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Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

If these high-profile celebrities can take a risk with these bold-yet-beautiful looks, so can you

From full brows to bright eyeliner, there are a ton of makeup looks seen on the runways that might seem too “out there” for daily wear. I mean, really, who’s going to use stencils to apply her eyeshadow, then glue a giant piece of lace to her face? (Oh wait, is that Lady Gaga with her hand raised?)

While researching “crazy makeup looks,” we found everything from a missing member of the Blue Man Group to Ziggy Stardust reincarnated, all fit for the next great Halloween makeup idea. But when it comes to daring makeup styles that you can actually wear without looking like you’ve really escaped from the loony bin, well, that was a challenge. Rather than trawl the runways for over-the-top avant garde looks, we decided to look to our favorite sources of inspiration — celebrities.

A few names came to mind immediately, of course. We already said Lady Gaga, who could go head-to-head with Grace Jones with her outrageous appeal. But plenty of other celebs, from “Xtina” (Christina Aguilera — for those of you less caught up in all the celeb hoopla) to California Girl Katy Perry, know how to take risks too, and occasionally pull them off. After seeing them rock their versions of some of the crazier makeup styles we’ve seen (before loads of paparazzi, no less), we’re almost embarrassed not to have tried the looks ourselves. Curious? Well, take a gander, bust out your makeup kit, and get going! After all, makeup is fun — so add these looks to your bucket list.

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Extreme Cat Eyes
It was a toss-up between “California girls” Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani, but ultimately, Katy Perry seemed to rock some of the craziest versions of this extreme cat eye as her standby look. Here, she’s offset a wide, uber-extended line of black liquid liner on top with a metallic gold liner on the lower lash line to make the look really purr.

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Neon Fuchsia Lips
“Xtina” (Christina Augilera) always looks like a MAC Cosmetics ad — which might be a shock in person, but hey, at least she looks pretty flawless on camera. And while we miss her fresh face (does anyone even remember what that looks like?), we think this look is one of the few times we actually like heavy eye makeup paired with bold lips (but shhh, you didn’t hear us just say that).

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Glittered Smoke
No crazy makeup story would be complete without Lady Gaga, who managed to look somewhat normal in this photo (except for the giant lightning-like thingamajig on her head). While taking the time to put this much glitter on an extreme smoky eye is arguably insane, it would be fantastic for oh, a clubbing situation sometime in the near future. Try what she does here — matching the glitter to your eyeshadow, and going for a neutral color like charcoal gray or navy blue — for the most wearable effect.

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Red Eyes
Lily Allen always manages to work in a cheeky grin, even when she’s dressed to the nines. But this time, we’re focused on her “red eyes” (the good kind, of course). Normally, red eyeshadow is a recipe for looking sickly, but mixing a deep plum shade like Allen’s .

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Ultra-nude Lips
While many people have tried the nude-lip trend, not many go truly nude like Drew Barrymore does here.Since your lips are basically blending into your face, this can look a little freaky if you don’t make your eyes or cheeks stand out. While you can’t go wrong with a heavy smoky eye, Drew tried an unconventional white eyeliner and bright cheek color instead. The result? Less crazy, more pretty and retro.

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Clockwork Orange Lashes
From Jennifer Lopez to Rihanna, big, feathery lashes are a fun way to add some “edge” to any sane makeup look, especially when worn on the bottom lash line. Perhaps the craziest pair of falsies we found was on model Agyness Deyn, who’s as famous for her changing hair color and style, as she is for her ability to look stunning in any makeup look — no matter how off the wall. To get a little taste of this trend, try Make Up For Ever Faux Lashes in Jane #116, $15.

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Bold Eye-Lip Combo
OK, Taylor has what we call a makeup addiction; she doesn’t know when to stop. With that said, we like what’s going on here with her trademark heavy-eye-heavy-lip combo (there’s that broken rule again). On this rare occasion, she switched up her usual heavy black liner for a pretty brown shadow and paired it with a true red lip gloss. The finished look is way less harsh and much more flattering with her platinum hair.

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Electric Eyes
Rihanna is such a trendsetter. We love her ability to wear practically any bright liner shade, like these electric blue and purple ones. And with the right attitude (that would be “fierce”), a woman of any age can pull this off (we’ve even seen the purple version look good on someone’s grandma!). Just make sure you use a highly-pigmented cream liner like Barbie Loves Stila Smudge Pot, $20. If you have problems with smudging, set your lid with translucent powder or an eyeshadow primer first.

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Snow White Pin-Up
Often admired, but rarely duplicated off the red carpet (costume parties being the exception), this not-so-normal look is admired by many. While fair skin and dark hair are key to getting Dita Von Teese’s “Snow White” appeal, they’re not entirely necessary for the “Pin-Up Girl” part. Just make sure your complexion is as smooth as possible.You can even use eyeliner to dot on a faux beauty mark. (Don’t worry if everyone knows it’s fake; both Dior and Rihanna got away with it!)

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Fire Engine Red
OK, if there’s only one zany makeup trend you try during your lifetime, it must be bright red lipstick. It’s classic yet edgy — and really, not that crazy. Like Christina Aguilera’s neon pink version, this bright shade almost jumps off Gwen Stefani’s face. To keep your lips looking prime for the attention they’re about to receive, exfoliate them nightly with a sugar scrub (like Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Lip Scrub, $12.95, then apply lip conditioner before bed. The day of, line them and fill them in with a matching liner before adding the finishing touch — the lipstick itself. Or use a product that combines both steps in one like Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square, $24.)

Crazy Makeup Looks to Try Before You Die

Bold Brows
We found several versions of heavy brows (most of which were obscenely aggressive), but Camilla Belle’s noticeably bold version we felt was most fit for all seasons. While growing in “real” thick brows is a necessary evil, getting them shaped and filling them in with eyeshadow will frame your eyes beautifully and add more character to your face (if you need it). When choosing a shadow, pick one that’s two shades lighter than your hair color for the most natural, youthful effect.

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