how to wear red lipstick, how to put on red lipstick correctly, red lipstick application, red lipstick tutorial

How to Put On Perfect Red Lips in 10 Steps

Red lips have the ability to make or break your whole appearance. When done correctly, they distract viewers from your imperfections, and make your outfit go from drab to fab. It’s also one of the fastest, easiest ways to get ready to go out, if you’re one of the lazy girls.

Even Dita Von Teese has one of those days, she told

"Nobody ever sees me undone, but there are tricks to it. I’m always wearing my red lipstick, but it’s usually paired with my big sunglasses so that you can’t see that there’s nothing else on. [...] You should teach yourself to do one thing that makes you feel good that only takes five minutes to get out of the house. That will make your day better.”

This guide is comprehensive, and will likely take you more than five minutes, but it will get you the perfect red lip you want. So practice now, or let the joker jests come your way.

Jared leto joker suicide squad gif
Gif via Giphy

1. Pick the right colour

Mac cult classic ruby woo

Cult classic, Mac's Ruby Woo is perfect for those with a cool undertone

To do this, you first have to determine your skin tone. An easy step would be to take a look at your wrists and see the colour of your veins.

Your veins appear:
Blue/purple – Cool undertone
Green – Warm undertone

Or, if that was inconclusive, try these:

Clothing colours that suit you:
Blue/purple/green – Cool undertone
Red/orange/yellow – Warm undertone

Jewellery colour that suit you:
Silver – Cool undertone
Gold – Warm undertone

Using this newfound information on your skin, go to your favourite make up store to find a shade that will complement your skin. If you’re unsure, go to stores like Sephora or the brand’s beauty counter where there will be someone there to help you. If you have a cool undertone, look for a lipstick with a blue undertone, and if you have a warm undertone, an orange-based colour will look good on you.


2. Exfoliate

Dry, chapped, or flaky lips do not make a good canvas for lipstick. It will make your lipstick look uneven, and is a waste of product. To exfoliate everyday, a simple hack will be to brush your lips each time you brush your teeth. While some may disagree, this is easy to incorporate into your routine and saves you lots of time. Be careful not to brush too hard or the toothbrush may cut your lips.

A nifty method is to take a small amount of olive oil, mix it with sugar on your palm, apply it onto your lips, and gently scrub. Try to wipe the sugar out, instead of washing your whole mouth, and use the olive oil as a moisturiser.

olive oil sugar scrub exfoliate lips

3. Moisturise

If you left the olive oil on your lips, just dab out the excess and proceed to the next step. Otherwise, use your regular lip balm, even Vaseline, or Papaw ointment. Exfoliating will definitely dry out your lips, so you have to repair them. This will also prevent your lips from getting dried out and developing a cakey effect in the course of the day. 


4. Apply base colour

Some people have dark skin or patches around the lips, so applying either foundation or concealor on and around the lips will help even skin tone. It will also act like a primer, helping your lipstick last longer and look more vibrant. 


5. Line & fill your lips

Lip liners are the most understated piece of makeup—usually deemed unnecessary—but are as important as primers are to foundations. Lip liners give the illusion of fuller lips (it’s how Kylie Jenner does it) and prevent the colour from bleeding. Once you’ve completed the outline, fill your lips with the liner—locking in the colour, especially towards the centre of your mouth. Try to use the same, or at least matching colour, unless you’re going for an ombré do.

how to apply red lipstick lip liner gif
Gif created from Alexis Kaymor

6. Apply lipstick

This is the easiest part—no instructions needed!


7. Blot and apply loose powder

Remove excess product by blotting your lips with tissue paper. Then apply a thin layer of loose powder. This little step is the difference between touching up after every sip of water or after a few hours.

how to make lipstick last all day loose translucent powder gif
Gif created from Beauty and the Boutique

8. Final coat

Put on your final coat of lipstick after applying loose powder. Blot out the excess again and you’re almost done!


9. Conceal

Red is a big contrast from any skin tone available in the world—especially if you took the time to find the right shade. Concealing around the lip line will help you further define your lips, and erase any colours outside the line.

how to put on red lipstick gif conceal
Gif created from Kristianathe

10. Suck and pull

There is nothing attractive about having your lipstick stain your teeth. In fact, it’s kind of disgusting. There’s a simple trick to prevent that from happening. Simply put a finger in your mouth, close your lips around your finger, and pull it out. The lipstick closest to your teeth will transfer onto your finger, and never onto your teeth—problem solved!

how to not get lipstick on teeth problem
Gif created from TiTi s Corner

Featured photo via Dior magazine

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