Red lipstick can look gorgeous or completely overdone. I worked as a beauty consultant for a major cosmetics company in college and have some tips every woman should know about applying red lipstick.
Skin Tone Matters
First, you have to have the best shade of red for your skin tone or even the best effort won’t matter.
Fair Skin: Classic red is best for you. Avoid red lipstick that has any orange or pink undertones. A blue based red is the best choice for you.
Dark Skin: The best red for you will have a purple undertone to it. Think plum or burgundy and go with it.
Medium Skin: You can really wear a full range of reds, but the best shade for you is an orange-red. Just a hint of an orange tone is enough.
Also, does your skin have a cool tone to it or a warm tone? Cool toned skin is best with a cooler lipstick (blue based), while warm toned skin is best with a warmer lipstick (plum based). Do you have to stick to these specific guidelines? No! It’s just a starting point to help you find what looks best on you. Rules are made to be broken; always wear a color you love that makes you feel beautiful. That’s what makeup is all about! If you feel overwhelmed or have trouble finding the right shade while you’re staring at 200 tubes of red lipstick, visit a department store and ask to try lipstick with the best undertone for you (blue, purple, or orange).
For really gorgeous lips that last all day, I do the following:
1. Think of your lips as a canvas. You need a clean smooth canvas to create a beautiful painting, right? Dry, cracked lips have got to go! Moisturize and quench your lips. If you want to a pouty look, mix a little cinnamon into a bit of moisturizer and apply to the lips. It will plump your lips. Don’t go overboard! A little goes a long way. Lips may tingle a little bit. Neutrogena actually makes a lip plumping lipstick with cinnamon already included.
2. Red lipstick can bleed and let’s face it; that looks pretty hideous. Line those lips. I like to use a nude colored liner because it works with any shade of red I choose. If you go with a liner darker than your lipstick; you’re going to need to blend so that you don’t have a harsh line. Unless you’re going for the teenage angst look; go with a nude liner.
3. I prefer a classy look when I wear red lipstick. An important makeup application tip to remember with any look is this: Pick one feature on your face to make pop. It can be the eyes or lips but not both. Why? You’ll end up looking like a clown. When other people look at your face they will be drawn to the feature that pops first. With red lipstick application, you can use black liner but keep the eye makeup to a minimum. Try a light dusting of eye color that makes the eyes look bright and beautiful but simple. Let other people look to the lips first and then travel up to your eyes. (It’s sexy in a subtle way).
4. If you are wearing a matte lipstick, try using a dab of gloss just to seal the color in all day. I perfer red that shines with a deep gloss and stays all day. I use a clear gloss that I gently dab on and go.
5. If you want red lips but don’t want to look made up; try lipstain. Use just a tiny bit at first. You can add more a dab at a time until you get the naturally gorgeous, I just rolled out of bed, tousled look you want. Use minimal eye shadow, natural toned blush on the apples of your cheeks, and a softer toned mascara. This look can really make you look younger, even with a touch of red. My boyfriend told me, “You’te the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen without makeup.” Yes ladies, it works!
The most important thing to remember about red lipstick application is to start with a clean smooth canvas, line with nude or matching red, and keep the eye makeup light and bright (other than black liner and mascara if you want a sexy yet classy look).