Valentine’s Day might be a Hallmark holiday but there are so many ways to celebrate it. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, getting dolled up for the day of love can feel like quite the treat. In addition to putting together the perfect Valentine’s Day outfit and picking out the prettiest Valentine’s Day manicure, you may also want to switch up your makeup for the occasion. To help you do so, we chatted with a few celebrity makeup artists for their top tips for leaning into the holiday.
“Pink is the ultimate flirty shade that is flattering on every skin tone,” says celebrity makeup artist Gregory Arlt. “I love MAC shadow in ‘Felt Cute’ used through the crease of the eye on light to medium skin tones, and ‘A Little Tamed’ shadow used the same way for medium to deep skin tones.” On the lips, he recommends Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in the shade Liv It Up. “It’s a sweet pink that I love to stain the lips with,” he shares. “For a [bolder] lip, try ‘Saint Germain’ or ‘Candy Yum Yum’ by MAC.”
Not much of a pink person? (Or maybe you’re burnt out after Barbiecore mania in 2023?) Arlt says that warmer shades are suitable for Valentine’s Day, too. “Peachy, warm tones are beautiful for more of a candlelit, romantic glow,” he says. “A dewy gold look will melt even the hardest of hearts, and it’s all about a glowing, warm cheek and lip paired with a sultry cat eye.”
No matter which color palette you choose, celebrity makeup artist and JamieMakeup founder Jamie Greenberg says to pick one or two features max to apply it to. “For Valentine’s Day, it’s fun to bring a pop of color with a subtle natural base,” she says. “I like to go for colors in the eyelids or lips—go for a bold red or pink—the holiday is fun and flirty, your makeup should be too.”
Meet Our Expert
Gregory Arlt, a celebrity makeup artist who works with Dita Von Teese and Fran Drescher.
Ready to start dreaming up your own Valentine’s Day makeup look? Ahead, you’ll find over a dozen celebrities who are sure to inspire you with their romantic beauty beats.
Pretty in Pink
Rihanna looked like a pink dream at her Fenty Beauty Event back in 2019. To recreate her look, you'll want to add the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush ($24) in the shade Crush on Cupid to your cart, as well as the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color ($28) in the shade Unlocked.
Margot Robbie rocked a rosy flush with a muted mauve lip at the 2023 Golden Globes. Meanwhile, her skin was perfected with a no-makeup makeup approach. For a similarly subtle complexion, Greenberg recommends Rituel de Fille’s 3 Drop Weightless Serum Foundation ($42). “It gives you coverage and still leaves you with a skin-like feeling,” she says. “You can build this up if you want more coverage or keep it light for a date night.”
Kiki Layne wowed onlookers at the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala with her gorgeous sculptural braided hairstyle and subtle shimmer lids. Teetering somewhere between pink and purple, her eye makeup works well for Valentine's Day. After all, purple, while less popular than pink and red, is the third hue of the classic V-Day color trio.
Emma Stone looked like a blushing ballerina bride at the 2022 Met Gala. For her look, she went with brushed-up brows and a mauvey cheek and lip combo. Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush ($22) in the shade Nearly Neutral would give you a similar look.
Ayo Edebiri showed up to the 2023 AFI Awards with a positively glowing complexion. If you look closely, you'll notice a sheer rouge on her cheeks, a pink-tinted gloss, and a subtly smudged cat eye. To copy her lip, try Too Faced's new Kissing Jelly ($22) in the shade Raspberry.
Classic Red Lip
Jennifer Lawrence proves that a classic red lip never goes out of style—for Valentine's Day or ever. To get the creamy (not cakey) lip look, try the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Caring Satin Lipstick with Ceramides ($45) in the shade Rouge Paradoxe.
Fuchsia has risen in popularity over the past couple years and here, Jennifer Hudson proves just how stunning it can look when incorporated into a lips and lids combo. To DIY the look, at home, use an angled brush (like the Sephora Collection PRO Eye Liner Brush #22, $16) dipped in fuchsia shadow (we love the 'Power Chords' shade from the Urban Decay Naked Metal Mania Metallic Eyeshadow Palette, $59) to line your under eyes. Then, perfect your pout with a satin fuchsia lipstick, such as the Urban Decay Vice Hydrating Lipstick ($21)in the shade Gridlock.
