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Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to Wear Red Lipstick

How to Wear Red Lipstick

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit says that red lips are the quintessential sexy look but getting it "just right" can take a little know-how. Red lips are a classic look as seen on many a golden age Hollywood beauty, and they're a pop of color that can enhance many a look. Whether you're just in the mood to have fun with your look, or you're going to a formal ball, red lips are often the best choice. Here's how to make sure they're a well applied choice too.


  1. Select the red lipstick. Most people are able to wear warm red.[1] However, it is important to try different shades of red to find the one that suits you best. Ask a makeup retail assistant to help you make a suitable choice; be sure to test under good lighting.
    • Orange-red or reds with more yellow in them are kinder to olive or easily tanned skins (warm complexions).
    • Pale skin tones (cooler complexions) are better with blue toned reds.
    • A berry-tone fuchsia is a good daytime red.
    • Try red in a see-through sheer texture if you're not sure.
  2. Clean and dry your lips in preparation. Slightly moisturize your lips by adding a little lip balm. Before proceeding, wait for it to be absorbed.
  3. Add lip liner. The lip liner needs to be similar to the red shade of lipstick you're going to use (or use a nude color). Carefully line your lips, avoiding trembling. If you made a mistake, don't swipe it off with your finger––use makeup remover on a Q-tip (cotton bud) for best results.
    • Slightly line outside your lips if you want your lips to look bigger.
    • Consider using a reverse liner; it's clear and it allows you to outline your lips to prevent lipstick from running and bleeding.
    • If you don't have a lip liner, pat concealer across your lips.
  4. Apply the lipstick. You can use different kinds, but usually a traditional lipstick is preferable. Don't forget the very inside of your lips, as you smile the colour of your real lips might be a big contrast to the redness.
  5. To make your lips redder, and fuller, get a small brush and use your foundation to apply around your lips. Don't be scared to get close to your lips, the bigger the contrast between your lips and your skin the better. This will let your lips look better, and more professional.
    • It is best to always apply using a lip brush, not the actual lipstick, which should only ever be applied direct to lips for brief touch-ups. The brush ensures that the lipstick is added precisely and that it will stay put.
  6. Once in place, lightly dab the lipstick with a tissue. A coat of translucent powder can do wonders too. Then, last but not least, apply either a clear or a red lip gloss. You can never put too little lip gloss, but avoid the edges, because it might dribble over if it's too much.
    • Place your index finger in your mouth and move it around gently. It'll lift excess red lipstick likely to smear on your teeth.
  7. Consider the remaining makeup. The red lipstick pops and should be your facial feature piece. The remaining makeup needs to be consistent with this and flawless skin is the look to aim for (or the illusion to create). Here are some suggestions to achieve this:
    • Wear foundation
    • Instead of eyeshadow, consider using foundation with a dusting of powder
    • Mascara
    • Creme blush
    • Bronzer.
  8. Check regularly for red smears on your teeth. Have a compact mirror handy to check and swipe off the teeth smears should they happen. And they will.


  • As your lips get redder, your teeth probably might get yellower, so brush them before you apply your lipstick directly.
  • To get a deeper red, use two kinds of lipsticks, that way you will blend two choices if you are confused.
  • Sometimes, you can fill in your lips with your lip liner before you apply your lipstick, this tends to make it last a bit longer.
  • The pads of your fingertips are the closest to your lip colour, making these a good part of the body to test the red colour on first. However, this shows sheerness and texture, not whether or not the shade will flatter you.[2]
  • Teeth look brighter with some shades of lipstick, namely watermelon colors through to the fruity, berry colours.
  • In Hollywood, Rita Hayworth wore the really brilliant red, while Elizabeth Taylor wore a candy-apple red.


  • When you are done, smile and try to talk. Sometimes you get red stains on your teeth, and you won't notice until it is too late.
  • It doesn't look too good when your lip liner is brown or a colour that doesn't really complement red, or bright red.
  • Never forget to apply lip liner. It helps prevent your lipstick and lip gloss from sliding all over your chin.
  • Avoid shades of red with too bright orange undertones; these will appear sallow and can bring out too much yellow in teeth.
  • Remember: Heavy use of make-up defines you as a type. Be sure you want to be defined as that type before you use it!
  • Red lipstick looks best with a flawless complexion and dramatic (but not overpowering) eye makeup - if you can't do this it might be best to get some lessons from a makeup professional, or even self-teach with YouTube lessons!

Things You'll Need

  • Lip balm
  • Red lip liner
  • Red lipstick
  • Red or clear lip gloss
  • Foundation
  • Make-up remover

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  2. Sarah Stacey and Josephine Fairley, The 21st Century Beauty Bible, p. 27, (2002), ISBN 1-85626-437-8

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Wear Red Lipstick. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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