“It made red eye makeup more acceptable and more mainstream,” Mr. Philips said.
Red around the eyes can be a scary concept, but many makeup artists say that, tonally, the color is flattering and complementary to most eye shades. “It pops the white of your eye, which then makes the eye color pop even more,” Ms. Tilbury said. “All red tones will flatter and enhance the color of blue eyes, green eyes and will even find the golden light in brown eyes.” Her tip for wearing red tones without getting too bright is to choose a bronze or chocolaty hue with a strong red undertone.
“You’re not going to feel freaky, like you’re wearing blue or green shadow, but you’re still wearing something that is going to give you eye brightening and pump and pop the color of your eyes,” she said.
But should you want to go bold, there’s no easier shade to play with.
“I love red as depth, in place of, say, a brown neutral you would use to define a crease,” Ms. Parsons said. “Use a matte red to define the shape and bone structure, then add red metallic shimmer on the lid where the light will hit and sparkle.” There are many ways to wear red, she added, but this technique can suit someone who is new to using the color beyond cheeks and lips.
Another way to experiment with unadulterated vermilion on the eyes is to coordinate your entire makeup look. Mr. Philips recommended choosing a bold red lipstick, then finding a matching shade for your eyes. “You know, you play and you mix and match and you make it your own,” he said.
He also suggested adding a brilliant blue to make the already bold hue stand out even more. “Blue lashes with an orangy lava kind of red eye really stands out, and it’s really amazing,” he said. “If you want to play with red, you have to contrast it. You can also start working with green. It depends on how far you want to go.”
For Ms. Parsons and Ms. Tilbury, the 1960s and 1970s are a reference point for red eye makeup. Powdery cerise matte colors were common in that era.