A red lip is the ultimate make-up look. It can turn you into a vixen, a romantic or add a bit of cool to your look. The adaptability of the red lipstick is what draws so many of us towards it, and it suits us all in different ways. A red lip to the untrained can be quite intimidating – will I look like a clown? What if it smudges and I look like I’ve just eaten spaghetti? There are a million ways red lipstick can go wrong, but thankfully we’ve covered all your bases below to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes. Make the most of your lippy and wear it with confidence – there’s nothing sexier than that.
Match the shade to your complexion
One of important tips on how to wear red lipstick is to match the shade to your complexion. Ever seen a friend wear a gorgeous red lipstick, but tried it on and discovered it doesn’t suit you? That’s because different skin tones suit different shades of red. For paler, cooler skin tones, look for a red with blue tones for a cool, deeper look, or raspberry shades to warm up your complexion. For tan, warmer skin colours – an orange-red or true pillar box red is your best friend.
Put your finger in your mouth
Another one of good tips on how to wear red lipstick is to put your finger in your mouth. Bright red, unmissable lipstick on your teeth is up there with one of the most embarrassing beauty mishaps possible. Especially when no-one tells you! To avoid the mistake completely, make sure that after every lipstick application you put your finger in your mouth, press your lips and remove your finger slowly. Any excess lipstick that would’ve ended up on your teeth will now be on your finger, so you can just wash your hands and be confident!
Put powder on top for staying power
In the same way that you wouldn’t skip setting your make-up, it’s important not to overlook setting your lipstick, especially if it’s an eye-catching red. To give your lippy staying power even when drinking or dancing, blot your lips with a tissue and apply a thin layer of powder on top when you’ve reached your finished look. The formula won’t shift, and you’ll look great until the small hours.
Use liner all over
Lining you lips when you’re wearing a red is an absolute must to save you from embarrassing ‘bleed’ marks and smudging. A great tip on how to wear red lipstick like a pro that will help you boost the staying power of your lipstick is to fill in your entire lips with your liner before your apply your lipstick. This base coat acts as a primer and will ensure your lips are dry and the surface even and ready for your final product. Just make sure you choose a lip liner in the shade of your natural lips, to avoid a two-tone red effect. Not so hot.
Keep the rest simple
A red lip is enough drama for one face, and if you do it right, you won’t feel the need to add lashings of make-up elsewhere. The most eye-catching reds should be complimented with a simple, nude eye with black eyeliner and mascara. That way, your lips do all the talking and you avoid looking like you’ve raided your big sister’s make-up box.
Avoid deep reds if you have thin lips
Deep, dark reds obviously define the lip area and draw the eye to the edges of your mouth. If you have thin lips already, this effect is likely to make your lips look even smaller. To avoid the tight-lipped look, pick a warmer shade, or if you’re cool toned, a raspberry shade as previously mentioned. Otherwise, you could add a dot of warmer red to the centre of your upper and lower lip, to try and counteract the darker shade.
Apply concealer to stop ‘bleeding’
Smudged red lipstick is never chic, and the easiest and most simple way to avoid such a make-up catastrophe is to line the skin around your lips with a slightly lighter concealer. Pat the concealer in gently, taking care not to get any on your lips, and ensure the product is blended with your foundation. The concealer acts as a barrier and stops your red lipstick from pooling in any fine lines around your mouth.
Gloss it up
If you’ve bought a great red lipstick but taken it home and discovered that the shade doesn’t quite suit you – don’t throw the tube away! Instead, add a pink-tinged gloss on top to warm the shade up if it’s a little too deep, or a blue-toned gloss if your pout’s looking a bit clownish. It’ll correct the colour and add a glossy sheen as well – win win.
Avoid a lot of blusher
A common mistake made when wearing red lipstick is forgetting to switch up your blusher. You might have a favourite that you just apply on auto-pilot, but if it’s pink toned – you might end up looking more china doll than healthy glow. Instead of using your usual blush, dab a small amount of lipstick onto your cheeks and blend with a stippling brush to work the product over the apples of your cheeks, you can also blend it with your usual moisturiser at the back of your hand before applying it to your cheeks, to make the blending process even easier. Hey presto – you have a home-made blush guaranteed to compliment your lipstick.
Use a lip brush for a professional finish
Another good tip on how to wear red lipstick like a pro is to use a lip brush for a professional finish. Whilst applying lippy from the tube is handy, taking the time to apply the product with a lip brush means the formula will be really worked into your lips. Pat the product on with the brush, rather than sweeping it on if you want to ensure even, full coverage that stays put. If you’re planning on taking your red lip out on the town, load up a retractable lip brush with your colour to save you dragging your whole make-up bag out and avoid losing yet another lipstick. You’re welcome!
We hope you feel confident enough to go forth and rock a red lip! Do let us know in the comments if you have any go-to tips on how to wear red lipstick, we’d love to hear them.