of red to your makeup

It goes without saying that the classic red lip is probably the most obvious way to bring a pop of red to your makeup. We've seen stars make this look their signature for years now, with everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Taylor Swift showing us how glamorous red lipstick can be. And it's probably the easiest way to bring the shade into your look. It's easy to get your hands on, difficult to apply wrong, and if you do some research first, not too hard to find your right shade.

Just like finding your perfect foundation, finding the right red lipstick for you is based a lot on your coloring. Namely, your skin's undertones. Of course, you should always pick the lipstick shade that makes you feel the most confident, but there are a few things to remember to make things easier. "Deep skin tones can carry pretty much all reds, warm and cool undertones," Kirsten Kjaer Weis, makeup artist and founder of Kjaer Weis, told Byrdie. As for medium skin tones? "[They] typically have a warm/golden undertone, so I recommend warmer-toned lipsticks," Weis added, noting that people with olive skin should also seek out warmer reds. As for those with light skin, Weis noted neutral to warm undertones should opt for warmer undertone lipsticks, but most people with light skin (i.e. those with pink undertones) will probably best suit cooler undertoned reds.

Or try a lip gloss for a more sheer pop of red

Not quite ready to go all out with the bold red lipstick just yet? Well, that's okay. Because there's another easy way to bring a pop of red to your makeup that's not too crazy and will also give a more natural effect. Red lip gloss. Of course, there are different variations and intensities of red lip glosses that will give you different results, so what you should reach for will really depend on how red you want to go. However, as a general rule of thumb, most lip glosses won't give you the color pay off that a lipstick will, but it will give you the hint of red your makeup may just need to give your look that little extra something.

While the same rules apply for glosses as they do for lipsticks in terms of undertones and what will best suit you, because most glosses tend to be more sheer, you don't have to worry about getting an exact shade too much. Glosses are also that bit more versatile, too. You could layer a red lip gloss over a lipstick of pretty much any shade to create a custom look, and there are a lot of different finished you can try out to find what you like. A red gloss with a hint of glitter will give you a more glamorous edge, while a super shiny gloss will give you a gorgeous vampy look.

While red blush is unexpected but so effective

Red may not be the first color you reach for when it's time to add your blush, but trust us on this one, because shades of red can create a gorgeous blush effect. And how out there or natural it looks is totally up to you. You may have already heard of this beauty secret, as red blush videos have been a staple on beauty TikTok for a while now because of the way it looks good on every skin tone.

"Red blush gives the impression of innocence, health, and romance. It doesn't look sophisticated, mature, or cosmopolitan. It mimics the effect of running in the cold, or the way you look after making out with someone — it's like bringing blood to your face," makeup artist Suzy Gerstein explained to Into The Gloss. And fellow makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, of RMS Beauty, clearly agrees. "Red gives it that little bit of depth and it looks more natural, like the tone of your cheeks when you were a little kid," she told Byrdie, admitting she often used red blush while doing makeup for Victoria's Secret fashion shows.

As for how to apply red blush without looking like a clown with big red blobs on your cheeks? "I apply directly to the apples of the cheeks and bridge of the nose and buff out with fingers or the large base of a Beautyblender," makeup artist Kasey Spickard shared.

While red eyeshadow can be super bold or more natural depending on your mood

Another way to bring that pop of red into your makeup routine is to opt for red eyeshadow. We know, this one sounds pretty scary — but it doesn't have to be! There are plenty of ways to make red eyeshadow more wearable and not so dramatic as well as lots of ways to make it super intense. The finished result really is up to you. "Red eyeshadow can work on anyone," Maybelline makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar told Makeup.com. "It's just a matter of finding the right shade and application for you."

There are a few tips to consider before you throw on the red shadow, though. You may want to choose a few different shades to make the eye look a little more defined rather than applying just a flat color to the lid. "Layering on a couple different shades of red with different finishes gives eyes more depth and definition than wearing one single red shade alone," makeup artist Jessika Bekteshi shared. She added that red can actually make a great transition color when applied just above the crease, where many makeup artists tend to apply more orangey brown shades to help eyeshadow appear more blended. Just make sure that you've applied your foundation and concealer if you have any red patches on your skin you don't want highlighted, as red eyeshadow can draw more attention to any red parts of your skin.

But red nail polish has been a go-to for years for a reason

Want another super popular way to bring some red to your makeup look? Nail polish, of course! Red nail polish has been a staple in the beauty world for years now, largely thanks to the way it looks great on every skin tone. "The ultimate classic manicure color, red adds vibrancy to your manicure and looks great with any ensemble all year round," manicurist Ami Streets explained to Marie Claire UK. "It's an easy way to add a pop of color and it exudes confidence while also being subtly sexy, as this color has long been associated with seduction and love," Streets added.

