Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seeing Red

Classic, elegant and versatile. Done well, a red lip ups the va-va-voom factor by about oh say, 2046%.

But before getting all gung-ho with your lippy, checkout these simple guidelines to help you achieve a beautifully made up pout.

Me wearing M.A.C Ruby Woo

Cautionary note from author:

Please use your smarts beauties. No applying red lipstick casually in the back of a cab or when you’re rushing out the door. This is when many enter the high-risk zone for the Lipstick Cardinal Sins as stated below.

  • ·   Bleeding or “feathering” into the fine lines around the mouth
  • ·   Unsightly smears around the mouth area #hotmess
  • ·   Rouge all over your teeth! Eww T.A.C.K.Y

The Rules

Exfoliate and Moisturise

Don’t even think about putting that lipstick near your pretty little mug until you’ve exfoliated the dead skin from your lips. Use a lip exfoliant or gently buff using your tooth brush – sound weird but trust me on this. Then generously apply lip balm, something with actual medicinal properties like Carmex. Dry, cracked and flaking lips won’t hold colour for long. Once you’ve applied thoroughly, dab off the extra moisture with a tissue.


Outlining your lips will keep the colour from running and looking like a hot mess. When finding your signature red, look for a lip liner in a matching shade. You can also buy invisible liners now too - ahh makeup sorcery, you never cease to amaze me!


Apply your lipstick evenly and generously. If using a semi-matte or hydrating lipstick, apply it from the centre of the lips and move outwards, then fill in the edges with lip liner moving from the corners to the centre of the lips. Both lipstick and lip liner will glide on easily for a smooth finish. If you favour a matte pout, apply your colour with a steady hand (before coffee/three tequilas) using a lip brush to follow the natural shape of your lips.


Delicately apply just a little bit of concealer around your lips using a concealer brush. This will not only keep the colour from smearing, but will also really make the red pop!

Suck It

Your finger that is! This removes any build up of colour on the inside of your lips which often causes lipstick-on-your-teeth awkwardness to occur.

Optional Extras: Gloss or Translucent Powder

You can finish off your dramatic red lip with a tiny bit of gloss patted into the centre of the pout to enhance the colour and add fullness. Otherwise, use the lightest sweep of translucent setting powder for extra staying power.

Other Lippy Tidbits

Let your pout behave like an attention whore Miley Cyrus by keeping the rest of your makeup minimal. A lightweight hydrating foundation, filled in brows, a swipe of mascara and some bronzer is all you need.

If you're looking to make teeth appear whiter, choose a red with blue undertones.

As a general rule of thumb (or elbow) those with warm complexions generally suit corals and orange-based reds while cooler complexions suit more blue-based “true” reds. That said, it really comes down to trial and error to find your perfect red!

Here are my top red lipstick picks grouped into orange-based reds and blue-based reds:

Orange-Based Reds

NARS Lipstick in Heatwave
Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in 401


Miranda Kerr


Blue-Based Reds

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Kate #1
M.AC. Lipstick in Ruby Woo

Jessica Alba

Kate Bosworth

So tell me Parlour and Looters, do you have a signature red lipstick you can't live without? 

Please, share with the class.

T xx

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