Call it the millennial pink effect. Along with your favorite beauty brands’ packaging and wardrobe, the color has migrated onto the eyelids of some of your favorite celebs on the red carpet. From the on-trend sheer wash of shadow Emma Stone wore to the 2nd Annual StyleMakers Awards to Selena Gomez’s fuchsia eye makeup at this year’s Met Gala, a wide range of pink shadows are adding a pop of color to stars’ beauty routines lid by lid.
When the shadow is applied correctly, it can be flattering look on a number of skin tones. The silver lining? It’s pretty easy for pink eyeshadow to emphasize bloodshot eyes and just how tired you’re feeling after a late night. If you’re prone to red eye, eye drops and properly applying under eye concealer before you pick up a pink shadow can help.
Celebrity makeup artist Emily Cheng, who counts Yara Shahidi amongst her clients says that tapping a cream formula onto your lid using your fingers is an easy way to add an effortless flush of color to your makeup look. NYC-based hair and makeup artist Abraham Sprinkle says that practicing a light hand when applying pink eyeshadow can also help keep the look flattering. He suggests sweeping on the product lightly and then going back and building upon the base coat you’ve set once you’ve finished the rest of your makeup.
Cheng also recommends reaching for your under eye concealer as the last step in your makeup routine to completely eliminate fallout. “I do under eye concealer last so every trace of pink shadow fallout is removed,” she says.
As for choosing the actual pink shade you’ll use, Cheng says that sticking to a shadow that matches the depth of your skin tone for a wash of color with a natural finish. For a more dramatic look, she suggests starting with an eye primer and applying the shade in layers, or even doing a winged liner with the color. “The more contrast you have between shade and skin tone and the more opaque you go, the more intense the look will be,” she says.
While all shades of pink can work on a number of skin tones depending on how it’s applied, we’re streamlining the selection process by matching a few pink eyeshadow shades that will work best with every skin tone.
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1. Very Fair Complexions: Nars Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Cassiopeia
A sheer wash of a pale pink shadow with a frost finish like Nars Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Cassiopeia, will add a pop of color without appearing too harsh against a very fair complexion.
Nars | $29
2. Fair Complexions: L'Oréal Paris Color Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Mademoiselle Pink
Soft taupe-y or seashell pink shades like this L’Oreal pot will pair well with fair skin tones.
L'Oreal Paris | $5
3. Medium Complexions: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Fireball
Neutral pinks or a shade with a peachy undertone is a medium skin tone's best bet.
Urban Decay | $19
4. Olive Complexions: MAC Eyeshadow in Cherry Topped
Love Selena Gomez's bold eyeshadow on the 2017 Met Gala red carpet? We're obsessed too. Although the singer's pro Hung Vanngo actually used a Marc Jacobs Beauty eyeliner to create the look, olive complexions can achieve a similar vibe by sweeping on a bright pink shadow with a violet undertone like MAC's pot in Cherry Topped.
MAC | $16
5. Deep Complexions: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Eyeshadow and Blush in M856
Sprinkle says that salmon pink shadows like Make Up For Ever's long-wear formula lives well on deep complexions.
Make Up For Ever | $21
6. Very Deep complexions: NYX Primal Colors Pressed Pigments Face Powder in Hot Pink
Applying a pink shadow (especially when it's vibrant) with too much precision can look harsh or forced says Sprinkle. "It should lay soft like lingerie on the eye," he adds. For very deep complexions, a hot pink shadow can be flattering when applied following this technique.
NYX | $5