Everyone Can Wear Red Lipstick by Makeup Artist Leslie-Anne Barrett

How to Wear Red Lipstick
with Leslie-Anne Barrett
We have all been seduced by an image of our favourite screen siren wearing red lipstick but most women feel that it's a look that they could never pull off. We tend to shy away from red lip colour and opt for safe neutral shades. 

We spoke with Make-up Artist Extraordinaire Leslie-Anne Barrett about how to wear a red lipstick. Leslie-Anne believes that Every Woman Can Wear Red Lipstick and that you can be an icon in your own life.
Leslie-Anne shares her tips on how to choose the right red:

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.


At ORESTA, we all have a personal favourite red lip colour that we love to wear: 

Oresta: Although I love the look of red lipstick, I do not feel comfortable wearing a bold red lipstick. Instead, I prefer ILIA's Perfect Day: a warm, toned down coral red that suits my yellow undertones. If I want to wear a true red, I wear Fitglow's Cherry lipgloss which is a soft, sheer red.

Laryssa: My favourite red lipstick is ILIA's Strike It Up. It a classic true red saturated with blue undertones. Its shot of colour makes a statement. It's easy to apply with good staying power and makes  my teeth appear brighter. 

Anna: My favourite red is ILIA’s Crimson and Clover. This intense red can easily add glamour to my make-up and it is a quick way to look crisp & polished without applying eyeliner and blending eyeshadows. It compliments my pale complexion and dark hair with its cool undertones which have the added benefit of making teeth appear whiter.

Nicole: I love dark lip colour, but with skin as pale as mine, it can be difficult to find a shade that doesn’t look too deliberate or too gothic. ILIA’s aptly named Femme Fatale is a deep plum-red with rosy undertones that keep it looking lively, even on the fairest complexion. I apply it lightly over a balm and blot off for a perfect rosy pout, or layer on heavily for vampy drama.

Evey: I love ILIA's’s Heartbeat lipgloss. This crisp cherry red is easy to reapply on the go while still giving me a beautiful pop of colour. It’s especially gorgeous layered over Arabian Knights for more depth.

Tara: ILIA's Lust for Life is a deceptively deep mulberry that is versatile for every skin tone. Exfoliating your lips is a must for this colour. Apply over a balm for a subdued application with punch or layer up for a bold, bright look with a cool undertone. *A must have for Arabian Knights lovers*

Ludmilla: ILIA's Bang Bang is a beautiful sheer red lipstick with a cool undertone which is flattering to all skin tones. It adds a lovely flush of colour to the lip that leaves a light stain, eliminating the need for frequent reapplications.

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