Beauty 101: The Red Lip


Bold. Seductive. Sultry.


The red lip is classic. Whether it’s worn with a glitzy dress for a night out or a basic everyday outfit it’s one of the hottest accessories out there. Not for the meek, this look is risky yet easy to pull off because of the wide palette of hues and shades available. From light skinned to darker skinned complexions there is ALWAYS a red lip color suitable for you. The key is to know which undertones the color has. There’s different textures to take into consideration too – matte, glossy, creme, gloss, the variations are crazay and endless. EVERYONE can pull this look off – don’t give me that sh*t. Don’t be afraid of letting go and trying a bolder look, you’ll be surprised at how put together a simple red lip can make you look – especially when you’ve had 6 hours of sleep, you’ve ran out of eyeliner, and you just realized that there’s a hole in the crotch of your tights. Red lip girls. You learn how to work it and ain’t nobody looking anywhere else. (No. This is not permission to bring out your PMS sweats. Repeat – not an open invitation).


Basic Pointers

1. Search for a color to suit your skin tone

I hope you are fairly certain which skin tone you are. This little tidbit is the base of all makeup application, it allows you to bring out certain undertones, match skin foundation evenly and naturally and it’s what makes you unique. You little gem you. If you’re pulling a Michael and are in complete denial then welcome to my world. Kidding. Girl stop playing and get right – it doesn’t matter what your skin color – embrace it and rock that red lip. There’s one for everyone.

Olive like Kimmy K


Guess what? Us girls can wear just about ANY shade. Olive tones have warm and have peachy undertones which compliment just about every damn shade out there. Feel free to go ahead and buy out Sephora. You’re welcome.


Fair like Amanda Seyfried


Choose a shade with more orange undertones with a matte finish. If it’s too dry I always apply a little clear gloss on top. It keeps it smooth and chap free. I tend to get stray strands of hair that cling to my lips when I have gloss on. It’s most likely from all that sashaying and hair flipping I do, but I’m just giving you a warning. Don’t goop it on. A warm brick shade is also flattering on fair skinned beauties, especially ones with yellow undertones.

Try: NARS Red Lizard


or Illamasqua Liable


Cocoa like Selita Ebanks


Darker skin with natural gold undertones go perfectly with a orange/red shade. Keeping in the family of “warm” tones it creates a very natural and complimentary look.

Try: Lipstick Queen in Sinner


and NARS in Heat Wave


Dark like Iman


Look for a cooler, blue based shade of red. It really contrasts if you keep the rest of the makeup fairly subtle and the finished look is classy and bold.

Try: Marc Jacobs LoveMarc Lip Gel in Saboteur


and NARS in Gipsy


2. Exfoliate

Listen. Dry and chapped skin under a matte red lipstick is cause to pack it up and go home. Trust me – I wear MAC’s Ruby Woo and I know what I’m talking about. I rub my lips with Vaseline (heck yes) with a mini mascara wand (one not dipped in mascara obviously). One of the MAC makeup artists at Nordstrom handed me this little doozy and rocked my world. So exfoliate – whether its with a clean mascara wand, a damp washcloth, a toothbrush or a lip scrub before you apply.


These lip sugars from Lush are perfect when prepping for lipstick of any kind…

3. Apply clear balm as a base

This step replenishes your exfoliated lips since you’ve just rubbed them raw. The balm ensures your lips will be smooth and moisturized all day. (Yes all day – tried and tested. Just don’t eat that’s all. Don’t eat, don’t speak, don’t move them – you’re golden). Wink wink.

Fresh’s Sugar Advanced Therapy Balm is AH-mazing.  Anti-aging, hydrating and it smooths any wrinkles around the lip area. Full service.


YU-BE Lip Therapy is another good one. It’s $7 a pop at Sephora and it hydrates severely chapped lips.


4. Line your lips with a pencil

Again, match the lip pencil to the lipstick, it doesn’t have to be an exact match but keep it in the family girls. This step keeps lipstick from running off your mouth and it leaves you with a sharp and defined look. I just can’t stress enough that you must keep it similar to your shade of lip color. I’m totally doing the dark rim for Halloween this year. I’m planning as going as a Chola. Get the hint?

I’m loving MAC and NARS right now…


5. Apply and Blot

Easy enough. Apply straight from the tube or with a lip brush if you have a less steady hand. And blot. Blot after each layer to make sure your teeth aren’t rocking the same lipstick as you.

Last of all – hold your head high. You’re wearing a bold shade and not only does it heighten your best features it encourages and motivates you to draw out your inner siren. If there’s anything better than a pretty face it’s a gorgeous personality.




3 thoughts on “Beauty 101: The Red Lip

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