Shimmering Inner Corners
Back in the early 2010s, shimmery inner corners were the makeup move. In 2021, Dua Lipa proved that they still can be at the Brit Awards. For a similarly shimmery lid look, try the Rare Beauty Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter ($25)—it applies so smoothly, making it perfect for lids, cheeks, and Cupid's bows alike.
Remember: Purple is fair play for Valentine's Day. Here, Andra Day shows us just how stunning glittery lilac lids can look with smudged wing liner. To recreate her look, try using the Danessa Myricks Beauty Lightwork V: I Am Palette For Eyes And Face ($125).
Barely There Blush
Selena Gomez turned heads on the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards red carpet when she showed up with fresh-faced beauty and an arrow through her ear. Whenever you're looking for a flawless-looking complexion, Greenberg says prep is key. “I like to start with a natural base and use Neova Silc Sheer 2.0 ($62) to prep the skin,” Greenberg says. “It gives you a nice sheer, lightweight tint and that much-needed SPF for year-round protection—and it lays beautifully under makeup.”
Taylor Swift is renowned for her no-makeup makeup skin and bold red lip but every now and again she opts for a peachy-pink beauty look. Case in point: Her beauty beat for the 63rd Grammy Awards. To DIY her lid look, check out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette ($45).
While many Valentine's Day beauty looks feature a single hue on lips, lids, or both, Lana Condor proves that a colorblock approach can be quite pretty, too. To recreate this look, use a peach shadow on your upper and lower lids, paired with a glossy berry lip.
Let's be honest: Not everyone wants to wear a pop of color on their face. If you prefer a more neutral approach to your makeup palette, take Shay Mitchell's lead and make it glam. You can DIY her look using the Patrick Ta Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette ($70) and Monochrome Moment Precision Lip Crayon ($26) in the shade She's Bold and She's Humble.
When your complexion looks picture-perfect, all you need is a little eyeliner, a coat or two of mascara, and a bold red lip to leave you feeling Valentine's Day (or night) ready. Danielle Brooks proves it! When it comes to choosing an eyeliner, Arlt recommends Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($36) for the water line and Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen Liquid Eyeliner Duo ($62) for wing tips.
Hunter Schafer looked downright angelic at the 2014 Golden Globes. With ultra-pale pink blush and lips, she nailed the year's coquette trend. For a similar look, try Makeup by Mario's Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil ($30) and the Lawless Beauty Forget the Filler Lip-Plumping Line-Smoothing Tinted Lip Balm ($26) in the shade Pink Marshmallow. Just be sure to follow up with a matte setting powder if you want to mimic her matte finish, too.
Bubblegum Pink Statement Eye
Issa Rae leaned into character for the Barbie premiere—and the look would work just as well for Valentine's Day as it does a red carpet. Celebrity makeup artist Joanna Simkin was actually inspired by the doll when creating the look. Simkin crafted this iconic lid look using the Juvia's Place Sweet Pinks Eyeshadow Palette ($15).
Old Hollywood Glam
Blake Lively tends to keep her beauty looks more neutral in complexion while adding a pop of shimmer or color to her lids and lips. For the 2016 Met Gala, she went with champagne shimmer lids and a bold red lip for an old Hollywood feel.
Laverne Cox is no stranger to color and for the world premiere of the last season of Orange Is the New Black, she let lavender be the star. By adopting a neutral palette for the rest of her face, the purple shadow really stood out.
Jennifer Lopez rocked a heavily lashed look for the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival. And it's an approach Arlt enjoys. “If you’re feeling frisky throw on a false lash,” he exclaims. “Ardell Naked False Lashes, $13, are my faves as they feel and look weightless and natural.”
Beauty in Berry
Love the idea of a two-tone approach to your Valentine's Day makeup look? Kerry Washington makes a case for pale lilac lids and a berry lip. Like the idea? Toss a tube of the Merit Beauty Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick ($26) in the shade Fashion into your bag.
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