The Celebrity Guide to Wearing Orange Eyeshadow: Cara Delevingne and Solange Knowles

Orange Eyeshadow as Sported by Cara Delevingne

Image: Getty

It seems like with the new smoky eye, orange really is the new black. Celebrities like model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne and singer Solange Knowles are the latest ladies to sport a daring burnt sienna look on the red carpet. We have to admit, the look is equal parts fierce and fearless. But does it translate off the red carpet? For the answer, we turned to MAC senior artist John Stapleton, who gets celebs like Kelly Osbourne and Margaret Cho red carpet ready.

“Orange is such an easy color to wear and looks good on all skin types,” he explains, noting that all skin tones from ivory to ebony have hues of orange, yellow and red, meaning it’s a universally flattering color. And it’s been a hot trend on the runways too in both New York and Milan, popping up in delightfully graphic, artistic ways at Jeremy Scott and Au Jour Le Jour. Stapleton says the look is surprisingly easy to translate from the runway to street. “Pushing a little metallic into the orange makes it a bit softer,” he says and you can always mix it with a peachy color to create a multifaceted coral color.

Solange Knowles wears orange eyeshadow

Image: Getty

Stapleton also shared with us how to trade your tired old smoky eye for an orange one. Read on to find out more.

  1. Start with a rusty-colored base in a terra–cotta color. Stapleton recommends MAC’s Eye Kohl pencil in Costa Riche. Starting with the inside of the eye, bring a line to the outer eye.
  2. Using a brush, soften and smoke the product out, creating a softer, more feminine look.
  3. Next, it’s time to up the orange. Using a firm eyeshadow brush, apply an orange shadow like MAC’s Rule Eye Shadow, a vivid matte orange, over the upper and lower lids. If you’re going for a runway look, you can stop here.
  4. To add depth, add a metallic, coppery orange through the crease and add two coats of black mascara to make your eyes really pop. 
  5. Use a black or brown eye pencil and smudge to give it the “I partied all night and this is what I look like now” look. 

This look works best with the eyes as the focal point, meaning you should put your contour game to rest (at least with this look) and keep lips nude. “You need to let something be the star because it is such an unexpected color, let that be the showcase,” Stapleton says. A simple BB cream and a mineral powder shimmer make the look feel really polished. Pair it with a jewel-colored top or dress and you have a look worthy of an edgy A-lister.