Whether you celebrate with a significant other, have Galentine’s Day planned with friends, or simply love everything about the day of love, you may be looking for some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day look. While February 14 evokes images of everything pink, red, and heart-shaped, there are infinite possibilities when it comes to planning your makeup for the big day.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to experiment with different techniques and colors, especially if you’re accustomed to wearing the same neutral palette every day. However, just because pink and red are the hallmarks of this holiday doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. If a bold, red lip isn’t your thing, there are lots of other ways to make a statement with your makeup while still being subtle.
Looking to change things up this year, or simply hoping to create a look that matches your theme? We’ve got 20 subtle yet stunning makeup looks to duplicate for Valentine’s Day regardless of whether you’ve got a night on the town planned or are looking forward to a cozy night on the couch.
Not everyone loves a full face of glam, regardless if it’s for Valentine’s Day or not. If you prefer a more simple and subtle look, or you’re not so confident in your makeup skills, you can’t go wrong with a natural look. Keep things neutral and soft, wearing makeup you’re comfortable with. Go for a smoky eye, nude lip, and natural flush on the cheeks for a gorgeous look.
Bold, red lip
If there’s one day that screams “wear the red lipstick,” it’s Valentine’s Day. Red lips tend to be dramatic enough that the rest of your look can be softer and more subdued. Go for a more minimalist look on your eyes by adding a few coats of mascara. Just a hint of blush and a light brushing of a neutral shadow will make your lips the star of the show.
Create a stunning makeup look for Valentine’s Day with a smokey eye. Makeup artist Ash K. Holm told Allure one way to recreate this gorgeous look at home is to use “softer, smoky tones like matte grays and taupes for the crease and foiled textures in gray or taupe on the eyelid to give the eyes a sexy, sultry feel.” If you love this technique but want to embrace the holiday, add some pink and red shadows using the same technique.
Shimmer and shine
If you’ve been holding on to that shimmer eye shadow because it felt too “extra” for everyday wear, this is the ideal time to use it. Use a shimmer or chrome shadow to focus on the eyes for a dramatic effect, using metallic eyeliner to get maximum shine. Give your face an allover glow by using a highlighter on your cheekbones, forehead, and nose and a full gloss on the lips.
Celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli told The Zoe Report that “Valentine’s Day makeup is really about bringing forward an elevated version of yourself, while still keeping it fresh and approachable.” One of the best ways to do that is with soft, subtle glam. Choose muted colors that blend well for a polished look that plays up your natural features without feeling too heavy.
This is a look for someone who isn’t afraid to go full theme this Valentine’s Day. Using red eyeliner, especially when paired with pink eyeshadow, can give you a striking and unique look. If you don’t love wearing eyeshadow but still want to add a pop of color to your eyes, you can wear this eyeliner by itself. Keep the rest of your makeup neutral, and let your eyes steal the show.
You don’t have to choose between a bold lip or a dramatic eye when you can embrace the vintage vamp look and wear both. Makeup icon Charlotte Tilbury describes this look as a combination of “bedroom eyes” and a “sultry berry pout.” This look is definitely giving us sex kitten vibes, and we can’t get enough of it!
Take your look up a level by adding a bronzer to give you that stunning, healthy, and sun-kissed look that isn’t always easy to come by naturally in the middle of February. “When selecting a bronzer, it’s important to not go too dark,” makeup artist Maria Ortega explained to Ipsy. “Ideally, it should be about two shades darker than your skin tone and with the same undertone.” Now, you can kiss winter paleness goodbye!
One way to make a statement this Valentine’s Day is to swap out your typical eyeshadow shades and opt for a ravishing red instead. You can go as bold or as subtle as you like, but you shouldn’t let the color scare you from experimenting. “All red tones will flatter and enhance the color of blue eyes, green eyes and will even find the golden light in brown eyes,” Charlotte Tilbury told The New York Times.
Dramatic eye with gems
Rhinestone makeup has been popular for a while now thanks to shows like “Euphoria,” and it’s a great way to add a touch of glam to your regular makeup looks. We love how this natural makeup look is accented with a dramatic eye and silver gems, perfect for a night out with your best friends this Valentine’s Day.
A hint of pink
A bold red lip may be a signature look for Valentine’s Day but a subtle, hint of pink is just as gorgeous. If you’re searching for the perfect, subtle, sweet, yet oh-so-kissable look this year, pair a soft pink lip color with a neutral face and a few coats of mascara.
Serve up a face of old Hollywood glamour this love day, especially if you’re going to be spending it with someone special. Flawless skin and perfectly winged eyeliner combined with a deep, bold lip will have you looking like a classic starlet. Set the look with a translucent powder to help your makeup last all night long.
Valentine’s Day is all about romance, so why not go for romantic vibes with your makeup? We think of a soft, subtle lip; a pale, smokey shadow in various shades of pink or grey; and a couple of coats of mascara are the keys to achieving this look. This look can easily be worn for a day date, a night on the town, or an evening on the couch watching rom-coms.
Deep burgundy lip
There’s nothing like a deep, burgundy lip color to create the ultimate dramatic makeup look. This color looks great on everyone and is the perfect alternative for those who aren’t fans of classic red lipstick. Celebrity makeup artist Paul Blanch told Refinery29 how to pick the perfect burgundy, saying, “To find your undertone look at your wrists: If your veins are bluish, then you’re cool-toned. If they appear more green (or yellow), then your undertones are warm.”
Hot pink lipstick
There is no better time to try that hot pink lipstick in your makeup drawer than Valentine’s Day. This color is a bold choice no matter how you wear the rest of your makeup, and it’s a sign that you are definitely not afraid to stand out in a crowd. Whether you choose a gloss or matte finish, this is a lip color that will get you noticed.
Creators like @lenkalul on TikTok are part of the reason this makeup look blew up last year. Makeup artist Lilly Keys explained the difference between siren eyes and classic smokey eyes, telling Allure, “Siren eyes are slightly more dramatic, darker around the rims of the eyes, and flicked upwards at the outer corners for a more narrow, cat-eye shape.”
Take your neutral palette to the next level with this stunning pink monochrome look. We tend to see monochromatic looks with nudes and taupe, but creating this look with pink shades adds the perfect touch of romance and whimsy that goes perfectly with Valentine’s Day.
With a cat eye as flawless as this, you only need minimal makeup to make an entrance. The cat eye is a look that takes practice, so this may not be ideal for beginners. If you love this look, make sure you have great eyeliner, and line the upper and lower water line before lining the upper and lower lash lines. The signature flick at the outside of the line can be contoured with a lash brush. Lining the inner eye creates an even more dramatic effect.
It’s no secret that fresh and clean makeup looks are on-trend this season. The flushed cheeks look is bringing blush back in a big way and bringing color back to our faces. This look replicates how you would look after coming inside on a cold day. Use a cream blush, and blend it well on the apples of your cheeks to create this look at home.
If shimmer and shine aren’t for you, opt for this sexy matte look for Valentine’s Day. You can go as bold or subtle as you prefer with your lip color, and makeup artist Taylour Chanel tells Cosmopolitan that matte eyeshadow works great as a liner as well. “By using those matte shadows and letting the edges be a bit diffused, it gives a sexy and playful take on typical liner, even on graphic eye looks,” Chanel explains. So, which V-Day look will you be doing this year?