Wearing lipstick, let alone a “look at me!” red, is a daunting task for lots of women.

But red lipstick is one of the most classy and classical looks a woman can carry off — so long as it is done properly.

The trick to wearing red lipstick is first, knowing which tone of red to choose, and second understanding how to balance the rest of your makeup.

Think Coco Chanel, little black dress, pearls — how can you not complement this classic look with a timeless red lipstick?

Step 1: Selecting the right red

There are three main bases from which red lipstick stems — blue, pink and orange. The easiest way to distinguish which red is which, is to find a blue-based red and apply this on the back of your hand — you can then compare any shade of red against this to see their true base.

Great examples of a blue-based red is the Chanel #19 Gabriele in the rouge coco lipstick range or Napoleon Perdis Aphrodite in the DeVine Goddess Range.

So, how do you decide which red is right for you? I like to contrast to my eye colour and skin tone:

Eye Colour      Warm Skin Tone        Cool Skin Tone

Blue  -             Pink-based red          Orange-based red

Green  -           Pink-based red          Blue-based red

Brown  -           Blue-based red         Orange-based red

Step 2: Getting started

To achieve the classic red lip look you need to apply your lipstick before you do anything else. Why? Because your lip on this occasion is the focus of your makeup and everything needs to be balanced around it.

Use a matching lip liner to colour in the entire lip. Trace around the lip line with a steady hand to make sure you keep the edges sharp and tidy. To avoid the dreaded lipstick teeth look, keep your lips sealed while you are applying.

Decant a tiny amount of your lipstick onto a small synthetic concealer brush — I find these brushes are usually the perfect shape for the lips. Using a minimal amount of product will prevent the possibility of the lipstick bleeding.

Step 3: Move to the brows

Brows are next — I prefer to colour my brow pencil in on the back of my hand and using a sharp angle brush, pick up the colour and feather this through the brow. Create short intentional strokes, following the natural hairline. Try not to simply ‘fill’ the area. Instead, develop your application to look like finely brushed hairs. Use a clean disposable lash wand (or rinse out the brush from one of your old mascaras) and comb the brows up and out.

Step 4: Now the eyes

Although this look is all about the lips, we still need to give the eyes some life — use a small amount of nude shadow across the entire eyelid. With a fluffy blending brush, apply a taupe, apricot or soft grey shadow through the socket line. Amp up the lashes with a generous coating of mascara.

I always find it easier to apply liquid liner once my mascara is on. Never pull on the skin when you are applying your liquid liner as this will distort the placement of the line. Instead, steady your hands, look down the tip of your nose, raise your eyebrows to stretch out the eyelids and gently apply the liquid liner, as close as you can to the lash line. It is far easier to get a straight line by slowly developing the line in increments. Take the eyes to the next level and attempt to wear some white eye liner on the water line of your bottom lashes. This creates the illusion that the eyes are more open.

Step 5: Blush it

I save my blush until last, as I always find when wearing red the cheeks need some topping up.

Step 6: Almost done

Pop on that classic little black dress and show off your gorgeous lips to match.

Don’t forget!

Wearing lipstick is one of the most elegant looks a woman can have, its like having beautifully polished nails — it only takes one nail to chip and the look falls from classic to trashy in one fell swoop. Lipstick on the teeth, faded lipstick, an awkward red line on the chin and our beautiful look is dismal. Make sure you assign lipstick-checking duties to a friend and be prepared to maintain this sophisticated red-lipstick look.


© The West Australian

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