The next time you want to add a bright pop of color to your makeup, don’t reach for your lipstick. Instead, try swiping bold hues across your eyelids — and when we say bold, we mean bold. Neon eye makeup is the latest trend to sweep the red carpet, and the high-voltage look is one you’re going to want to copy for the rest of summer, especially when you see the unbelievably wearable ways some of your favorite stars are rocking it.
No ’80s throwbacks here, guys. Instead, stars like Emma Stone and Ginnifer Goodwin, who just colored her hair icy gray, have found ways to transform Day-Glo-worthy hues like electric blue and neon pink into chic accents that amp up a neutral lip like that. Even Cara Delevingne‘s more dramatic take on the trend — a hot red smokey eye — isn’t overwhelming thanks to her ultra-refined styling. Either way, the impact is obvious: these subtle neon looks have that playful vibe summer makeup is all about, and while it may not look like it, it’s pretty effortless to pull off too.
Whether the peekaboo liner stole your heart or you’re dying to try that thick smudge, scroll through to see how easy it is to DIY neon eyes. Spoiler alert: it only takes two products per look!
EMMA STONE’S BLUE LINER
We lined our eyes a little more dramatically than Emma’s look, but the technique is exactly the same and the color is so on point. To get the bright blue liner look, grab a sky blue eyeliner pencil like MAC’s Chromagraphic Pencil in High-Def Cyan ($16) and apply it halfway down your lash line just like you would a black liner, making sure to create a subtle flick on the outer and top corner of your eyes. To deepen the hue and set the liner, use an angled eyeliner brush to apply Gonzo from Urban Decay’s Electric Palette ($49) over the liner and finish with mascara. It’s a next-level office look you have to try (that white collared shirt could use a colorful pick-me-up!).
GINNIFER GOODWIN’S PINK CAT EYE
Again, this look is all about using those same everyday techniques but getting more adventurous with your colors. So, swap out your stand-by black for a bright orange pencil like MAC’s Chromagraphic pencil in Genuine Orange ($16) and nail that fierce cat eye. To make the color really pop, use an angled eyeliner brush and apply a hot pink shadow like Savage from Urban Decay’s Electric Palette ($49) directly on top. Give your upper + lower lashes a coat of mascara to finish off this look that’s your LBDs new PIC.
CARA DELEVINGNE’s RED EYES
Cara’s eyes were straight-up smoldering. Here, we’re taking that five alarm down to something that’s still unexpected but even more wearable using colorful mascara. If you DIY the product like we did, you can make any color you’d like. All you need is an eyelash primer, like MAC’s Primp + Prime Lash ($16), to add volume to your flutter and loose color powder that’s safe to apply to your eye area, like MAC’s Loose Pigment in Red Electric ($21). Sprinkle some pigment into a dish or a piece of aluminum foil, roll the primer wand around to coat, apply like you would your regular mascara and BOOM — an unexpected pop of color you can wear to every end-of-summer concert (+ beyond!).
What’s the most fun way you’ve ever worn neon eye makeup? Tell us in the comments below!
(Photos via Frederick M. Brown, Lisa Maree Williams, Jason Merritt)