10 Makeup Looks That Go Perfectly With a Red Dress

Updated 10/21/19

Red is a power color that refuses to be mistaken for anything short of bold, vibrant, and noticeable. While we could certainly dream up makeup looks to wear to every single occasion we have on the calendar (let's face it, most of us have looks planned for months to come), what happens when we want to pair beautiful makeup that makes a statement alongside such a memorable color? Everyone has some variation of a red dress hanging in their closet (and waiting to be worn out), so we've rounded up the best makeup looks to wear with a red dress that will instantly make you want to unzip that garment bag or treat yourself to a new dress altogether.

A Touch of Sparkle

Taylor Swift
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A tiny glint of shimmer is all you need to keep things glam up top without overpowering your dress. A glittery eye combined with flushed rosy cheeks and a glossy lip is key when wanting to keep makeup natural, but dimensional. While you can see the color on Taylor Swift's lids is more of a champagne tone, feel free to play with any soft-hued sparkle when wanting to play up your eyes.

Hourglass Cosmetics
Hourglass Cosmetics Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in "Reflect" $30
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The Perfect Balance

Kerry Washington
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This smoky eye and shiny lip play together nicely, working in tandem to compliment your favorite crimson cocktail dress. Kerry Washington's makeup is always to die for, but this particularly soft smoke show is a great alternative to the traditional, moodier smoky eye⁠—letting your dress do the talking.

CHanel
CHANEL Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in "Tissé Smoky" $62
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Metallic and Dewy

Zendaya
 Getty Images

There are some things that just work perfectly together, and this metallic eye with dewy skin is a great way to balance this makeup look for a red dress. The metallic shadow adds shine while her hydrated skin carries that healthy, effortless feel from brow bone to lip gloss. Use a waterproof eyeliner and smudge it all around the eyes, bringing in the metallic eyeshadow on top. Apply a liquid highlighter under the brow and on the apples of the cheeks (on top of blush) to create a healthy glow, and be sure to use a great moisturizer daily under makeup as a primer. All that dew enhances the sequins and crystals in a sparkly dress.

L'Oreal Paris
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner $9
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Becca Cosmetics
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter $41
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Fierce and Fresh

Gabrielle Union
 Getty Images

Gabrielle Union's fierce black eyeliner paired with a nude lip is a perfect look to wear with a red dress. A hollywood classic makeup look with a twist, the eyes are lined on the top and bottom, meeting at the outer edges in a sharp wing. Add lots of mascara as your finishing touch.

Kat Von D
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner $20
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GrandeDRAMA Intense Thickening Mascara
Grande Cosmetics GrandeDRAMA Intense Thickening Mascara $25
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Bronze and Peachy

Jennifer Lopez
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As if JLo needed to give us any more reason to drool over her makeup, this look pairs incredibly well with a red dress due to the warm peach and bronze undertones carried throughout the eyes, cheeks, and lips. This is another perfect example of a look you can wear with any kind of red, including dresses that have a more orange-red undertone (which will be enhanced by the peach tones in your makeup). Swap out your traditional blush for bronzer instead, and apply a slightly deeper bronze eyeshadow right around the eyes to really make them pop.

Physician's Formula
Physician's Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer $8
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Charlotte Tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in "Bella Sofia" $53
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Clean Skin and Bitten Lips

Jamie Chung
 Getty Images

Jamie Chung's perfectly balanced makeup look shows how different variations of red lip colors can pair with a red dress depending on your skin tone. This berry-red paired with a softer berry blush and thick, voluminous eyelashes is a look even the minimalist of makeup wearers would be willing to give a try. To really make things easy, use a cream lip and cheek combo in one.

Tata Harper
Tata Harper Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint in "Very Naughty" $39
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So Silver

Lady Gaga
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Known for wearing some of the most shocking, jaw-dropping makeup looks of all time, Lady Gaga shows us just how well silver and red go together. The shimmer and shine of the silver along with the matte lip gives us everything we want for an edgier makeup look, but still has a chic flow throughout. When recreating this look yourself, you can blend the shadow all the way to the brow as pictured here, or you can use a silver eyeliner around the eyes for something a tad more delicate. Pair with an embellished red gown (instead of Gaga's silver), and invert the look with a silver lip if you dare.

Stila
Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in "Diamond Dust" $24
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Monochromatic Moment

Rosie Huntington
 Getty Images

The monochromatic nude feel of Rose Huntington-Whiteley's makeup is an excellent color palette to choose for a red dress, when wanting to wear a more natural makeup look. The soft brown tones on the eyes with just the right amount of eyeliner gives definition without distraction. Since nude colors are different for everyone, you don't have to mimic the exact tones shown here when wanting to wear this look yourself, simply choose more earthy tones in the colors that suit your skin the best.

Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Extreme Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette $58
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Pretty in Pink

Emma Stone
 Getty Images

Variations of pink look beautiful next to a red dress, even outside the month of February. Since pink is basically a softer, less-saturated red, you strike a nice balance between two similar shades that compliment each other when you pair the lip with a red dress. The key is finding which shade of pink's undertones go best with the type of red undertones in your dress, so that nothing ends up overpowering the other.

Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden Eye Shadow Trio in "Oh So Pink" $22
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Cle de Peau
Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Blush in "2 Pale Fig" $60
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The Feline Flick

Emily Ratajkowski
 Getty Images

As you can see here on Emily Ratajkowski, this tiny flick of eyeliner with soft and natural skin looks incredible with a red dress, and makes us wonder how we can get our skin beaming just like this all day long. To get this eyeliner flick look, use the tip of a liquid liner and simply extend outside of the lash line ever so slightly. Since it's a bit different than a traditional winged eyeliner, you don't need to focus so much on getting the perfect shape. Follow up with some tinted moisturizer, liquid highlighter, and a natural lipgloss or lip color of your choice. This look requires minimal lashes, so swipe on a single coat of mascara.

Neutrogena
Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner $8
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