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You Can Pull Off A Full Face Of Neon

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Melodie Monrose photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Moises Ramirez. Nails by Momo. Styled by Lilli Millhiser.

Black and white go with anything. Primary colors are evergreen—the editor who tries to make the call that blue is out has a hard case to make. Even pastels have moved beyond Easter eggs to a certain level of versatility. And while neon orange means caution when you see it in an airport, you don't have to approach neon shades on your face with caution, too. Why can't neon be worn just as casually as its duller counterparts? And what would happen if neon was the whole look—not a teeny tiny accent, or costume for a festival?

For makeup artist Moises Ramirez—a friend to all colors on the wheel, indiscriminately—whipping up a neon face that’s playful and modern is second nature. The trick (because there is a trick here—neon can be tricky) is keeping the skin clean and sunkissed. For this shoot, Moises prepped model Mélodie Monrose's skin with Embryolisse, and then patted in B3 Balm’s Lillie Oil for a healthy, dewy glow. Then, he applied Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint in G4, and spot concealed with Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer as needed. Another trick: focusing on one feature at a time, which makes even the brightest colors wearable. Neon looks equally at home on your face as your favorite red—trust us! And if you don’t, read on to see for yourself.

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If You Like Red Lipstick...

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A bright lip completely matted out can almost read as pastel. Moises painted on a layer of Nars Canoga and topped it off with brighter loose neon pigment right in the center of the lips. To make the look softer for daytime, swap out the matte tube for a gloss like this one from Smith & Cult.

Melodie wears a Prabal Gurung windbreaker and bikini top with District Vision sunglasses and Laura Lombardi Mini Twist Hoops.

The Neon For Neophytes

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For an easier take, choose a lipstick with neon undertones to stand in for a full-on neon lip. Here, Moises used Fenty Poutsicle in Purpsicle and Alpha Doll on Melodie—it still looks like a shade that belongs on lips, just punched up.

Melodie wears two Araks swimsuits, the Ursa and the Umika, with Mykita Mylon Sun Shift glasses.

Try Neon Blush

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Swapping out your highlighter for bright neon blush high on your cheekbones gives you a color-saturated, lit-from-within glow that's unexpectedly beautiful. Moises pushed Kryolan cream blush up to the cheekbones and buffed it across the eyes. Then, he went in with Nars Exhibit A to intensify the tops of the cheeks. Then he added a swipe of Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Balm to the center of the eyelids for an effortless, almost sweaty shine that enhances—without competing with—the blush.

Melodie wears an MSGM skirt.

Or A Neon Flush

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Not quite sold on neon blush yet? Fine! But before you write it off completely, try mixing it with something creamy and iridescent. After applying MAC powder blush in Full Fuchsia, Moises buffed out the edges with Shiseido Aura Dew in Cosmic, and then dabbed some on top for a surprisingly believable post-run glow.

Melodie wears an Araks bikini top under the Solid and Striped Maya Zip with Adam Selman Sport Shorts. She also wears Mykita x Bernhard Willhelm Blaze sunglasses and Retrosuperfuture sunglasses, with the Arc Hoops II and Form Hoops I from J.Hannah.

An Artistic Eye Look

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As he painted on neon cream shadow and liners, Moises stressed that “it’s important to start with thin layers and build up opacity.” A light, cream base like MAC Chromaline liner in Pure White used here is a good primer for making neon shades pop. Then, he used Suva Beauty Hydra FX liners in Fanny Pack, Dance Party, and Scrunchie to paint color on the lid. It looks best when you’re not too precious about it.

Melodie wears the White Maxine Tank from Roberta with Stella McCartney sunglasses and a Laura Lombardi Rope Chain necklace.

And A Statement-Making Liner

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Or, use neon liquid liner all over the lid for a graphic look. To make the shape, Moises started with a thin line across the lid and made a wider wing at the end. Melodie wears Fenty Beauty Baewatch liners in Hollapeño and Hot Tub Club. A bit of gloss added to the center of the eyelid breaks down the eyeliner for a lived-in look. To finish it off, Moises used Fenty Match Stix in Confetti in the corner of the eye, and Ridiiic for a flush of healthy color in the cheeks.

Melodie wears a Victor Glemaud halter.