As a makeup artist, February is one of my favorite months of the year for one main reason: it gives me a reason to wear red lipstick! From feeling fun and sassy on Valentine’s Day, to confident with a ready-to-take-on-the-world attitude on an average Monday, to taking an otherwise lackluster outfit and adding just the right pop of color, the benefits are endless. And while wearing red lipstick may not be for everyone, there is one day I think we can all agree is the perfect day to wear red lipstick: National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5th. Because after all, who doesn’t want to support awareness for Heart Disease?
Wearing red lipstick may not come naturally (yet!) for everyone, so I thought it would be helpful to share some tips and tricks to make your National Wear Red Day preparations easier.
Not all red lipsticks are created equal.
Choosing a red lipstick isn’t as easy as just grabbing the first one you see. There are a few things to take into consideration such as color, texture and duration (i.e. long-wear vs a traditional lipstick). When choosing a color, there are different undertones to every red, so you need to find the one that goes best with your skin tone and personal aesthetic. .
Here are some of my favorite’s from MAC Cosmetics. Hopefully this will make it an easy, one-stop shop experience for you as you can try all of these colors in one quick visit. For a red lipstick with a “cool” undertone, try MAC’s Ruby Woo Lipstick or MAC’s MAC Red Lipstick. For a red lipstick with a warmer undertone, try MAC’s Chili lipstick or MAC’s Lady Danger lipstick. For more of a true red, try MAC’s Viva Glam I Lipstick (my personal fave!). If you don’t know where to start, the general “rule” is that fairer skin tones should lean towards true reds and avoid red lipsticks with orange undertones, medium skin tones should steer more towards the warm, orange under-tone red lipsticks, and darker skin tones should choose a deeper red including wine-colored hues of red.
Also something I’ve learned from my years in the industry, is to avoid deep reds if you have thin lips. They tend to make your lips appear smaller. If you have full lips, you can go with a bright red or deep red, and for something fun, you can choose a deeper red lip liner to create some contrast / ombre effect. Just remember, these are only general rules, and rules are meant to be broken! So take some time before February 5th and spend an evening or lunch break at your local MAC counter to try on different shades. It may take some trial and error to find the right shade of red for you, so be patient!
Preparation is key!
You’ll want to make sure you have smooth, baby soft lips before applying your red lipstick of choice. Make sure to give them some much-needed TLC. Use a lip conditioner with Vitamin E to help combat cracks and creases. You should also exfoliate your lips the night before to remove any flakes or excess skin. You can find some great at-home sugar scrub recipes here, or simply take a wet toothbrush with warm water and brush lips with a gentle back-and-forth motion.
Also you may consider using a few whitening strips before you go red for National Wear Red Day. Red lipstick tends to draw attention to yellow-stained teeth from coffee, tea, or other dark beverages or tobacco.
Application – just throw on your lipstick and go! NOT!
A common tip for wearing red lipstick is to apply a little concealer around the border of your mouth to prevent the lipstick from bleeding. However, a little tip-of-the-trade that I like to share with my clients is to use a soft wax to create a barrier around your lips. This will fill in the fine lines and creases and keep your lipstick in place. I suggest using MAC’s Eyebrow Finisher (a clear wax). It comes in a pen format so its quick and easy to apply.
When you’re ready to apply to the lipstick, precision is important. Whether you’re using lip liner and lipstick duo, applying with a brush or straight from the tube red lipstick should never be applied carelessly / hastily. Also keep in mind that while a lip liner is not required, it does help to lock the color in and can help to create dimension. Then once you’ve finished applying your lipstick, you’ll want take this quick step to avoid getting lipstick on your teeth. Simply put your finger in your mouth, purse your lips around it, then slowly pull it out to remove excess color.
But what about the rest of your makeup?
When wearing red lipstick, a common suggestion is to tone down the rest of your makeup. Keep it simple with going a bit lighter on your eyeshadow. Subtle light brown or taupe eyeshadows tend to pair better than grays or purples. If you feel you need a little more pop to your eyes, channel Adele and do a fun, retro-inspired top eyeliner. Lastly, to bring everything together, smudge a lit bit of your lipstick onto the apples of your cheeks, and blend it with your fingers.
You now have all of the tools necessary to rock an amazing red lip on National Wear Red day! I look forward to seeing my newsfeeds flooded with beautiful red lips! #MoveYourMtn