How to Wear Red Lips

Red lips are notoriously scary for those who are faint of heart when it comes to makeup, those who are new to makeup or just unsure about how to pull them off. Everyone should own at least one decent red lipstick which they can wear effortlessly and feel confident in doing so because they KNOW it is perfect for them. I've been wearing red lips since I was about 15 and always loved them! So, let me answer your red lip worries...

[[ One of my favourite shades, Rimmel 'Diva Red' ]]

Which Shade is for Me?
Whether you are super pale and cool, or amazingly dark and warm a primary red will suit you. Why? Because it neither leans too blue or too orange, it is a 'true' red. However, it is also the boldest of the reds and certainly not for the faint of heart! Dark skinned ladies may prefer an orange or brown toned red, whereas paler ladies tend to suit blue and pink toned reds better.

Which Formula is for Me?
That depends entirely upon personal preference. I like a classic, matte red lip, although precision in application is essential! You CAN NOT skip lip liner if you opt for a matte finish or choose a highly pigmented lipstick, a clean edge looks 10x more professional. Gloss finishes are much more modern and obviously easier and faster to apply. Glosses are also slightly more forgiving and tend to be sheerer - so if you're a little wary starting off, have thin lips or want a softer look then a gloss is a good idea!

Do I need to Prep my Lips?
Yes! It isn't hard, literally takes all of five minutes. I buff mine with my damp toothbrush and slather on a decent quality lip balm. I let the lip balm soak in while I do the rest off my makeup, wipe off the excess and then finish my lips. Alternatively, you could buy a lip scrub, which is basically just sugar in flavoured oil - you can make your own using sugar and olive oil. Easy!

[[ Lush 'Mint Julips' lip scrub ]]

What Makeup Works with a Red Lip?
Skin - Keep is fresh, dewy and clean. Add a pop of colour to the apples of you cheek for a youthful glow or use bronzer for a more refined finish. If you're wearing a matte lipstick, a touch of shimmering highlight along the cheekbones will break up a block, matte look. Never over powder, it is ageing, especially with red lips - remember, your nan wore them when she was a teenager...

Eyes - Again, clean and simple is key. Either just use a dab of foundation or flesh coloured eyeshadow and a touch of natural looking highlight along the browbone. Layer on some lengthething, volumising mascara for a wearable, glam look OR falsies for an evening out. Younger ladies can get away with a sleek, black, flicked line of liquid eyeliner whereas older women should opt for a more flattering line of smudged out pencil eyeliner.

Eyebrows - Groom them! Fill them in or at least set them in place. As ever, you could have the most gorgeous makeup ever applied, but if your eyebrows look like Alistair Darling's, that's all anyone will be looking at...

Lips - Always line your lips before using a bold colour for a professional, clean finish. If you opt for a dark red, use a brush to apply it to avoid any shakey handed mistakes which might be hard to fix or disguise...

I think that about rounds it up! If you have any questions or anything to add, let me know :)


  1. "you can make your own using sugar and olive oil. Easy!" And honey, gives a better taste :)
    I have a question.. I am extremely pale with an yellow undertone.. Which suits me best, red with blue undertones or orange?

  2. Thanks for the toothbrush lip scrub tip--I think I'll try that!

  3. Love Diva Red on you! I'm still a little scared of red lips. I tried a red lipcolor on the other day. I still haven't wore red out of the house! Maybe some day I will get daring enought to!

  4. Oddly enough, red lippies have always felt more natural to me than pinks, nudes, peaches.. I think I've inherited the love towards red lippies from my mom, haha.
    Great post though :)

  5. @ Polly, very true! I'll add that in :) Red with warm tones, such as tomato reds and golden reds would work best with your colouring.

    @ Jennifer Leigh, no problem, it makes your lips feel super soft!

    @ The Peach, thanks! I love that colour. Maybe a sheer strawberry red gloss with some shimmer could coax you out of the house?

    @ Melly, haha, that's ace! I wish my Mum wore red lipstick - power to you both!

  6. I love red lipstick but still haven't found one that would be good for me, I might be allergic to lanolin or something and every lipstick I've seen, contains it .. :s


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