Beauty Coach: Red Lips

September 17, 2009 at 11:37 am , by

m_101429699My absolute favorite trend for fall is red lips. I’ve never been a lipstick kind of girl (eye makeup is more my thing), but after editing through dozens of gorgeous red shades for our September makeup story, I had to give it a try. Now, I’m completely hooked and wear red almost every day. If only figuring out my fall wardrobe was this easy!

Here are my favorite tips for wearing red lipstick without red lipstick wearing you.

1. Find a great shade. A hue with blue undertones works well on everyone (a great example is Revlon Cherries in the Snow). My personal favorite shade is M.A.C. Lustre Lipstick in Lady Bug. It’s a classic red with a pretty sheen.

2. Start and end with lip balm. I don’t think I could pull off red without moisturizing my lips first. I always prep with a little balm (I love Nivea’s Kiss of Moisure. I have one in my purse and one on my nightstand) and then apply lipstick. It glides right on. If I want a bolder, more saturated red lip, I will wipe off the balm. Then, after I apply my lipstick, I layer a final swipe of balm over my lips to soften the color.

3. Use a lip brush. I learned this tip from makeup artist Sonia Kashuk a few years ago on a shoot. She told me that a lip brush is such an underrated tool. It helps work the color onto your lips and gives you the most control. Any brand will do (Sonia has an affordable line of makeup brushes at Target). I suggest a retractable lip brush so you don’t mess up your bag.

4. Add color to your cheeks. If you have a fair complexion, you’ll probably need  a little extra blush or bronzer to balance your bold lips. I love this trick from DuWop creative director Cristina Bartolucci: Dab a teeny bit of your red lipstick onto the apples of your cheeks and blend.

Tell me about your favorite shade of red lipstick. If you’re looking for more fresh looks check out our fall makeup story.

6 Responses to “Beauty Coach: Red Lips”

  1. I am obsessed with Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Lipstick in Stay Scarlet. It truly does last a little longer than regular lipstick and the scarlet color works well with my fair skin. I also use a lip brush. It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds to apply this way and really ensures that I’m drawing within the lines!


  2. I’ve read that you should put on lip liner, especially when you’re using bright colors. Do you use liner? Would you put it on before or after the balm? And your lip color or the shade of the lipstick??


  3. Thanks for the questions, Emily. I did leave out lip liner, didn’t I? For me, it’s optional, not essential, because of the precision I get from using a lip brush. Lip liner is great if you’d like extra definition or want to make your lipstick last longer. After you apply your red lipstick, use a nude lip liner that matches your natural lip color to fill in and define your lips. (I use Lipstick Queen Lip Liner in Nude.) Then run your pinky over the line a little to soften any obvious edges. The liner should completely blend in with your lipstick. Finish with a little balm.


  4. My problem is with choosing a shade. I find something I like, think I’m picking the right thing and then when I apply, somehow it never looks like it does in the tube when it’s actually on my lips. It seems to end up more pink than red most of the time. Do you have any suggestions for picking a color that’ll be true to what it looks like when you buy it??


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