Red lipstick is hot. Any guy who says otherwise probably just wants to make out with you and is concerned about having it smeared all over his face (well too bad). Any girl who says, “I can’t pull it off,” just needs to find her perfect color and channel her inner Marilyn Monroe. Not to be confused with Marilyn Manson who also wore red lipstick, but in a not-so-sexy way. (If you clicked on that link, I’m sorry.)
The thing about red lipstick is that you have to have balls to wear it–it makes a statement that says, “That girl is confident and sexy and not afraid to take risks.” I was at a bar a few weeks ago and a guy approached me (an actual cute one, for once!) and we started chatting. A few minutes into the conversation, he admitted that he came up to me because of my red lipstick. Ba-da-bing. Ba-da-boom. But then he touched my stomach (uhh, a new flirting move I’m not aware of?), which I thought was totally out-of-line, so I politely excused myself. Anyway…
Here are my tricks and tips for rockin’ red on the lips.
1. Splurge a little. Don’t get me wrong–there are plenty of great drugstore beauty products out there, but this is not the time for them. Go for a matte (or at least semi-matte finish) for a deeper hue and more staying power (don’t worry–we’re going to put gloss over it for shine). I use Pla Beauty’s Lovestruck ($22, also goes by the name of Seriously). Pla is my favorite makeup line and can be found in Woo Cosmetics in Atlanta and Nashville, or you can order online. Other top-notch picks:
-Chanel Lover ($25 on Amazon). My fab NYC friend, Louisa (pictured, left), introduced Lover to us a few years back and we were all immediately obsessed.
–MAC Russian Red ($14.50–a steal!). Anything that’s Russian has to be awesome. Hello…vodka?
–YSL’s Red Muse ($34). Oh, YSL. You never do us wrong.
2. Liner and gloss. Find a liner very close to the color of the lipstick. If you’re buying from a makeup counter, someone there should be able to select the perfect match. For the gloss, don’t go sheer–pick a gloss that has substantial red color to it, so you can apply it throughout the evening to keep your color instead of reapplying your lipstick a bajillion times. I use Pla’s Ruby Slippers.
2. Use foundation. For really long-lasting color, put a light coat of foundation on your lips before you start applying. Just dab it on with your finger and blend. I don’t always do this, but when I do, it lasts all night. Basically, it’s the Viagra of red lipstick.
3. Lipstick BEFORE lip liner. (Like liquor before beer…but different.) Put on your lipstick. Blot lightly. Now, carefully do your liner, creating the perfect, “in between the lines” effect, like my beautiful bestie Kate (pictured below).
4. Q-tips are a girl’s best friend. It’s like they were made for red lipstick! If you failed coloring in elementary school because you couldn’t stay in between the lines (no judgment), keep Q-tips on hand for after you apply your lipstick AND after you apply liner. You may as well put some in your purse, too.
5. Gloss, then finger. Apply your gloss, then do the age-old finger trick–stick your finger in your mouth, close your lips around it, then pull it out so it grabs that color on the inside of your mouth that was about to end up on your teeth. Don’t do this while looking a dude in the eye unless you plan on at least giving him your number.
Throughout the night, you shouldn’t have to repeat the WHOLE process. If you’re not eating, you may just be able to get away with glossin’ up every once in a while. Or you could dab on a bit of lipstick, open and close your lips a couple times to spread it out evenly, then gloss. Or you could hold up the bathroom line and do the whole shebang all over again.
Now, go paint the town (and your lips) red, you sexy thang!