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15 Bold Makeup Looks You Can *Actually* Pull Off—Promise

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If the idea of wearing a bold makeup look feels intimidating, let us prove to you otherwise. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve been known to rock no-makeup makeup on the reg, but when you’re looking to switch things up, there’s nothing more exciting than a bold makeup look. Whether it’s for a special occasion, like a wedding, an event, or a birthday—or you just want to spice up a random Tuesday—we’re totally here for it.

But here’s the thing about finding a new look, the rabbit hole of bold makeup inspiration is infinite. So we did the hard work for you. We’ve rounded up eight bold makeup looks that anyone can pull off—seriously! Believing you look amazing in any makeup look is half the battle. So grab your most colorful eyeshadow palettes, your go-to liquid eyeliner, the brightest blush you own, and keep scrolling. Things are about to get bolder.

1. Siren Eyes

Ruslana attends to the red carpet of the Spanish Music Academy Awards 2024
Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Contributor/Getty Images

If you’re as active on your FYP as we are, you’ve definitely seen iterations of the siren eye makeup trend. This eye look is sultry, seductive, and dramatic, sporting flicked liner at both the inner and outer corner of the eyes. This particular look uses a dark blue liner on the outer rim of the eye and dark black liner like the LITHE BEAUTY High Definition Gel Eyeliner on the inner rim of the eye to really carry out the drama. We also love how this look is topped off with a bold, ombré lip—it’s iconic.

2. Cat Eyes

Suzete Correia attends to the red carpet of the Spanish Music Academy Awards 2024
Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Contributor/Getty Images

When all else fails, do a cat eye—it’s classic, dramatic, and looks good on anyone, anywhere. We are obsessed with this one because of how simple, yet beautiful it is. Achieving the sharp wing of this look is best done with a liquid eyeliner. Then, use a creamy liner like this one from PEAR NOVA to smoke out the water line.

3. Brown Smoky Eye

Pia Wurtzbach attends the Max Mara Resort 2025
Photo by Daniele Venturelli/Contributor/Getty Images

We know that brown shades aren’t usually associated with bold looks, but this brown eye look just works. What brings the drama in this eye look is the combo defined lids (thank you, black liner) and brown shimmer from a palette like the TARTE Maneater™️ After Dark Eyeshadow Palette. Plus, the nude pout adds a classic touch of femme-fatale energy.

4. Bold Pout

Nyakim Gatwech attends the 2019 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon
Photo by Leon Bennett/Stringer/Getty Images

It doesn’t get much bolder than a brown lip. We’re in love with this look because not only does it match the hair (genius!), but it’s paired with a gold lid. To nail this look, you need a red pout that stands out, like the REALHER I Am Adaptable Matte Liquid Lipstick. Another feature we love? The blinding highlighter on the bridge of the nose—trust, the OFRA COSMETICS Star Lit Liquid Highlighter is your girl for this.

5. Green Shadow

Selena Gomez attends The Hollywood Reporter's Empowerment
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Stringer/Getty Images

Colorful shadows like this one might seem a little scary at first (good thing you have us), but when you do them right, they turn heads. All you need is a good eyeshadow palette like the CHICA BEAUTY Mini Fiesta Palette and fluffy shadow brush and you’re good to go! The best part about this look is that’s simple—it requires some good blending work and that’s about it.

6. Baby Doll Blush

Sabrina Carpenter performs during the 2024 Governors Ball Music Festival
Photo by Astrida Valigorsky/Contributor/Getty Images

This look requires some serious pink blush action. Our suggestion? Layering. Opt for a liquid/cream blush like the BORN RUBY Oh-So-Natural Blush Drops as your base and the SERAPHINE BOTANICALS Periwinkle + Pop Blush on top. With this combo, you’ll have Sabrina Carpenter’s flushed cheeks in no time.

7. Gold Shadow

Nia attends to the red carpet of the Spanish Music Academy Awards 2024
Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Contributor/Getty Images

This eye look combines the drama of a cat eye with the sparkle of a gold shimmer shadow—we can’t get enough of it. To add it to your next glam session, reach for the TARTE Maneater™️ After Dark Eyeshadow Palette. This palette has all the sultry shimmer and matte shades you need to create a look that will have everyone stunned.

8. Major Lower Lashes

Sophie Turner rocking a shimmery mauve eyeshadow makeup look and bold fluttery lashes on the red carpet
Photo by Mike Coppola/Staff/Getty Images

Actress Sophie Turner knows that sometimes the best bold makeup looks can be all about playing up one feature, like your eyelashes (or just your lower lashes in this case). To get the looks of spidery lower lashes, pack on a few coats of your favorite volumizing mascara over your lower lashes, being sure to drag the brush all the way from the roots of your lashes to the tips. This way you get both volume and length, which is key for this bold lower lash look. Try IT COSMETICS Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara Mini to get you loads of volume without any clumps.

