Runway Looks that demonstrate how to pull off Neon Makeup

The dark, somber colors of winter give way to the pretty pastels of spring. But this season we’re favoring more shocking shades. We’re talking about neon makeup. Thanks to the recent Fall 2021 shows, highlighter hues are one of the most electrifying beauty trends of the moment. The consensus seems to be that we need vivacious makeup, no matter the season. Neon makeup started off small on the Spring 2018 runways with sweeps of bright eyeliner and colorful mascara replacing tried-and-true black. The trend evolved further with the surprising yellow eye makeup trend and multicolored eye makeup looks. Now neon shades are almost commonplace.

Neon fashion is still trending, but the idea of applying neon makeup can understandably leave many intimidated. Take a cue from the runways and consider placement and color in equal measure. From fiery orange to glow-in-the-dark red to electric yellow to fluorescent green. There’s a shade (or two) that should feel more in line with your comfort level. Once the right shade is chosen, swipe it on in a confident, well-placed stroke. Or dab an intense shadow on your lower lash lines. With so much intensity, the rest of your face really doesn’t need any product. Of course, those who have built up their neon makeup comfort levels may be craving more color. So they can experiment with a face full of statement rainbow color. Get started by drawing inspiration from these runway looks that demonstrate how to pull off neon makeup.

Go Green

Make a real statement by creating a cat eye with neon green liner or shadow.

Orange Idea

Eyeliner is one of the best ways to ease into the neon makeup trend. An orange liner isn’t that much of a departure from warm-toned neutrals. After drawing on a skinny line, start extending it out toward the outer corner of the brow. For more drama, top with the faintest dusting of coordinating sparkle. A neutral lipstick will keep the vivid eyes in check.

Red Ahead

Another easy hack is to upgrade a classic red lipstick for the most pigmented, vibrant one available. With color this intense, every mistake is extremely noticeable so apply the product with a lip brush for a flawless finish and be mindful of product migrating to your teeth. A dab of iridescent white eyeshadow on the center of each eye makes the striking lippie pop.

Tangerine Tick

Stick with a classic gray smoky eye and neutral lip color, but go out of the neutral comfort zone by drawing a dash of bright orange eyeliner on the outer corner of your eye and another on the inner corner. The small lines awaken the face. What’s more, the shape means you don’t have to worry about drawing a long, perfectly straight line across the upper lash line.

Bright Blue

This striking look covers the colored mascara, neon makeup and blue eyeshadow trends and it’s easy to do. Line the eyes with a pigmented blue feline flick. Then coat the upper lashes with a coordinating mascara. A neutral lip gloss lets the eyes do the talking — and it ticks off another trend.

Bold Strokes

Here’s proof that a fiery eye makeup look doesn’t need red, yellow and orange or to be applied from lash lines to brows. Use a thick eyeshadow brush to dab the color on the inner corners of the eyes. Alternatively, use a thick red eyeliner to color in the shape. Leave off mascara and go easy on defining brows. Nothing should try to compete with the graphic eyeliner.

Energized Eyes

Mellow yellow this is not. A shot of sunny yellow on the lower lash line is the equivalent of having three strong shots of espresso. The look is actually best with a duller eye pencil because it creates a thicker line. Finish the look with just a touch of lip balm.

Lit Lips

There’s more to neon makeup than the basic highlighter colors. Get creative with an electric coral lipstick. The color will make teeth look super white so make sure to show off that gorgeous grin. Balance the look-at-me lippie with a few coats of black mascara and softly defined brows. That’s all.

Fabulous Fuchsia

Cast every mascara rule aside and load up the top and bottom lashes with cheery fuchsia mascara. Just when you think you’ve applied enough, add another coat.

It’s Electric

If you’ve already experimented with blue and black lipstick, it’s time to try radioactive orange. It’s definitely no wallflower shade, but it is flattering, especially when paired with dewy skin. Pro tip: For a fluorescent finish, apply a light-colored foundation as a primer or use a white lipstick like Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipstick in C600 White. It’ll make the color extra bright.

Hello, Yellow

The old philosophy was that having yellow eyes was considered slightly better than having red eyes — with neither option being a good look. Modern makeup formulas and colors prove that yellow eye makeup can be invigorating rather than sickly. Go for a modern look by swiping a bold marigold cream eyeshadow on the lids and applying matching mascara on the lashes. Save the contouring or strobing for another day because no one will even be looking at it.

Double Up

Use the same bright shade to accent your eyes and lips.


The rounded shape of this electric blue eyeshadow has a 60s feel, but the choice of products makes it très modern. Choose a pigmented liquid eyeshadow for a precise, saturated finish. A touch of radioactive yellow on the inner corners adds even more drama. Balance the eyes with a pale pink lip gloss.

Pop of Color

Look closely because the fluorescent yellow isn’t the only shade on the eyes. A dab of coral has been added to the inner corners. The combination will bring the focus to peepers no matter their color.

One-Two Punch

The safe approach is making lips loud to tone down eyes. But bold color can be very wearable on both features when it’s done the right way. The hint of blue eyeliner balances the glossy orange lipstick. Color theory buffs will know the combination is especially pretty because the shades are opposites on the color wheel.

Highlighter Orange

Draw on wide strokes of neon orange starting at the inner corners of your eyes.

Loud Yellow

If you’ve picked a head-turning yellow eyeshadow, take the same bold approach with the application. Swipe it on from lash lines to brows and across the span of each eyebrow. A dab of pink lipstick may not be the first color you think of, but this look demonstrates how pretty it is.


Show off a neon eyeliner collection by mixing different colors in one look. As tempting as it may be to draw a full rainbow across lids, limit it to two colors for a clean finish. For example, try a fluorescent blue on the upper lash line and a zesty mint on the outer part of the lower lash line. A pink lip color and blush provide a sweet finish.

Fluorescent Finish

Neon mascara can turn heads as well as any electric eyeshadow or liner. Case in point: this acid green shade paired with a punchy lip color. Make the runway version more wearable IRL by fully coloring in lips with a flashy orange-red lipstick or blend the lines for a blurred effect.

Images: Imaxtree