Beauty News

How to wear red lipstick

Apparently women smile more when they wear red lippy. Sexy, bold, timeless and glam, red's a shade that gives an instant lift. Here's how to make it work for you day and night.

By Nicky Pellegrino

Red lippy
There's a red lipstick to suit pretty much everyone.

  • Browny-red shades tend to suit most skin types.
  • Bold fire-engine reds suit pale skins the best.
  • Softer pinky reds suit dark, rosy-toned skin.
  • Orangey reds suit anyone with yellow-based, olive or brown/black skin.
  • If you've bought a red lippy and decided it doesn't suit you, try blending with other lip colours in your collection to create a customised shade that will work.

How to wear..

  • If you're going for bold red lips, keep the rest of your makeup simple. Defined brows, a little eyeliner, mascara and a matte complexion is the classic Hollywood look.
  • Red lipstick tends to bleed, so fill in the lips with a matching liner first. Build up colour from the centre of your lips outwards and clean up any mistakes with a pointed cotton bud dipped in a little makeup remover. You can also trace a little concealer around the outer edge of your lip-line to help colour stay put.
  • Neutralise any redness in your complexion before going red with your makeup. There's plenty of calming skincare out there to help you tackle this.

Red polish

  • DON'T worry about matching your nails to your lips. Fashion isn't that neat and finicky any more.
  • Do make sure your manicure or pedicure is up to scratch, as red is unforgiving. Ragged cuticles and badly shaped nails will seem more obvious.
  • DON'T forget to apply a clear base coat to prevent red polish staining nails.
  • Do keep nails on the shorter side - red talons are just plain scary!

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