Perfect Red Lips: A How-To

31 Mar

Red lips can be a tough look to pull off for some people. They are bold, sexy, and classic but have to be executed perfectly or else disaster can strike.

Here is my guide to pulling off the perfect red pout.

Choosing the Right Red

Red lipsticks aren’t all the same. There are so many different shades of red out there! Here is how to choose the best red for your skin shade (stolen from Lauren Conrad…thanks LC!).

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I personally love MAC lipsticks, and find they make the best shades of red. Here are some of their most popular rouges:

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red – Intense red with blue undertones

MAC Lipstick in Relentlessly Red – Bright pinkish coral red


MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Perpetual Flame – Pink cranberry red

MAC Mineralize Rich lipstick in Everyday Diva – red cream

Remember, one red lipstick can look very different on person to another, depending on their existing lip colour and skin tone!


1. Prime, prime, prime! Remember my post about the power of primer? Well it cannot apply enough here, ladies! Prime those lips first and foremost to even out the shade and ensure your attention-grabbing red lipstick stays and doesn’t stray! No chapped lips here please. My favourite anti-dote is Guerlain’s Kiss Kiss Liplift.

2. Walk the line! Lip liner is so important with red lips. Red lipsticks tend to bleed, meaning once you have applied the outer edges of your application will expand. Liner holds the lip colour in and ensures a smooth line all around. You can also use it to accentuate the bow of your lips or to make your lips appear larger. To apply liner, first make sure your liner is sharp. Then trace around the outer edges of your lips with short strokes. Once you have outlined your lips, use the lip liner to colour in your lips. (Yes, all that practice staying within the lines of your colouring books as a child is paying off!). Doing this acts as a base for your lip colour and ensures your red lips will pop all night long..

Make sure when you are choosing a red liner that it is within the same red-colour-family as your lipstick. Don’t go choosing a lip liner with orange undertones and then choose a lipstick with red-plum undertones. Best advice? Ask a makeup artist or beauty consultant on-site when purchasing to help you out!

3. The most important step of all – apply that lipstick! Fill in your lips with your fave red stick, paying extra special attention around the corners and the bow. If God-forbid you colour a little outside the lines (Sex & the City reference anyone? hehe), quickly get a q-tip with makeup remover and dab it off. You may have to then touch up your foundation and lip liner. I find that applying red lisptick with a lip brush works best for accuracy and finish!

4. Smudge-free. If you feel the need, you can always try some fancy techniques. There is blotting your lips on a tissue to get any excess off that may cause smudging, or putting your thumb between your lips and pressing down to make sure you will not get any of that red on your pretty white chicklets. Finally, you can dab loose transparent powder on your lips and reapply the lipstick for a more matte look. Or you can apply gloss to shine on all night! to each their own.

P.S…Lip stains are a great option if you want colour without the mess!

P.P.S…use your Touche Éclat or another highlighter and dab where your cupid’s bow meets your lips. This will give your lips a fuller look…you’re welcome!


Now you and your red lips are ready to conquer the world!



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