“Beauty, to me is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick” – Gwyneth Paltrow
A beginner’s guide to red lipstick sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Well that is because it really is.
I would say you could probably split the female population into two categories: those that wear red lipstick and those who just haven’t tried it yet.
Ever since I was a kid I was obsessed with red lipstick. My mother had a great vibrant Elizabeth Arden red in a lovely white packaging. I used to love sneaking in her room and putting it on. There is something about a great lip that makes you feel sophisticated, sexy, grown-up, confident and playful. It is such a classic and a staple which should be in every woman’s make-up collection just like a great LBD.
I have for years converted my non-wearing red lipstick friends to try it. Those who say they can’t wear it just haven’t found the right shade for them.
I can sit here and school you on different shades of red, blue-based, brown-based, pink undertones, orange undertones, but I firmly believe it is up to the individual. I’m not big on colour charts, I believe in trying something and if you like something and are confident wearing it you will rock it like no other.
I have encountered some girls with beautiful natural big lips and they feel like they can’t wear red as it is too much. A lighter shade would be a good option to wear. I just think they have a great canvas to paint on.
The next question which is almost always asked is “If I wear a red lip does that mean that I have to wear a simple eye?”. I don’t believe this to be true one bit. It all depends on how the shadow is applied and what your face can handle. I love everything from a smokey eye to a simple lined eye with a red lip.
Don’t even get me started on people who say if you’re wearing a red lip you can’t wear a red outfit. Hogwash!
Take inspiration from the golden age of cinema with women like Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth rocking a beautiful red lip. To more recently actresses Jessica Chastain, Isla Fisher and singers Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera who wear the colour like they born with it on. Even the season one poster for True Blood featured the most amazing red I have ever seen and am still trying to find a match for it.
To start yourself off try a lovely cherry coloured lipstick or gloss. This will give you some colour without jumping right in.
But if you want to jump right into the deep end here are some pointers on how to apply it so it lasts and the colour pops.
Add a little foundation to your lips to create some traction for everything to stick. You can also use some lip balm.
Line and fill in your lips with a lip pencil. Now what colour you choose is really up to you. You can use a natural colour or for a more intense lip use a red liner. This step is completely optional. It really does depend on the quality of the lipstick you are using. Some lipsticks have such good pigment and staying power that this step is completely unnecessary. I personally only occasionally use a lip liner. I will tell you however if your lipstick does tend to wear off it would be a great idea to wear liner that way once the lipstick comes off your lips aren’t completely void of colour. The liner will be there to provide a backup.
Now comes the fun part, applying the lipstick. You can either apply straight from the bullet or use a lip brush working from the inside of the lips and out. Blot with a tissue and reapply until you get your desired colour. Blotting is very important as it helps to reduce bleeding of the colour onto your skin and transfer of the colour onto your teeth. If you do get any red on your skin use a tissue or sponge to remove the colour and add a bit of foundation and you are good as new.
Voilá you just created your first of many great red lips!
For added effect you can add a bit of clear or coloured gloss the centre of your bottom lip and/or some highlighter to your cupids bow to create fullness to your lips.
Experiment with all the different shades. You can go into department stores and get a free trial or just go in and try a few on. The hygienic way of course.
A lot of my favourite reds have been through M.A.C – Russian Red (Matte), M.A.C. Red (stain); Lime Crime – Red Velvet (goes on like a gloss with a sugary taste and finishes up as a matte); NP Set – Madrid; Witchery – Mulberry is a great dark brown based red.
A brand new red I am eager to try is called ‘Savvy‘ and it is from new make-up brand Angela Benfield Cosmetics and it was created by Make-up artist and Pharmacist Angela Benfield. Why was this the first red introduced into her collection? Mrs. Benfield says “I chose this shade for my first red as it is a classic red to suit all skin shades and hair colours.” See below photos of ‘Savvy‘ in action.
So with all this information I hope you feel confident enough to give this amazing colour a try.
As Dita Von Teese once famously said “Heels and red lipstick will put the fear of god into people”
To try out Savvy for yourself check out these links: https://facebook.com/angelabenfield.au, https://instagram.com/angelabenfield_makeupartist angelabenfield.com.au
‘Savvy‘ by Angela Benfield Cosmetics as shown on a brunette (myself) and a blonde. I cannot stop wearing this colour since I bought it. Love it!!