How to Wear Red Lipstick

Photographer: Jessica Mahaffey

Red lipstick is an all time classic but it isn’t for everyone. There is a certain skill to choosing and wearing your perfect shade. We spoke to celebrity makeup artist and serial lipstick wearer Victoria Bond to get her tips on how to wear red lipstick.

At The Vendeur, we are big fans of the transformative power of a red lipstick. It can take you from day to evening in a flash (or a swipe). Even though it’s a popular beauty look on catwalks and red carpets (sic), it really is a timeless colour. Its been fashionable right from the 30’s through to today. Prabal Gurung, Prada, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Sies Marjan, to name a few designers where red lips were seen. The good news is that the formulations and range of shades available is bigger than ever so it’s easy to find the perfect lipstick for you.

Choosing the perfect shade is a matter of trial and error. Here are a few pointers, but bear in mind they aren’t hard and fast rules. Whichever shade you choose, if it makes you feel amazing, you’ll look amazing too. Typically, blueish reds suit those of us with cool undertones to our skin, and orangey reds suit those that tan easily. Dark skin tones suit vibrant and berry reds. If you are unsure, head to a beauty counter for some expert advice.

Now you have the perfect shade sorted, how are you applying and wearing it? We spoke to Make Up Artist Victoria Bond for some expert tips.

‘It’s not easy to wear a red lip as it does need reapplying. It has a tendency to smudge and get on your teeth. But I do think it’s worth the trouble as it’s really chic and brightens up any dull day.’

Victoria Bond

Use a lip stain as a base. This will help when the lipstick starts to wear off as you won’t be left with naked lips ringed in red. I use Burberry’s Lip Velvet Crush in Military Red £24.

I always use a lip liner for precision and to prevent bleeding. I really recommend Mac’s Lip Pencil in Redd £12.40

To make lips look fuller I like to use a mix of blue reds and orange reds. Apply the orange mainly in the middle of the lip. Try Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet no 56 £31, at Boots for the orange tone, and Mac’s Ruby Woo, £17.00 for the blueish tone.

For extra polish, try highlighting the cupids bow with Burberry’s Fresh Face Glow Stick, £25, before applying your lipstick.

For a matte finish that also keeps your lipstick in place, I love Chanel lip powders. They are more effective than blotting and powdering. Chanel Poudre A Levres $31. 

Always have some cleanser and little cotton buds nearby for correcting mistakes. (The Vendeur loves The Last Swab’s Beauty, £11)

Use a stiff lip brush for a precise application and soft brush for a softer, diffused lip. Try Kjaer Weis’ Lip Brush, £16, at Content Beauty. Similarly a cotton bud can be used to soften a harsh line after application.

A glossy lip looks gorgeous but is harder to wear because it can bleed and smudge easily. Keep a mirror to hand for touch ups. Or try Guerlain’s Rouge G de Guerlain lipsticks, they come with small mirrors. Perfect for reapplying on the go.

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