9. Glowing Neon

Whitney Peak rocking afro hair and a neon green eyeliner makeup look on the red carpet
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff/Getty Images

If when you think about the neon makeup trend, you picture an ‘80s jazzercise class, think again. HBO Max’s Gossip Girl actress Whitney Peak combines one of our favorite color trends with the rhinestone makeup technique (Euphoria vibes, anyone?!), but you can also get this neon eyeliner look with zero embellishments. Lay down a neutral shadow base (we love the matte shades from TRESLÚCE BEAUTY Resilient Alma Eyeshadow Quad), then trace a bright hue along your lash line. Pro tip: Lay down a base of white before you go in with your neon color of choice. This way you’ll get the most vivid payoff.

10. Contoured Lip Liner

Megan Thee Stallion rocking an updo hairstyle with bangs, smoky eye, and contoured lip makeup look
Photo by Theo Wargo/Staff/Getty Images

The biggest ‘90s makeup trends are back, and rapper Megan Thee Stallion is fully embracing one of our favorites: visible lip liner. Unlike most matching lip combos, to get this contrasting look, you’ll need a dark lip liner and a lighter lipstick, or even a gloss, like LOVE+CRAFT+BEAUTY Glare Gloss in Dream Pop. Outline your lips using a lip liner a few shades deeper than your lips (you can overline your lips if you want a fuller effect), lightly buff the line in using your fingers or a precision brush, then fill in the center with a lighter color. Bonus points if you pair your throwback makeup looks with a matching ‘90s hairstyle trend.

11. Modern Goth

Shay Mitchell rocking a dark berry grunge makeup look
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Staff/Getty Images

There’s this old-school makeup “rule” that states you should either choose to play up your eyes or your lips but never both. Well, we’ve never loved rules anyway, and it looks like actress Shay Mitchell is right there with us. Her deep, goth-inspired bold makeup look is equal parts moody and pretty and pairs perfectly with her soft, face-framing waves. To get this look, stick to the burgundy shades in the SHAINA B MIAMI Miami Nights Pressed Pigment Palette and pair it with an equally moody dark lipstick.

12. Graphic Eyeliner

Smiling Ashley Park rocking a graphic eyeliner makeup look on the red carpet
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Staff/Getty Images

The graphic eyeliner trend emerged a few years ago, and we’re still not over it. Our current obsession: Emily in Paris actress Ashley Park’s negative space cat eye. Her look pairs a classic winged eyeliner with an edgy floating crease, and best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to recreate. Start with a basic cat-eye shape (use a long-lasting liquid liner, like IL MAKIAGE BLACK CARD - WATERPROOF LIQUID EYELINER, to avoid smudges), then starting at the outer edge of your wing, draw a line up and across your crease, stopping just over your pupil. Remember, a Q-tip and some makeup remover are your best friends when creating a precision eyeliner look.

13. Glitter Accents

Winnie Harlow rocking a smoky eye makeup look with shimmery pastel purple eyeshadow on the inner corners
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Staff/Getty Images

Sorry, but we’ll never stop talking about our love of glitter. It doesn’t matter if it’s glitter nail art, glitter lipstick, or glitter eyeshadow, the more shimmer and shine, the better in our books. Model Winnie Harlow’s pastel purple inner corner pop is no exception. Work a deep brown into your crease and buff a matte black along your lash lines (KARMELA COSMETICS The Defiance Palette has all the neutrals you’ll need) to create a base before tapping a glitter in your inner corners. We prefer a liquid eyeshadow for this type of precision work to avoid messy glitter fallout.

14. Draped Blush

Lucy Boynton rocking a draped blush makeup look paired with bright coral lips
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Staff/Getty Images

There are a few ‘80s beauty trends that can stay in the past—sorry, side ponytails—but then there are ‘80s makeup trends like bushy brows, vivid primary colors, and draped blush (seen here on actress Lucy Boynton) that we can’t get enough of. This highly placed blush is meant to sculpt the face and add dimension, almost like you would want from a contour. The key is to start small. Tap a bit of bright color, like VIOLET VOSS Radiant Blush in Make Me Blush, over your cheekbones, temples, and brow bones. Keep adding a bit more until you reach the opacity you want, then buff out the edges using a small fluffy brush until you can’t see any harsh lines.

15. Red Eyeshadow

Priyanka Chopra rocking a bold red eyeshadow makeup look paired with glossy pink lips
Photo by Amy Sussman/Staff/Getty Images

We’re all for experimenting with color and practically consider purple eyeshadow and green eyeshadow neutrals, but there’s something about red eyeshadow looks that can be a little scary. That is, until we spotted this bold red winged eyeshadow on actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Her smoked out cat eye takes up most of her lid space, leaving a little room for a hint of crimson at her inner corners. It’s the perfect trick to pulling off an intimidating shade like red.

Feeling inspired and want to test out some new makeup looks? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your very own IPSY Glam Bag. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
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Maddie Aberman
Maddie is the senior manager of editorial at IPSY. She’s been covering beauty and wellness for more than nine years. Her work has appeared in Allure, Cosmopolitan, Popsugar, Women's Health, Good Housekeeping, and Seventeen, among other publications.
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Article Last Updated June 25, 2024 12:00 AM