The Perfect Red Lip: Do's and Don'ts

It’s no secret that red lipstick is among makeup’s all-time hall of fame. Seen on the lips of ancient queens, Hollywood’s most classic celebs, and today’s street style stars, it’s clear that the ruby-hued lippy has withstood the test of time. In fact, finding a complementary red shade is the perfect way to take your look to the next level. While any statement lip can add that certain je ne sais quoi we all so badly crave, there’s no denying that red-painted lips will always be a favorite. Here, find out how to find your perfect crimson match and the top dos and don’ts for rocking a stunning red pout.

HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT RED LIPSTICK SHADE FOR YOUR SKIN TONE
The thing about red lipstick is that there are about a hundred shades to choose from ranging in different tones to best suit each skin type. As a general rule of thumb, true reds that don’t have any orangey hints look best on fair skin, pinkish and orangey reds look best on those with medium skin types and darker, and plum and wine-soaked reds look best when paired with dark skin. 

THE DOS AND DON’TS OF PERFECTING THE CLASSIC RED LIP
So, you’ve found your ideal red—congrats! You’re not quite in the clear yet, though! Believe it or not, there’s a lot more to the perfect red lip than just the color you use. So, be sure to follow our lists of dos and don’ts to help you flawlessly rock the most gorgeous finishing touch all day long.

Don’t: Forget to exfoliate. OK, so you exfoliate your complexion and your body, but aren’t you forgetting something? Your lips, silly! If you’ve ever wondered what’s standing between you and a smoother lipstick application, it could be a little exfoliation. Use a lip scrub and gently massage your lips to buff away any dead skin cells sitting on the surface of your lips.

Do: Prime with lip balm. Before you get a little too pucker happy and jump straight to colorful glory, grab your favorite lip balm to help prime and hydrate your lips after exfoliation.

Don’t: Skip the lip liner. Next up on the pretty pucker list: lip liner. Lip liner can help your lipstick stay in place so that it doesn’t bleed outside the lines. Trace the contours of your lips a couple times over to really define your pout. 

Do: Accentuate your cupid’s bow. Red lips stand out on their own, but when you expertly accentuate your cupid’s bow, you’ll bring all the attention to a seriously pillow-y-looking pout. All you have to do is take your lip liner and draw an X starting at the highest point of your natural lip and extending down from that point. Repeat on the other side of your top lip to create the X.

Don’t: Go too far outside the lines. Now that you’ve perfectly prepped your pout, it’s time for color. When filling in your lips, don’t go too far outside the lines. While over-lined lips are definitely on trend, you never want to go overboard. Stay just slightly outside the contours of your natural lips and use an angled brush to reach every nook and cranny.

Do: Add a dab of gloss. Want to help your lips look a little bigger? Just a dab of lip gloss to the middle of your lower lip.

Don’t: Rub your lips together. If you find that your lips look a little too red or a touch too glossy, grab a tissue and blot your lips. You should avoid rubbing your lips together because this can smear your well-defined edges.

Do: Check your teeth! Before you walk out the door with your perfect red lips, make sure that your teeth look perfect as well. Since red lipstick is super-bright, it’s also super-noticeable.

And just like that you have your prettiest, most classic pucker yet!