Red lipstick is the little black dress of makeup. Everyone can wear it, however you must choose the right red for your skin tone.
FAIR SKIN TONES should aim for a classic 'English Rose' or 'Just Bitten' look to their lip colour. Look for a softer red with pink undertones, ideally with a creamy texture. After applying, blot then reapply for longer wear and a natural finish. Keep your look fresh and modern by using a soft pink or coral cream blush blended towards the outside of your cheeks. Keep eye makeup minimal and rosy, using a gentle dab of blush along the crease to bring definition.
MEDIUM SKIN TONES have the most choice when it comes to wearing reds. Anything from a rich true red to a bright orange red will suit you- the key here is a perfect application. Line lips and fill them in before applying your final coat of lipstick (Hint: many of Ilia’s bolder shades have a thicker formulation that makes them perfect for lining your lips as well- just use the tip of your lipstick tube!). To further prevent bleeding, you may want to use Eminence’s Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum to smooth fine lines around the lip area, and blot concealer around the outer edge of your lips. Pair with contoured or lightly blushed cheeks.
DARK SKIN TONES suit a range of reds and will get the most benefit from going bold.Try deep tones reminiscent of your favourite Shiraz. Since deep lip colours may appear flat against darker skin tones, applying a gloss over top will add depth and luminosity to the shade. Lining lips with a dark lip liner will help extend the wear of your colour. If you have trouble finding the right shade of lip liner, don’t be afraid to try an eyeliner!
Leslie-Anne's other tips for wearing red lipstick:
1. For a romantic look try dabbing lipstick on your cheeks and lips and using a soft powder to set.
2. For anyone who doesn’t want the upkeep of a red lipstick, or wants a sportier look, a sheer red gloss will give your lips the colour you crave without taking you out of your comfort zone.
3. Red lipsticks tend to have thicker, matte formulations to minimize bleeding and maximize staying power. This does mean however, that dry lips may appear especially flaky. Combat this by exfoliating lips before applying lipstick. We love Ilia’s Balmy Nights and Eminence’s Lip Trio.
Leslie-Anne Barrett, also known as the Beauty Bartender, is a make-up, hair and stylist working in television, film, print and runway. Leslie-Anne is the makeup director at CTV and Ottawa Fashion Week, an alumni of Project Runway and the NYC's Black Book of Stylists.