How to Wear Red Mascara, According to Makeup Artists
Plus 5 red mascaras that’ll help you achieve this bold look.
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Brown or black mascara are classic choices, but sometimes it’s fun to branch beyond your comfort zone and try a burst of unexpected color. Lately, red mascara—along with red eye makeup in general—has popped up more and more in both editorial settings and more street style situations.
“Red mascara is a bold, vibrant choice that can create a striking and dramatic look for special occasions—or when you want to make a statement,” says Elizabeth Seropian, a celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles. Keep reading to learn more about when and how to wear red mascara, and to discover some of the best red mascaras on the market.
Tips On Wearing Red Mascara
If you want to play with red mascara, first decide if you’re aiming for something natural and subtle, or if you want to go bold and grab some attention.
“If natural red is your objective, then pick a red mascara that is a rusty dark red which is mostly about defining the eye opening area, and not to be a ‘stop sign red’ where all the attention goes to the color,” advises Matthew Waitesmith, founder of Artis and former senior vice president of artist training at MAC Cosmetics.
He adds that those going for more of a statement-making adornment should opt for a bold, highly saturated red mascara that’ll really pop.
This creative, editorial approach is a great way to push the boundaries of traditional beauty. “Honestly, it can even be used in your everyday routine because makeup is supposed to be creative and fun,” Seropian says. “If you want a pop of red, then you add that pop of red!”
As for pairing it with other makeup, you can simply let the red mascara speak for itself with a bare face, go matchy-matchy with a crimson lip, or combine it with other complementary hues—like pink, blue, or yellow—for a colorful approach. You can also try it against a white liquid eyeliner to help the color stand out even more.
Best Red Mascaras to Try
If you’re keen on dabbing in this experimental red mascara trend, check out these recommendations.
Chanel Noir Allure in Rouge Grenat
Feeling spendy? For a luxury brand, Seropian’s top choice is Chanel Noir Allure in Rouge Grenat ($42; Ulta). “Its volumizing formula enhances lash thickness and length, while the creamy texture ensures a precise application,” she says.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes in Berry Brown
This berry-leaning brown mascara ($29; Sephora) is perfect for anyone who wants to lightly dabble in the red mascara waters. It’s also a perfect natural choice for those with naturally red-leaning lashes who want a subtle effect.
L’Oreal Voluminous Burgundy Mascara
“For a drug store brand, I recommend the L’Oréal Voluminous Burgundy mascara ($11; Ulta),” Seropian says. “It is long-lasting, smudge-proof, and it adds depth and fullness to your eyes for a standout look.” It also comes in other fun colors, including blue, purple, and green.
Maybelline New York Snapscara Washable Mascara, Black Cherry
If you can’t bear to part with your inky black mascara but are still interested in a hint of red, try Maybelline New York Snapscara Washable Mascara, Black Cherry ($6; Amazon). It’s an unusual, gorgeous color that adds just enough drama without feeling too showy.
Colourpop Left On Red Mascara
Colourpop’s true red mascara ($9; Colourpop) is bound to turn heads. It’s a rich, ruby-hued mascara that not only adds impact by way of color, but lifts, volumizes, and strengthens lashes. It also comes in a cobalt blue and lilac purple.