How to Do a Perfect Red Lip

-SLH West Coast Fashion Editor:

Everyone loves a red lip. Classic, sexy and sophisticated, but it can also be a tricky look to achieve without the proper prep and quality products. Let’s go over the ground rules to ensure the perfect pout.

The biggest mistake we’ve seen (and been guilty of ourselves…yikes!) is not making sure your lips are moisturized. Small flakes and dry outer lip edges may look almost invisible on a nude lip, but they are magnified with red. Before anything else, you must address this. Remember too, that your lips are very delicate, so don’t use a scrub. Take a wash cloth dipped in warm water and lightly rub it over your lips. Start gently and continue until you no longer feel any flakes.

Next, we recommend a light balm + primer. Here are some the SLH editors have tested and found to go the distance (Bonus – they’re all under $30)


Shop This Look : Stila Lush Lips Water Plumping Primer, Bite Beauty Line & Define Lip Primer, Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer, NYX Cosmetics Lip Primer, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Primer

Even the best lipstick has the potential to bleed. While this may not be as noticeable on lighter tones or glosses, you never want your red to look sloppy. The best defense against this is a solid lip liner.

So what type of red liner should you look for? Trick question! You don’t. At least, not at this stage. The best liner for prepping a lip is actually a liner closest to your natural lip color or completely transparent. The purpose of the liner is to block the strong pigment from feathering past your lip line, so by using a liner that matches your natural lip color or has no color, you create a barrier without introducing a competing color. Editor’s hack – if you don’t have lip liner handy, you can use your foundation around your lips to help keep your color in place.

Once you’re prepped, use a brush to apply your lipstick. Start with your bottom lip and apply the color from the middle out. Repeat for the upper lip. Did you end up a little outside your target? No worries, take a make-up remover cloth and saturate a Q-tip, then apply the Q-tip to the affected area. Repeat until the pigment is removed. If needed, re-apply the liner and then the lip color with the brush.

For most of us, this is usually where we stop. But here’s our last trick to keep things (literally) in line. Take a red matching lip liner and go over the outline of your lip a final time. This finishing touch will make your overall look super clean and precise. This is also where you can add fullness by applying slightly outside your lip line and adding extra color around your cupid’s bow to draw attention there.

Here’s our top fav picks for great wear and plenty of color choices to help best match your shade.

Shop This Look : Boots No7 Precision Lip Pencil, Sonia Kashuk Lip Definer, Ulta Automatic Lip Liner, L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner, E.L.F. Lip Liner, Rimmel London Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Liner, NYX Cosmetics Professional Makeup Slim Lip Pencil, Essence Lip Liner, Revlon Colorstay Lip Liner, Milani Color Statement Lip Liner

Only thing left to do is mush those lips together to press in the pigment and you are ready to go!

Our last bit of advice – A proper red lip can look stunning, but it is a crafted look, so practice these steps and find what works best for you.

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