Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Drawing attention to your mouth with a crimson color may make your cringe, but it doesn't have to. With these tips you'll learn the power -- and pretty -- that wearing a red lipstick can convey.

Does wearing red lipstick in a dark-ish shade-- make you uncomfortable? Does it make you feel like everyone's starting at a smudge across your two front teeth? Or make you feel like your somehow still playing dress up? You're not alone. But, with reds and other deep shades poised to rule the makeup roost this fall, it's time that we all garner a little confidence and figure out how to wear a red lipstick that works for us. 

You don't have to channel old fashioned icons like Bridgette Bardot or Marilyn Monroe with your red lipstick, you only have to do a little homework to find what works for you -- and once you do, you might be amazed by the power that a red lip can wield. 

One of the easiest, least time consuming ways to get a rich red lip is using a stain that comes in pen or marker form. (Try Pixi Lip Blush in Happiness, $18). To get the look, simply line your lips with the pen and fill them in. Draw on another coat and keep it hydrated with an occasional touch of colored lip balm. (Tip: You can manipulate your base shade of red from deep red to coral by adding different amounts of lip balm.)

To create the perfect classic red lip, line your lips and fill them in completely with a red lip pencil. (Try Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lip Liner in Red, $6.49). Then apply a bold, moisturizing red lipstick (such as Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revival, $7.49). Blend the color with a lip brush for a more precise shape. 

To make the lip look more full and give it som "pop," use a brush to dot a light-reflecting concealer onto your cupid's bow (the dented part in the top of your upper lip) and blend outward. You can also do this on both sides of the bottom of your lip. Then dot a bit of lip balm or gloss on the center of your lips. And let Mr. DeMille know that you're ready for your close-up.

The key to getting your lips to look like they are radiating color from within, is to forego liner. Instead, dot color in the middle of your lips and blend outward with your fingers, says makeup artist Dwight O'Neal. You can do this with a stain, a lipstick, or both. O'Neal likes to apply the stain first (like a primer), then do a second dab-and-spread with lipstick, then a third with a tinted lip gloss or colored lip balm over it to help your color last. (Try Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple, $6.49.)

Even if you're not a "True Blood" fan, dark, vampy lips are an edgy way to spin a classic red -- and they look great with blue eyes. To get that blood hue, you'll need a bit of purple in your red. Line lips with a black-violet liner and do not fill in. Then apply a deep berry red lipstick (such as Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Rosary, $6.99). Blend the area where the two colors meet well with a lip brush.

Want red lips that shine like vinyl? Luster of that caliber requires two things: bold color and a sparkly red lip gloss. Follow the same steps you would take to get a classic red lip, only when you're done, slick on a coat of high-shine lip gloss. (Try Artistry Light Up Lip Gloss in Passion, $6.49.)

Bold, matte color looks sophisticated, but it can also draw attention to dry lips. Makeup guru Bobbi Brown suggests applying eye cream to freshly exfoliated lips (use your toothbrush or a lip exfoliant) so that you'll have a smooth, hydrated surface to work with. Then use a lip brush to line and fill in your lips with a bright red, slightly creamy, matte-finish lipstick (try MAC Mattene Lipstick in Eden Rouge, $14.50). If needed, apply a coat of matte-finish lip balm (such as Peter Thomas Roth Matte Lip Balm, $11) to keep the color from flaking throughout the day.

Red lipsticks look best on moisturized, flake-free mouths, so before you apply any color, do a good exfoliation session with a sugar scrub (try Sara Happ The Lip Scrub, $24), then smear on a rich moisturizer. When applying your lip color, the key to make it last is to layer the color, then keep it hydrated throughout the day. A good solid dose of lip liner before and upkeep with a red-tinted lip balm can help you to avoid the madness that is reapplication. Now, it's time to find your ideal shade of red lipstick.

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