Red lipstick is one of this season’s hottest fashion trends. It’s an enduring classic look, yet is one of the most difficult to achieve successfully.
In a national survey conducted for Softlips Lip Conditioning Balm, one in five men preferred red lips on ladies.
“Red lips are striking and make a bold statement, but unfortunately for the average woman, they are also very hard to pull off,” according to celebrity makeup artist Belinda Moss. “It isn’t just about slapping on the color. Two keys to looking great in red are choosing the right hue for your skin tone and applying your lipstick properly.”
For red lips that will stay perfect for hours, here’s her advice: “Some red shades have blue undertones; only women with very fair skin will look good in these colors”, Moss said. “Everyone else should stick with yellow and orange undertones, or you’ll risk looking like a clown or vampire.” To find a yellow-hued red, look for shades with names like “brick,” “terra cotta,” and “chili.” (If you really like blue-toned reds, but are not fair-skinned, you can still wear them on top of another shade. Fill in your entire mouth with a yellow-red lipstick, then dab the center of your lips with a blue-red shade. Your lips will “pop” with a bright, vibrant red effect!)
Shiny reds are more subtle and easier to apply because they won’t bleed as much, so red glosses work very well for daytime. Matte reds are more dramatic and eye-catching (they’re opaque, rich, non-shiny, and last the longest of all the lipstick formulas), but they can dry out your lips and cause flaking. “When using a matte lipstick of any color, make sure to keep your lips moisturized,” advises Moss. I recommend Softlips Lip Conditioning Balm because it softens lips without making them waxy or greasy, and it has great flavor.” (She’s right; I have used this, and it’s excellent. I currently alternate between strawberry and vanilla! ) This product also has SPF 20 to protect lips from sun damage.
Red lipstick can be especially hard to apply, because it emphasizes any feathering. To prevent your lipstick from bleeding off the lips, apply concealer to the outside edge of the lips, then dust powder across the whole mouth to set. Apply a nude lip liner over your entire lip, then blot and powder your lips; apply the pencil again.
“If you want to wear red lipstick, you absolutely need to apply pencil over your entire lip to help the color stay put. By wearing two coats of pencil, you won’t need to reapply your color for hours,” Moss stated. “Apply two coats of Softlips Balm to seal the lip liner, help your color last even longer, and keep the lips smooth. Now apply color. Use a brush for maximum precision”, she added. “And don’t kiss anyone right after applying, or all your careful work will just end up smearing!” The air kiss is best, especially when wearing red.”
Sheer Moisturizing Lipstick is more casual (and forgiving) than their matte counterparts; these contain moisturizing ingredients like vitamin E or jojoba oil to keep lips supple and soft. These shades don’t require as much structure as mattes. Apply from the tube without lip lines, or pat them on with your finger.
Lip Stain will appear super-dark and liquidy in the package, but they go on rosy or berry-hued. They will stay on for a very long time. This shade can be applied quickly.
Lip Gloss comes in many different textures, from very thick and syrupy to light and slippery. It makes thin lips look plumper, and the shiny finish is a very hot look right now. Apply by sweeping it on with a wand, or if it’s in a pot, dab on with your finger. Glosses aren’t supposed to look perfect. But for a more polished look, line and fill in lips with a matching lip pencil (the best hot brands have just come out with sheer pencils that complement the texture of gloss), then apply the gloss.
Every look is based on one of four eye/lip combinations—Light eye/Light lips, Light eye/Dark lips, Dark eye/Light lips, and Dark eye/Dark lips.
1. Light eye/Light lips
This is a fresh, dewy, “no makeup” look. Matte neutral shadows and shimmery creams are used. Lip shades are warm carmels, coffees, toasts, and anything with a hint of golden undertones.
2. Light eye/Dark lips
This is classic, elegant, very 1950s, and very ladylike. You’ll use a lot of black mascara and no shadow. Lip shades are deep and dramatic, like plum, true crimson, and deep bronze.
3. Dark eye/Light lip
A sexy, party look is conveyed here. The lip shades are subtle, but are in purple, emeralds, and maroon.
4. Dark eye/Dark lip
We’re talking serious glamour here. Eye and lip shades should have the same tone. For example, a purple eye will eggplant stain lipstick is an ideal look. A bronze eye with a golden-chestnut lip gloss will also look sensational.