Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Red Lip

Many women say they can't pull off red lipstick. What rot! I believe anyone can wear a red lip, you just need to find a colour that suits. This post gives you the low down on how to apply a red lipstick to perfection, and some pointers on how to ease into the boldness.

Red lips (or any really bright lip) require a little bit more work to stop them feathering or bleeding, but the results can be unlike any other.

First, prep your lips with a primer. I like Clinique All About Lips or MAC Prep and Prime Lips. This gives you a good base and makes the colour stick.There is nothing worse than finding more lipstick on your glass, fork and clothes than on your lips. Yuck.

Then you need to outline your lips with a lip pencil (MAC Redd or NARS Jungle Red), however I prefer to fill in the whole lip with the pencil. This stops you from having that dreaded red outline after the lipstick has faded and gives your lipstick something to hold onto.

Once you've applied the lip pencil, fill in your lips with lipstick (NARS Jungle Red or Tom Ford Cherry Lush), ensuring you stay within the lines.

Once your lipstick is set, layer with a gloss. You can try a red lipgloss for a more bold colour (MAC Russian Red, Lipstick Queen Fired Up or Lanolips Lip Ointment in Apples), a clear gloss for a bit of shine (Kiehl's Lip Balm) or even a totally different colour to tone down the red (Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine or Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker in Perfect Peach).

A really good visual representation is available on the video below, xsparkage has a really similar way of applying red lipstick.

If you are worried about wearing a red lip for the first time, there are a few ways you can ease into it and build up the colour gradually. Lip glosses are a great start. One of the first red lips I tried was with a lip glaze by Stila in Red Apple, a gorgeous pinky- red but applies as a sheer gloss. They don't make the colour anymore, but Elf make a really similar colour called Vixen and it is only a couple of dollars.

You can also try using a lipstick, but use a sheer colour (like Lipstick Queen Medieval Lip Tint), or a full strength colour, but apply it with your finger, gently patting it on your lips until you achieve the right shade. This can tone down a very bright colour and you can apply a bit more as you become more confident. A touch of gloss can also make a matte colour seem a little less harsh.

My last tip is to try out as many different shades as possible. Just like a pink lipstick, there are shades that will flatter you and some that don't. Don't be dragged down by counter staff trying to sell you whatever is in the latest collection, stick to your guns and test like crazy. Ask staff to apply a colour and walk around with it on, go outside and see the difference between sunlight and fluorescent lights. You are bound to find your perfect shade.

Finally, a good red lip can light up your face and make you feel a million times better, so next time you are having a crappy day, give a red lip a try and see the difference!

Naomi xx

Top image from Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color Collection

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