red lip tips for the perfect lip color

The perfect red lip is a staple for every woman this time of year, yet it can be a challenge to master the line work and choose the perfect shade to match your stunning outfit if you aren’t used to wearing it all the time. Need some advice on how to pull off the perfect red lip? Check out our step-by-step guide to master this classic beauty look!

Before you get started, you’ll need to figure out which type of red lipstick is right for you, both the formula and the color. For a long-lasting look, try a matte liquid lipstick. These formulas are very pigmented and apply smoothly for a polished look that will stay put all day. The downside is they tend to be drying and can crack or flake if your lips are not properly prepped ahead of application. Traditional lipsticks come in a bullet tube and a variety of finishes, from glossy to matte. Depending on which finish you select, traditional lipsticks may not wear as long as a liquid formula (matte will last longer than glossy), but they tend to be more moisturizing and due to their easy-to-use application, they are ideal for a girl on the go to throw in your clutch for a night out. You can also experiment with lip pencils, lip tints, and lip stains, depending on the way you want your red lips to look and what tools you are most confident using. Sample different kinds in the store and see which ones would feel the most comfortable for you to use at home.

Once you’ve picked the type of formula you like best, you’ll need to determine which shade of red is best for your skin tone and style. You can’t go wrong with a classic, true red for just about any holiday occasion, but you might want to try a fiery tomato red to make a bold statement or a deep, brick red for a more vampy style. To find your perfect red, look to your skin’s undertones and work from there. This article from In Style has different examples to help you find the best red lip to flatter your complexion. Once you have your shade, don’t forget to get a corresponding lip liner – it makes a ton of difference for getting the perfect end result. Now let’s get started!

Step 1: Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! To create the perfect lip, you want a clean, smooth slate to start with. We suggest using a lip scrub to remove any flakes and prep your canvas for proper lipstick application. Another option is to simply use a new, dampened toothbrush to gently scrub the dead skin away. Either option will do the trick!

Step 2: After giving them a quick scrub, you’ll need to moisturize. Any lip balm or cream will work– we suggest something with an SPF if possible! Once applied, allow the product to absorb into your lips for a few minutes while you do the rest of your makeup, then blot away any excess.

Step 3: Using a lip liner that is about one shade lighter or darker than your planned lip color, line the outer edge of your lips. By using a slightly different shade, you can help highlight or shadow your lip shape to create your best lip look. This would also be the time to overline your lips, if you’re trying to enhance that pout. Just make sure overlining is something you are comfortable with – you wouldn’t want to try it for the first time when you are wearing red lipstick and have a party to get to, just in case something goes wrong! 

Step 4: Once your lips are lined, apply lipstick starting from the center of your bottom lip, then draw outward to the edge. This step doesn’t need to be perfect–the perfection stage is coming up!–just get color on the majority of your lips inside the line you made in the previous step.

Step 5: Using a small lipstick brush, take some color from your lipstick and carefully apply it around the inside edge of your lips. This is the time to perfect each line, and make sure everything matches on each side.

Step 6: Take a concealer brush with a little bit of foundation, and line the outside of your lips to create a perfectly crisp edge. You can fix any mistakes you might have made while applying color here and make sure you have the sharpest lines.

Step 7: Blot your lips on a tissue, and with clean hands, place your index finger between pursed lips and pull it out–removing any excess color from the inside of your lips, which would inevitably transfer to your teeth. Nobody wants that!

Now you’re ready to rock your red lip for every holiday occasion! Show us how your finished lippie turned out on Instagram @lulus!