Beauty and health journalist and qualified nail tech Tori Crowther also explained that one of the reasons red is so beloved in the nail world is because it looks good on all different shapes and sizes of nails, too. Not to mention, there are countless different shades, from light to dark, as well as mattes, shimmers, glitters and, well, literally everything in between. While a bright red polish all over is the classic way to do this look for a pop of red, it's certainly not the only way. There really are oh so many variations of the red manicure out there for inspiration.

Red mascara may also be the way to go

We know, red mascara sounds pretty out there, but it can be a super fun way to add a little extra oomph to your makeup. As makeup artist and StyleSeat Pro Manuel Espinoza explained to Byrdie, "Red mascaras can be a great option for those with lighter complexions or who have reddish or pink undertones to their skin." It can also be a go-to for people with hazel eyes, as the red will really help to bring the stunning colors that go together to create hazel eyes.

But, naturally, there are a few things to consider first. Just like when picking out a brown or black mascara, you'll need to think about the look you're going for. Want super long, luscious lashes? Then a lengthening red mascara will be for you. Looking to have your lashes to have lots of volume? Then choose a volumizing mascara. You'll also want to think a little bit about the shade you're applying. It's going to be hard to make any red mascara look totally natural, but there are ways to make it extra bold or a little more understated depending on your preference. When you're feeling super confident and ready to make a statement, a fire engine red will really grab attention. On those days you want to do something different but don't want to go too far, you may want to reach for a slightly darker red mascara instead.

False lashes in red can make for a vampy makeup addition

It seems like you can get false lashes in pretty much every color imaginable these days — and red is no different. Though, just like red mascara, this isn't one the more natural options for a pop of red, applying red falsies certainly will bring a good dose of color to your makeup. "They help express creativity and individuality and are the secret to making eyes pop in a way that natural black lashes can't," Bianka Manderson, makeup artist and founder of Be Wispy, told Vogue of how colorful falsies can really heat up your makeup look.

If you don't want to have totally red lashes though, you don't have to! A super popular way to wear colorful falsies is to only apply the colored lashes to the outer corners. That way you can have a more natural look on the majority of the eye, but really pack a punch with red accents. Which falsies you go for are also totally up to you. Red or partly red trip lashes may do all the work for you, but applying individual lashes will allow you to add color and volume exactly where you want.

And red eyeliner can be so versatile

A fun pop of red can also be easily achieved using eyeliner, because there are a few different options here to get achieve the look you want. One is to grab a liquid red eyeliner and create a cat-eye effect. That means taking the red liner all the way across the top of the upper lashline and then flicking it out beyond the outer corner of the eye. This will create a super bold and oh so fun look that's sure to get attention. You could even get your hands on a metallic liner to make things even bolder.

Another way to do this look is to opt for a pencil liner. A pencil liner is a little more forgiving when it comes to mistakes, so those trying out a daring red eye look for the first time may want to start out there. Pencil eyeliners are also a little more versatile than a liquid as well, but usually aren't quite as precise, so may not give you the same vibrant or sharp line. To try and get a more defined pencil line though, make sure your pencil is sharp and try running it on the lower and upper lash line (though keep in mind too much red under the eye may end up making your peepers look sore if you're not careful). You could also try smudging out a red liner on the upper, lower or both lashlines for a softer finish.

Red gems will really make a statement

Ready to really make the world sit up and look? Then red gems may be the way to go. As seen in the makeup look above, adding a few red rhinestones to your face will really bring a pop of color to your look and draw attention to all that hard work on your makeup. Just like many of the other ways to bring that dose of color, this one can also be totally customized depending on how much red you really want on your face. You could add one single gemstone to the corner of your eye, or you could go all out with multiple of the shiny accessories stuck around the eyes or even the forehead for a fun, glam, and out there vibe.

It's important if you're planning to try this look yourself though to only use gems designed for the face that are cosmetic grade. Other gems for more general use may only end up irritating the skin. Equally, if you're struggling to get the gems to stick, only apply glue designed for use on the skin, such as eyelash glue. Stronger adhesive can cause serious reactions on the skin.

Or bring out the red glitter for a whole lot of fun

Who said you can't wear glitter whenever you want? If you're here for some fun (good for you!) then why not throw on the red glitter wherever you want it? A splash of the sparkly stuff can literally be placed anywhere on the face for added glamour, with places like the cheekbone being the natural place to add a little shimmer. Or, if you want to go even further, why not apply some in your hair or to the décolletage?

You could even use red glitter as a topper. A dusting of red glitter could make a great addition to any of the other suggestions on our list to take your pop of red that one step further. Red glitter over the top of a red lipstick will look positively divine (and super sparkly!) while adding a little red shimmer over the top of your red blush will naturally catch the light to give you a glow. Or a red glitter can go over another shade of lipstick or eyeshadow for a more vibrant look. Adding the sparkly stuff over the top of your eyeshadow will provide some showstopping sparkle every time you close your eyes.