5 Ways to Wear Neon Makeup Without Looking Crazy

As far as I'm concerned, there are only three appropriate ways to wear neon after the age of 12:

1. Pink or lime green Nike running shoes

2. A neon headband for "Disco Night" at the roller rink

3. Glow stick bracelets at a New Year's Eve party

Anything else looks tacky and unflattering. But lately, neon has been cropping up in places other than parties and athletic stores. It's been showing up on grown women's faces.

Neon makeup sounds like a 5-year-old's dream -- not a mature woman's -- but the runways seem to be bent on proving me wrong. Every new nail polish has a neon finish and hot pink lips are becoming a street-wear norm, so I reluctantly decided to give neon makeup a whirl.

And … I kind of love it.

8 Daring Color Trends Everyone Can Pull Off

If you're wary of neon makeup hues like I was, check out these 5 makeup looks from pro artists. They give feedback on everything from finding the right neon colors for your skin tone to making sure the final look is balanced and not neon overkill. See them now.


A supercharged pink lip is my ultimate go-to these days. I pair it with a touch of black eyeliner and very light foundation -- and that's it. To get the look, apply CoverGirl Blast Flipstick Lipcolor in Stunner, $7.99, or use a lip brush to paint on Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Anime, $13.50. And remember, a little goes a long way.

Expert advice: "I love seeing fair skin tones complemented by neon orange or shocking pink," says Nars National Makeup Stylist Janice Daoud. "There's something very striking about this look."


I sometimes blend a bright lip product onto my cheeks or use a neon blush if I want to look polished, but don't have time to do a full face of makeup. A pop of color warms up my whole look. (Try Nars Blush in Taj Mahal or Exhibit A, $28.)

Expert advice: "Darker skin tones always look great with vibrant cheeks," says Daoud. She suggests wearing bright blush over a tinted moisturizer for a near-transparent complexion.


Over-the-top celebs like Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha make neon eyeshadow look scary, but color around the eyes can be gorgeous in moderation. I like to blend a touch of hot pink from lash line to crease, or wear bright yellow on the inner corners of my eyes with neutral brown or bronze shadow on my lids.

Expert advice: "Electric blue and green eyeshadows are perfect on medium skin tones," says Daoud. "Blue shades will bring out any eye color, and orange shades make blue eyes pop." (Try COVERGIRL Eye Enhancers 3-Kit Shadows in Blazing Blues, $4.99, or Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Rated R, $34.)

Related: 11 Bright Makeup Colors That Work on Everyone


Like shadows, a subtle streak of neon liner paired with a clean face can add a fun pop of color to your look. Try applying a fine line of electric blue, green, purple, or yellow liner in a cat-eye style or along your lower lash line. (Try COVERGIRL Liquiline Blast Eyeliner in Blue Boom or Green Glow, $7.99.)

Expert advice:
To prevent creasing or smudging the color, blend concealer or pat translucent powder on your lids before you apply your eyeliner.


If you're wearing a neutral outfit, a neon manicure is a great accessory. You can try a pattern (think checkerboard), where you set off the bright color with a neutral shade, or wear the bold tone on its own. I currently love oranges and pinks, which are the most popular and wearable shades. (Try CND Colour in Electric Orange or Poppyfield, $9 each).

Expert advice: "If you have warm skin (undertones of yellow, orange, or olive), choose bright corals, oranges, and reds," says CND Nail Artist Candice Manacchio. "For pale, cool skin tones, opt for blue, purple, or yellow shades. And if you're neutral, everything will look great."

More from TotalBeauty.com:

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