Lipstick is one of those things I will never leave the house without. I believe it gives me an instant lift, makes me look “alive” and improves my confidence. These days I seem to have fallen into a “lipstick rut” where I grab the same one everyday, which is usually a pink/nude colour before running out the door.
If I am going somewhere special or actually taking some time to do my makeup, there is nothing sexier or classier I believe than a gorgeous strong red lip. Red lipstick is the stiletto heel of make-up,’ says Terry Barber, director of make-up artistry at MAC. In other words, it’s instant sexiness – a slick of glamour in a tube.
I know a lot of women who simply can’t wear red lipstick, or are unsure of how to wear it and what colour works best for them. Lissa for example, says she thinks she looks like the “Joker” from Batman on the few times I have talked her into wearing red lipstick. She is uncomfortable with it and struggles to carry it off. So, how do you wear red lipstick?
COLOUR TONE: WARM OR COOL?
Traditionally, make-up artists have agreed on the rules for matching a red to your skin tone: cool bluey reds should be worn by paler skin tones and warm orangey reds work better with olive-tanned skins. Corals, it seems, can be worn by most people. Beware of red lipsticks if your teeth are on the yellow side – some bluey reds can make the teeth appear less white.
If you are really struggling with getting the colour right I would suggest heading to a Beauty Department with a friend you trust and trying a few different shades on. Most makeup artists are happy to give you advice on the right tone for your complexion.
MAINTENANCE IS THE KEY
Before you apply your red lipstick make sure the lips are smooth and hydrated, this will ensure your application is flawless. Nobody wants to see cakey and flakey red lips!
Exfoliation is vital – particularly in winter when we can have dry cracked lips. Here’s a couple of easy do-it-yourself recipes to exfoliate your lips:
- Olive oil-sugar lip scrub: Combine sugar and olive oil in equal amounts and apply the concoction on your lips. Wait for a couple of minutes and then, wipe it off with wet cloth.
- Baking soda-water: Make a thick paste by combining baking soda with water. Apply it on your lips and leave it on for a little while. Wipe off the paste and follow up with a nourishing lip balm.
Lip treatments and balms are another fantastic way of looking after your lips, and really something you should be doing every day. Lissa highly recommends the Dermalogica Lip Treatment and I love the Fresh Sugar Total Lip Treatment . They come in many colours and contain an SPF so I use them when I am out walking or running.
Lip liner is of prime importance when wearing red lipstick because the liner will make the lipstick stay in place, prevent bleeding lipstick, and when the stark red color fades off, you will be left with some color on the lips. Red lipsticks can be unforgiving hence red lip liner will help you shape the lips, and also create a flawless base.
Try to find a lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick and apply the liner all over your lips before applying your lipstick. This creates a great base for your lipstick to glide on and the colour will look a lot richer and more intense.
KEEP YOUR OTHER MAKEUP NEUTRAL
When wearing red lips, pare down the rest of your face and keep it simple. Red lips on a nude face are a powerful statement on their own. Tone down any rosy blusher or heavy eyeliner to avoid the dreaded painted lady look.
Choose a matte eye shadow in a shade that’s close to your skin tone and if your eye needs some added definition, you can use a mid-tone matte brown shadow to contour the crease. For an evening out, glam up the look just a bit with black liquid liner to create a subtle cat eye. Coupled with your scarlet lips this is always a classic look.
Red lips are the quintessential sexy look, and are to makeup what the little black dress is to your wardrobe – essential! A red lip is classic, feminine and very powerful. I encourage you to give this look a try – it could change your life!