The classic red lip- It feels timeless, chic and slightly daring. Here’s how to get it right and feel confident wearing it, even if you’ve never done it before.
Step One: Be Prepared to Own it
Often when doing makeup for clients, they tell me they want to try a classic red lip for the first time. Then they see themselves and decide it’s too bold and they don’t feel comfortable in it. My advice is not to try it for the first time on the day of a big event, but on a Tuesday! Wear it a few times in a row to get used to it and remember: no one is noticing your lip color as much as you are! How do they know this is the first time you’ve worn it?! It’s really as simple as this: if you tell yourself you can pull it off, then you can. I firmly believe that everyone can look great in a red lip, it’s really just a matter of finding the right shade and owning it!
It’s an essential step if you are using a traditional tube of lipstick that isn’t a super matte formula. Why? A few reasons- namely shape, depth and longevity. It’s going to help you define your shape and give the lipstick something to cling to so that you can get a nice long wear out of it. It’s also going to make the color look more bold and give you full coverage without having to apply a ton of the actual lipstick, which can look overdone real fast. If you’d like your lips to appear fuller, you can slightly over-line them with your pencil. Just be careful at the corners, where over-lining can look obvious. Add more fullness to the top and bottom by tracing just outside of your natural lip line. ***Important*** DO NOT just outline your lips with the liner- fill in the entire lip! This will give you that depth we talked about AND it’s the most important step for longevity because it gives the lipstick something to adhere to. When the lipstick does wear off, you’ll be left with the liner underneath and no one will know the difference! When doing a red, choose a liner that’s the same color as your lipstick.
Three: Choosing a Color
You can follow the “rules” about finding your perfect shade, or you can just see what you think works for you! They say if you have cool undertones (typically pale skinned people) a red with pink/blue undertones will work for you. Think more cherry and almost berry reds. If you have warm undertones, a warmer orange base will work for you, and you can wear those rusty or terra-cotta reds. That being said, if you choose a red that’s not your suggested tone and you like it and think it’s flatters you, that’s really all that matters! And everyone can wear a classic true red, like this Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso.
Four: Lip brush
A good lip brush will help you achieve a precise Red lip if you want a crisp line. It can be really tough to get a precise look applied straight out of the tube. If you’ve ever wondered why people use lip brushes, this is why!
Five: long wear formulas
A long wear formula lip stick will allow you to get other things done during your day besides touching up your lip. One of my absolute favs is the Stila Stay all day, mentioned above. Most brands now make a long wear, so you can try different ones until you find the perfect shade and feel. Starting out with a drugstore brand is a good way to experiment without breaking the bank. I LOVE the NYX soft matte lip colors, which comes in a great red called Amsterdam and is under $7! It isn’t drying and lasts a really long time especially with liner underneath. They describe it as a “true red”.
Six: The Whole Look
Remember that when wearing a red lip, it becomes part of your outfit! Red lips look beautiful with whites and neutrals, stripes if you’re really going Parisian, and of course RED! I love wearing red to an event and pairing it with red lipstick of the same or very similar shade. It looks bold and chic if you keep everything else simple. And by everything else, I mean eye makeup and accessories. This is not time to bust out your smokey eye. Keep your shadow simple and neural, or maybe add a little gold/bronze to compliment the red. A red lip also works wonders to jazz up a casual outfit and will make you appear extremely put together! See below. I hope these little tips gave you the know-how to take the plunge into red, and just remember to own it!