Like the little black dress, red lipstick is timeless and classic. Most of us are guilty of smearing it on when we snuck into our mom’s bedroom to play dress up in her high heels and jewelry. Fast-forward to today, and a red lip is a stunning way to stand out in the crowd. Of course no one will think it’s cute when it’s globbed on at this age, so we’re going to take you through a step-by-step process to find the perfect shade and flawlessly apply it.
STEP ONE: LIPSTICK OR LIP-STAIN?
Many girls struggle to choose, let alone figure out the differences, between a stick and a stain. Lip stain simply dyes your lips with color, creating a more natural look. It’s long lasting and won’t smudge. A lipstick is waxy, so it appears as a layer over your lips. It can smudge onto your skin and teeth, and typically requires reapplication. There are pros and cons to each product, but to be honest, I die for my Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Stain in Cherry Pop. It’s a marker tip, so it allows for easy application, and the color stays on all night. If you’d rather wear lipstick, a selection from MAC is our recommendation.
STEP TWO: FINDING THE PERFECT SHADE
A true, rich red will flatter all skin tones. So when in doubt, reach for that classic shade of red. But, if you’re looking for a uniquely perfect shade, check out MAC, Sephora or a department store counter. The makeup artists will guide you in finding a shade suitable for you skin color, plus, you’ll be able to take them for a test run. If you’d rather not spend the extra money, drug-store brands really do work just as well. Check out this guide to make finding your ideal color a lot simpler.
KEEP IN MIND…
If you have…
* Fair skin, stick to lighter shades with a hint of pink. The fairness of your skin matched with the subtle shade of red won’t overwhelm your face, and it will bring out the rosy undertones of your skin. Scarlett Johansson proves how beautiful the traces of pink work well with your skin. She also illustrates how to work a red lip, which achieves a true Hollywood glam look. So go bold if you feel comfortable!
* Medium skin, you have golden undertones which really help your case. A wide variety of colors will work for you. But, if you want those undertones to pop, choose a shade with just a hint of orange. Those with medium or olive skin, truly can work with a range of colors. Jessica Alba looks amazing in an orange tinted red, dark red and bright red.
* Dark skin, you’re going to look great in darker and deeper shades. Burgundy, rouge and ruby are among the best shades to choose from. Since a super bright shade is an unflattering contrast, try a pearly red. The shimmer will make the color appear brighter where the light reflects it. Rihanna is always playing with lip color and looks especially amazing in a dark berry or ruby red. She also pulls off the classic red look exceptionally well.
STEP THREE: PREP
Before applying your new lipstick, you’ll want prepare your lips for a longer-lasting color. Exfoliate gently with your toothbrush and some warm water. This will clear off excess skin so the color goes on smoother. Keep your lips moisturized with a thin layer of chapstick.
*Don’t try this if your lips are chapped, since red lip color tends to suck out moisture. Instead, the night before you plan on working this look, apply my favorite lip moisturizer, Eucerin’s Aquaphor Healing Ointment (available at drugstores), and in the morning you’ll be good to go!
STEP FOUR: ADD THE RED
Apply your lipstick or lip stain. Always start at the center of your lip and spread the product outward. If you are using lipstick, consider using a lip brush to apply the color to the corners of your mouth and to define your cupid’s bow. Using your fingers works to. In fact, a makeup artist informed me years ago that your fingers are the best tools for makeup! If your using a lip stain, take caution to how much you are using. If you happen to apply it outside your lips, immediately take a Q-tip with some warm water and a tiny bit of soap to rub it away. Don’t forget to throw your product into your purse in case you need any touch ups throughout the night!
The rest of your make up doesn’t necessarily need to be minimal, but definitely should have a neutral palette. Check out how your favorite celebrities wear the look. Some pair it with minimal makeup and others go all out. Go-to looks like the smoky eye and cat-eye eyeliner are classically perfect matches to the sexy red lip. A red lip is a bold statement, so make sure your main accessory for the night is the confidence to own your new look!