You’ve probably heard the expression “go big or go home,” and you’ve probably referenced it once or twice to justify some indulgences throughout the years—like that unforgettable girl’s weekend in Vegas and anytime you decide to order dessert at a restaurant (Um, only two spoons? Not so much). But, when it comes to dressing up for a night on the town—specifically when applying your makeup, “big” and “bold” are probably not the words you’d use to describe your own personal style.
Making bold statements with your makeup can be a little scary, especially if you’ve always lived in the land of neutral browns, precious pinks and non-threatening greens. Trying a new look every now and then may be hard at first but, when you learn how to do it right, it comes with a self-esteem boost and a sense of personal empowerment—not to mention a whole slew of compliments. Check out our tips on how you can make a bold and beautiful statement with your makeup this season—even if you’ve never done it before.
1. The Smoky Eye
Chances are you’ve at least attempted a smoky eye, even if it was as a quick fix after smudging your shadow/eyeliner while trying to multi-task at a very short red light. Not really an everyday makeup look, the smoky eye is better suited for a night on the town or when you need to give your more classic or subdued outfit a little more of an edge. If you’re new to this sensuous look, then use an eyeshadow palette with shades that are in your comfort zone like lighter taupes or lavenders. These paler hues are a great way to ease into the look and are more forgiving than an inky black or navy.
The true success of any smoky eye is the blend. When it comes to getting a great blend with any bold eye shadow, brushes are optional and can even be a hindrance if not well cleaned. Use your finger to smudge any harsh lines, and then stand back and relish the beauty of how it all came together in a matter of minutes.
2. The Red Lip
Unlike the smoky eye, if done right, the classic red lip can be incorporated into your everyday (or at least most days) makeup routine. The key to wearing a bold red lip, however, is making sure it compliments—and doesn’t clash with—the rest of your makeup. Try pairing your bold red lip with an eye shadow and blush closer to your natural skin tone.
Speaking of skin tone, it may take some experimenting to find the right shade of red to match yours. Don’t be afraid to test them out and, if you’re really hesitant about diving into the world of red, try easing into it with a color a few shades less intense. A semi-sheer, brightly colored gloss is also a great way to baby step your way into the world of the bold red lip. Then when you feel more comfortable, opt for a matte red lipstick. When you finally find a shade you love, hold onto it. Because nothing makes a statement quite like a sexy red lip.
3. Bold Brows
Let’s be honest, you’ve put your eyebrows through a lot over the years—tweezing, waxing, threading—and yet they keep coming back for more. Let them know how much you appreciate their ability to roll with your style whims and let them take their well-deserved turn in the spotlight. Just like everyone notices an over-tweezed eyebrow, they also notice a well-defined one.
When it comes to making your eyebrows fuller, opt for a brow powder or powder eyeshadow over a brow pencil. Not only is the powder more forgiving if you go too heavy, but it also blends better into your brow. Also, make sure your brow powder is the same shade as your actual eyebrows, not darker. Remember, you’re only accentuating what you’ve got, not drawing on something that isn’t there.
4. Colored Eyeliner
The trick to wearing colored eyeliner is finding a flattering look that complements your eye color, natural skin tone, and hair color. Not quite sure which shade of makeup blues, pinks, or browns look best on you? Try pulling inspiration from your wardrobe and the items you love wearing the most and which look the best on you. If you’re still not feeling confident about going full-color on your eyeliner, then take it slow. Try swapping out navy for black liner or use a deep purple liner in place of your trusty brown.
When applying colored eyeliner, you have several options of how best to wear it. An easy way to add a subtle yet unexpected pop of color to your look would be to only line your waterline with your bold-colored liner complemented by a neutral shadow—or none at all. You could also blend a colored liner with your regular neutral liner of black or brown, alternating lines between lashes and finally blending it all in with your pinkie finger or cotton swab. You could even use a colored liner as an eyeshadow, creating a palette of color on the back of your hand, and then using a fluffy brush to buff the color onto your lid.
However you choose to wear them, when getting used to the look of bolder colors, it’s best to start small. For a subtle look, start by drawing the liner on your lash-line, and then blending with your finger or a soft brush to soften the color. If you want a bolder more eye-catching look, opt for a liquid liner instead or keep a precise line with a pencil liner instead of a crayon.
Lean into your bold beauty within this season and try letting your makeup do the talking this spring. We promise you won’t be disappointed—and may even inspire others to take that bold first step as well.