Rachel McAdams gets red eyeshadow right

By Amy Lawrenson

At first glance I thought the red eyeshadow Rachel McAdams flaunted at the Sherlock Holmes premiere in Madrid was a huge beauty faux pas. But the more I looked, the more I started to like, and now I think I love it.


The look works because Rachel keeps everything else simple: her cheeks and lips softly picked out in subtle, pinky hues; hair elegant but unfussy swept away from the face and a nude-coloured dress crying out for punchy make-up to add a little edge to the outfit. Another key point? The ‘red’ eyeshadow isn’t too ‘post box’; it’s more of a deep-rust shade, which brings out Rachel’s green eyes perfectly. Lesson: choose your colour carefully.

I spoke to Daniel Sandler, ELLE TV’s resident make-up artist, to find out how us mere mortals can wear the look.

‘In general, red eyeshadow is hard to wear because it’s hard to blend and can make you look more Halloween than fashion queen,’ he says. The key, apparently, is to ‘opt for either cream, pressed or loose eyeshadows with a slight shimmer. Matte shades are hard to apply and can stain the skin. For anyone wanting to wear true red, make sure you apply a primer onto lids to avoid staining.’

So how do we know which red tone will suit our skin tone? ‘Fair skins with fair/red hair suit a red with peach undertones such as MAC Cream Colour Base in Fabulush, £13. Warm skins with brown hair suit raspberry reds such as BARRY M Dazzle Dust in Cherry Red, £4.50, and dark skins suit claret reds such as IMAN blusher (can be used on eyes) in Peace, £14.50,’ says Daniel.

Any other advice? ‘Be bold with your application. If not, your eyes will look sore as if you've got a touch of pink eye.’ Well, we wouldn’t want that.

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