The month of love has begun, and we can’t help but see red. While you may opt for a simple red manicure to celebrate, or even flirt with the idea of a statement-making red dress, nothing quite compares to a signature red lip. It carries with it generations of star-studded influence and icons, and today still exudes a sense of sexiness and power unlike anything else. If you (like many of us) have tried a number of different looks but can’t ever seem to perfect that pout, we have an easy-to-follow lipstick tutorial just for you.
If you’re going to draw attention to your lips with a bold lip color, make sure they look healthy and as smooth as silk—not dry, chapped and flaky. Before you apply your lipstick, exfoliate your lips with a scrub or brush, then apply a nourishing lip balm to soothe and condition your lips. Wearing red lipstick on a date? Do this step in the days leading up to it for best results.
To make sure your lip color stays in place, use a lip liner to define your lip shape. Then, using the same liner, fill in your lips. A neutral, flesh-hued lip liner will hold your bold color in place without amplifying it—or, turn up the heat by using a red lip liner.
Most makeup experts agree, there’s a perfect red hue for every skin tone–but don’t let this limit you. While it’s important to consider your skin tone when looking for your perfect hue, New York-based makeup artist, Kimara Ahnert, advises against letting your skin tone limit your color range. “Don’t try to categorize yourself, “she said. “Try it on. If it meets your approval, it is usually right for you 95% of the time.”
Still unsure? Blue-toned reds flatter just about every skin tone, it’s the quickest way to make your teeth appear whiter, too.
Highlighters wear many hats. Used to enhance the eyes, cheeks, collar bone or any other body part that deserves its turn in the spotlight, highlighters instantly lend your skin a healthy, youthful glow. Add a dab of this at the center of your lower lip to make them look fuller and more kissable.