STYLE & BEAUTY
05/31/2019 05:45 EDT | Updated 06/21/2019 15:41 EDT

How To Pull Off The Bright And Colorful Makeup Trend

We asked makeup artists to share their top tips for wearing the neon makeup we've been seeing on runways and celebrities such as Margot Robbie and Lily Collins.

Bright, bold and colorful makeup ― be it lipstick, eyeliner or even blush ― is the beauty trend of the season. 

Beauty looks featuring all colors of the rainbow appeared on a number of spring 2019 runways, including Rodarte and Byblos, where the beauty looks were all about fluorescent eye shadow in shades of yellow, pink, blue and green. 

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Left: Model Winnie Harlow walks the runway at the Byblos spring 2019 show. Right: A model walks the runway at the Rodarte spring 2019 show.

Turquoise and blue eyeliner also showed up at both the Alice + Olivia and Cividini shows. Then there was the Nicopanda show, in which the bright pop of color came in the form of neon lipstick, and the Anna Sui show, which saw models wearing pink and orange pigment around their eyelids, brows and cheekbones.

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Left: A model at the Alice + Olivia spring 2019 presentation. Right: A model on the runway at the Cividini spring 2019 show.

Now, we know bright makeup, particularly of the blue variety, has a tendency to be a little intimidating. In certain applications, it can make one look like they just stepped out of a DeLorean, while in others it might bring to mind all those times you spent experimenting with any and all makeup you could get your hands on as a tween or teen. 

As many of the beauty looks we’ve been seeing recently have shown us, it’s definitely possible to wear bright colors while still looking cool and modern. But we’re not all makeup artists, so it’s understandable that diving into a rainbow palette can seem a little daunting. 

We asked makeup artists to share their best tips and tricks for wearing this beauty trend. Read on to see what they had to say, and keep scrolling for even more inspiration.

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Left: A model walks the runway at the Nicopanda spring 2019 show. Right: A model walks the runway at the Anna Sui spring 2019 show.

For starters, colors won’t look the same on different skin tones. The more pigmented a product is, the better it will show up on multiple skin tones, explained Shawnelle Prestidge, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Prestidge Beauté

“Fair and olive skins can often pull off a wider range of shades,” Prestidge said, adding, “Dark skin, depending on shade and depth of skin tone, will usually get more impact with brighter pops of color, such as bold reds, yellows, oranges, turquoise, blues.”

The more contrast there is, she said, the more of a pop you’ll get. 

Generally speaking, the unofficial rules are that cool colors are used for pale skin tones while warmer colors should be used for deeper complexions, according to Blair Petty, a Toronto, Canada-based makeup artist. But, he said, “Why give yourself a bunch of rules?”

“If you have dark skin and you want to wear ice blue mascara, I say have at ’er,” Petty wrote via email. “A really bold color is never going to look natural on anybody, so when you get into this realm it’s more about creativity than it is about looking ‘pretty.’”

“With bright color, I think you just need to be into the idea and not apologetic about it,” he added. “Ultimately, I think someone can push it as far as their comfort allows.”

If you’re not sure where or how to apply color, Lauryn Hopwood, a hair and makeup artist with Judy Inc., said it’s best to “keep the focus on one thing at a time.”

“Less is more,” she added in an email. 

The key, Hopwood said, is wearing your makeup with confidence. If you’re doing that, “you’re already pulling it off,” she noted. But she still had a few tips for trying the trend:

“Make the color wearable by choosing one part of the makeup as the focus and [working around it], for example, a green eyeliner, a nude lip and a dewy finish foundation,” she said, adding that it’s important to layer your products correctly. 

“Whatever you paint, you powder, so make sure you find a cream color base and an eyeshadow or good translucent powder to lock in the color so it doesn’t slide or move during the day,” she added. “My favourite products for these types of looks are the 24/7 Glide-On eye pencils by Urban Decay, Laura Mercier translucent powder and the Flash palette by Makeup Forever.”

You could also dip your toes in by pairing a bright lipstick with an otherwise neutral or bare, Petty suggested.

“Pick whatever color lipstick you’re drawn to and take the time to get it opaque and even,” he said, noting that M.A.C.’s Powder Kiss lipstick range is among his favorites for this type of look. “Everything else on your face can be more or less totally bare — the look of nothing with a bold lip is very chic but not overly considered.” 

For anyone worried about verging into retro territory, the same technique applies, Prestidge said. 

“If you want to avoid [looking too dated], just keep it simple,” she said, suggesting you try “one to two bright shades balanced well with other more neutral elements.”

However, Prestidge, like Petty, agreed that the rules aren’t “hard and fast” and instead the colors you choose just depend on the overall look you’re going for.

In that case, we say go forth and have some fun with your makeup. If you need a little more inspiration, check out the photos below:

Photo gallery Makeup Palettes Recommended By Makeup Artists See Gallery