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3 Ways To Pull Off a Red Lipstick

Updated on October 14, 2014

Move over, nudes. Nothing says ‘sexy’ like a bold red-lip. It spells fierce, voluptuousness and screams for attention without even trying. Make this your ultimate guide for that lusty pout as we distinguish the glossy from the matte and the stained. Time to pucker up ladies!

P.S: Apply foundation on lips for a longer lasting lip color ;)

Leighton Meester with her Glossy Lips
Leighton Meester with her Glossy Lips

Glossy Red Lips

“Sizzling sire, with a come-hither appeal, blood stream look sanguine sophistication,” says M.A.C’s makeup artist Javier Romero, who worked with New York designer Katie Gallagher for her Spring/Summer 2012 runway presentation. Glossy lips mean super-full and luscious puckers, thanks to a single layer of gloss which adds shine.


  1. Prep lips with a lip balm or primer
  2. Line lips with a lip liner, then using a lip brush, apply lipstick.
  3. For a longer lasting effect, dust lips with powder before applying a second coat of lipstick.
  4. Dot clear gloss just in the middle of your lower lip, then lightly press your upper and lower lip together to even out the gloss for a multi-holographic shimmer.

Blake Lively with her Stained Red Lips
Blake Lively with her Stained Red Lips

Stained Red Lips

Perfect for low-maintenance summer beauties, a stained lip has that ‘just bitten’ quality; as if you have just snacked on a cherry ice Popsicle and it left a stain on your lips. It offers maximum coverage with minimal effort. Makeup artist to the stars, Molly Stern says, “A lip stain is like a hydrating version of glossy and matte. It feels weightless on lips and lasts all day,”


  1. Exfoliate lips gently with a washcloth, dipped in warm water.
  2. Apply nourishing lip balm to moisturize.
  3. Using your pinkie finger, dab a little lipstick from the tube and apply it to your lips. Keep adding small amounts, blending with your finger or brush, until you get your desired depth of color.
  4. No lip liner is required – soft and natural is the way to go!

Taylor Swift Matte Red Lips
Taylor Swift Matte Red Lips

Matte Red Lips

Not for wall flowers, this is a classic ‘40s and ‘50s look-very retro, yet it still comes off as elegant and ladylike without that ‘va-va-voom wetness’ found in glossy reds. Celebrity makeup artist Vivian Baker says, “Matte red lip color pops but is still sophisticated.”


  1. Using a lip pencil (that closely matches your natural lip color), draw a precise line on the edges of lips.
  2. Apply lipstick with a lip brush to get an even texture and fill in the creases.
  3. Blot with a tissue. “You really need a good blot to take the shine down,” says Baker. ‘The color is intense, so you don’t want it to smear”.

Meet Your Match

These days, lip color formulations have richer pigments and reflect light better to give you more vibrant-looking pouts.Transparent tints look great on every skin tone. But if concentrated color is what you're after, these three pointers can help narrow down your choices.

  1. Lipsticks with blue undertones like rose and pinks will look flattering on those with fair skin. Colours with yellow undertones like warm plums, orange, and beige will bring out the gold in medium to olive skin tones. Darker tones on the other hand, can carry deep reds and darker shades.
  2. Check the color of your teeth. If it has a yellowish tinge, you can whiten them with blue undertone lippies.
  3. Consider your environment. If you're under harsh lighting at the office during the day, go for warm and soft, creamy shades in pinkish tones. For an evening look, opt for brighter, bolder colors as light then is more forgiving.


1.Is matching lipstick color to your clothes passe?

Not at all. What I would suggest you do first though would be to pick a color that suits your mood and then pair it with a piece of clothing. For example today, I matched my lipstick to my shoes.

2. How can someone with really dry lips wear color effectively?

If you have super dry lips but wish to wear this beautiful nude lip color, one way to tackle dryness would be to massage the lips with balm and then gently scrub the scruff away with a tissue. Repeat with the massage step with balm and then apply the lipstick on top. The water based lip color will help keep dryness at bay.

3.How would you wear purple lipsticks?

Keep purple sophisticated, chic, and cool with curled lashes, nude complexion, and big eyebrows. It's always better to team strong colors with a clean complexion using just red lipsticks and a hint of blush.


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