The Stylista team knows me as their resident lipstick junkie. And though I might occasionally flirt with a pop of fuchsia or a bright sweep or tangerine, monogamy is the name of the game when it comes to me and red lipstick. Truth be told, like all relationships, we’ve had our fair share of problems. A tempestuous past, if you will. But over the years, with a little help from ingenious tools of the trade and insider tips and tricks, I’ve managed to perfect the art of the red mouth. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Thou shalt start with a smooth canvas
Making sure your lips are free of flaky bits of dry skin is absolutely vital to ensuring your lipstick glides on smooth. Use a damp towel and lightly brush back and forth or smear some Vaseline all over your lips and gently use a baby toothbrush to scuff away lip debris. Then dab on your most delicious lip balm to seal in the moisture you need for a full, sensuous pout.
2. Thou shalt keep thy tools handy
Two tools I think are absolutely necessary for the perfect pout? A lip brush for more control, plus it makes your lip colour last longer. And cotton swabs to correct any little errors with precision.
3. Thou shalt make lip pencils thy best friend
Take my word for it, lip pencils stay put. Lightly line your lips in the same colour (not darker, this isn’t the nineties) as your lipstick, then fill in your lips using the pencil. This way, even if your lipstick rubs off after a meal, you’ll still have some colour below to save the day till your next touch-up!
4. Thou shalt find the right shade for thy skin
Picking a shade that looks striking against your skin is a little tricky. Follow this chart for a quick cheat sheet:
5. Thou shalt pay attention to thy lip shape
We’re not all born with an Angelina Jolie mouth. If you have thin lips, steer clear of darker reds, oxbloods, maroons and purples that make your lips look smaller. Opt instead for brighter reds that create the illusion of fullness.
6. Thou shalt not get lipstick on their teeth
We’ve all been there and feel your pain. Lipstick on a woman’s teeth does not say ‘polished’ or ‘put together’. Avoid this dreaded faux pas by placing your index finger inside your mouth once you’re done applying your lipstick and gently close your lips around it. Slowly pull your finger out so any excess lipstick sticks to your finger, as opposed to making a mess of your pearly whites.
7. Thou shalt blur thy lines
Red lipstick can make a bold statement on it’s own, but harsh, sharp lines make too severe a statement. Use a makeup sponge or cotton swaps to lightly blur around your lipline.
8. Thou shalt tone down the rest of thy makeup
It’s all about balancing proportions. If your lips are bold and beautiful, keep the rest of your makeup natural and clean and steer clear of smoky eyes or heavy kohl to let them take center stage. Opt instead for a sweep of black liner cross your top lips and finish off with a coat of mascara.
9. Thou shalt blot like a lady
The polite way to blot your lipstick between applications is to lightly dab it with a tissue. Don’t place a tissue between your lips and clamp down on it as this will make your lipstick wear off unevenly.
10. Thou shalt maximize thy mouth
Take your pout to shout about to another level by dabbing some highligher on your cupid’s bow, then use some clear lip balm on the center of your lips to create the illusion of a full, sensuous pout.