Beauty News

How to: Red lips

Turn celebrity style into real-life ready with this easy guide.

• If possible, trial shades on your lips rather than your hand or arm. Book in for a make-up session at your favourite beauty counter – usually the cost is deducted from any purchase you make – or use a cotton bud to scrape off a bit of colour from the tester and dab it on.

• If you’ve bought a red and it doesn’t suit you, try blending with others in your collection or put on a top layer of gold or pink gloss to soften.

• Avoid deep colours if you have thin lips, as they can make them look smaller.

• Intense shades work especially well for those who have strong colouring – one example is the pale skin and dark hair contrast of Angelina Jolie (above).

• Red lipstick is the most difficult to apply. L’Oréal Paris make-up director Lisa Matson says a helpful tip is to put on with a closed mouth – especially when colouring the outer edges, as it makes it easier to get a smooth, even nish. Blot with a tissue and re-apply – this increases staying power.

• If you’re not used to wearing bold shades, give yourself time to warm up to how it looks.

• Matte or glossy? Matte tends not to feather or bleed, but a sheen can be more flattering.

• If red really isn’t for you, then the good news is fuschia pinks and bright corals are also hot.


Smashbox global make-up artist Lori Taylor thinks there’s a shade out there for everyone – it’s all about your skin tone.

• Browny reds are almost universally flattering.

• Fire engine reds suit pale complexions.

• Soft pink/reds work with dark/rosy toned complexions.

• Orange is ideal for those with olive or black/ brown colouring.


Lori says there are no rules in make-up, so if you want to team bold lips with a smoky eye then you should go for it.

Those who prefer not to look overdone can stick with a wash of pewter, copper or gold on the lids with a navy eyeliner. Try Smashbox’s new “slurry formula” Love Me Eyeshadow Palette in Entice Me $54 (1) or Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Platinum $44 (2) – both can be brushed on dry or used wet for more intensity.

How to – red lipstick

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