How to: Makeup for a Bright Red Dress & Fair Skin

By Sarah Vrba

American fashion designer, Bill Blass, once said, "When in doubt, wear red." A red dress commands attention like no other color in the fashion rainbow. Fair-skinned beauties make a striking impression with the contrast between a saturated red frock and pale skin. The right makeup balances out your body and your face so that the entire package stays in focus, not just the color of your dress.

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Old Hollywood Red

Bright red calls to mind classic Hollywood style and bold fashion choices. Pair your red dress with a matching red lip and neutral makeup to highlight your fair skin. Apply a matte foundation and a refreshing apricot blush to the apples of your cheeks to warm up your face. Apply a neutral, matte eyeshadow on your eyelids. Add a thin line of black liquid eyeliner on your upper lash line and flick it out on the outer corners of the eyes just slightly. Apply two coats of mascara to your top and bottom lashes.

Apply a long-lasting red lipstick formula on your lips for less touchups when you are out. Correct any lipstick mistakes around your lip line with some concealer for a flawless finish.

Simple Sophisticate

Not every red dress calls for a rich lip. After applying a mid-coverage foundation, dab some peachy-pink cream blush on the apples of your cheeks for a warm glow. Sweep some very light brown eyeshadow on your eyelids up to the crease.

Carefully apply black liquid eyeliner along your upper lash line using small dash strokes to get an even, subtle line. Flick out the eyeliner at the outer corner of the eye and apply two coats of dark brown or soft black mascara to your upper lashes. Finish the look with a soft pink lipstick. This hue will keep you from appearing washed out while maintaining a natural, subtle flush perfect for a fair beauty.

Eye on the Prize

Elegant evening dresses or cocktail dresses require a playful eye and a warm pallete to keep your fair skin looking vibrant. Apply a full coverage foundation and coral-toned blush with a fluffy kabuki brush, then add some shimmery champagne eyeshadow across your eyelids. Blend the shadow into the inner corner of your eyes and just above the crease.

Dab a blending brush into a warm brown color and blend into the crease at the outer corner of each eye. Apply a mahogany cream pencil eyeliner to your top lash line and make the line slightly thicker for a more dramatic effect. Add two coats of volumizing mascara. Finish off the look with a pink-toned lipstick in a matte formula.

Smoke and Mirrors

Smoky eyes pull attention toward the upper half of the face and contrast beautifully with fair complexions. Apply a full-coverage matte foundation and follow up with a soft peach blush on the apples of the cheeks. Apply a rich, smoky purple, dark shimmery brown or rich gray eyeshadow to your eyelids and blend to just above the crease. Sweep a thin line of the same smoky eye color along your lower lash line using an angle brush.

Avoid black eyeshadows, which contrast too harshly with fair skin. Apply a thin line of black liquid eyeliner to your upper lash line and add two coats of black mascara to your upper and lower lashes. Apply a nude lipstick with a pink undertone for a balanced, yet smoldering look.