6 Sultry Makeup Looks to Steal for Valentine’s Day

WINTER 2018
By Karie Frost for Modern Muse

A typical red lip? So boring. Whether you're celebrating togetherness with a significant other or your best girlfriends, these six makeup looks will have you feeling yourself.

1. A Seriously Smoky Eye

Right: Maybelline New York Master Kajal Eyeliner in Onyx Rush

What could better frame a come-hither stare than a smudged smoky eye? At the Alice + Olivia Spring 2018 presentation, Maybelline makeup lead Erin Parsons sought to create a "soft meets tough" eye design in three simple steps that you can duplicate for a night out. First, rim your top and bottom lash lines with a creamy black kajal eyeliner, making sure to coat the waterline in black as well. Parsons advises squeezing your eyes shut to "loosen up" the liner. "This will allow you to smudge it more easily," she explains. Then, use your fingertips to diffuse the inky color for a sexy "up-all-night" look.

2. Just-Kissed Lips

Right: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Amore and Color Balm in Elyssa

Whether or not your night ends in a frenzy of kisses, faking a flushed, make-out-worthy pout certainly will dial up the physical attraction. Stila Global Executive Director of Creative Artistry Sarah Lucero gave mouths at the Kur Spring/Summer 2018 show a just-bitten stain that highlighted the supple curves of lips — a definite do for any date night. Lucero's advice: Exfoliate lips to remove any errant flakes that will cause patchy coloration. Then, apply a sheer coat of matte lipstick, allow it to dry, and use your finger to press a complementary-hued balm to the center of the lips for a watercolor effect.

3. Heart-Hued Lids

Right: NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette

The stretch of russet that NARS makeup lead Romy Soleimani swiped onto models' eyelids at the Rachel Comey Spring/Summer 2018 lent an arresting bolt of color to an otherwise clean face. You might be thinking: "Red on lips? I'm down for that. But red on lids? Won't that make my date think I'm ... sick?" In a word: No. With the right tone, you can set hearts aflutter — all you need is a basic understanding of which shades best complement your skin tone. Select pink reds if you have fair skin, warm reds if your skin is medium, and wine-hued reds if you have a darker complexion. Or, take the guesswork out of selecting a red eye shadow altogether with a palette that combines them all!

4. Bat-Worthy Lashes

Right: Maybelline New York Volum' Express The Colossal Big Shot Mascara

A bat here, a bat there — when we flirt, we tend to use our lashes to our benefit. So why not define and extend our natural lashes for maximum batting impact? At the Cushnie et Ochs Spring/Summer 2018 show, Maybelline makeup artist Gato focused his attention on creating a lash look that recalls "the kind of makeup that remains after a party." That translated to clustered (not clumped!) top and bottom lashes that echo Bambi's fringe. To achieve the same effect, Gato suggests wiggling your mascara wand into the base of your lashes to add definition. Then, using a set of tweezers or your fingers, carefully pinch mascara-laden lashes together to create as many clusters as you deem bat-worthy.

5. Ombré Pout

Right: MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Feels So Grand and Carnivorous

While a ripened red lip is an expected beautifier for Valentine's Day, pumping some extra dimension into the design feels fresh and will draw all eyes to your mouth. Take your application cues from the ombré red pout spotted backstage at the Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2018. MAC makeup lead Inge Grognard treated lips like a painting, painstakingly placing two different colors in all the right places: fire-engine red in the center to "balance and perfect the natural shape" and deep burgundy in the outer corners for "dimension and depth."

6. Kittenish Cat-Eye

Right: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black

Sixties beauty icons popularized the winged-out cat-eye, and for good reason: The slight flick does wonders for luring in lovers. Rather than create a thick, full cat-eye, follow Lucero's lead from the Banana Republic Spring/Summer 2018 show. Use a gel liner and brush to sketch an ultra-thin line that starts at the outer corner of the eye (just outside your iris) and extends slightly past where your lash curl ends. Then, to deepen the color and extend longevity, trace over the shape with a long-wear liquid liner.