How To: Apply Red Lipstick


I struggled with the idea of writing a fashion how-to. There are very few things in life I claim to be an expert in, and there are so many great fashion blogs out there already, would I really have something to contribute? But I find every time I wear this look I have people ask me how to do a perfect red lip. And after a Twitter conversation about red lipstick with the brains behind What Would a Nerd Wear, I knew it was fate.

There are as many different ways out there as there are shades of red, but I find this method lasts me all day with almost no smearing and very little touch-up.

You’ll need…

  • A lip brush (mine is from an old kit)
  • A lip stain (mine is Very Sexy Muse from Victoria’s Secret)
  • Red lipstick (I use Clinique #95 Red Hot)
  • Lipgloss (I’ve got Delux Beauty Crush Lip Gloss in Sweet Plum)

Start with a clean lip.

Apply a good coat of lip stain and LET DRY 2-3 minutes, otherwise the lipstick won’t go over it nicely. I use this is place of lipliner and find it holds up better and looks more natural as the lipstick wears off.

Apply a coat of your red lipstick. There’s lots of debate on using a lip brush or even your finger but I just apply straight from the tube. Then I smooth it out with a lip brush, I also think it helps it to stick but this could just be my imagination.

Apply a coat of lipgloss with your lip brush, starting in the center and blending out to the edges. If your lipgloss comes in a tube, I suppose you could apply it directly from the tube but the lipstick will turn your gloss red. Plus, I feel like I get better control with the brush. The gloss holds the lipstick in place and also keeps you from getting smears on your hair/face/clothes/glasses/boyfriend.

And that’s it! Around lunchtime I touch up any spots that are starting to get light and apply another coat of glass but it usually lasts all day with no worries.

What do you do? Any secrets you can share? Post in the comments below! 🙂

32 responses »

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  2. Enjoyed your post
    Just did red lipstick for the first time this holiday
    I am very fair and was always scared
    It took two ladies at the Bobbie Brown counter and a friend to help me find the perfect shade

    • I haven’t tried any others, but that Revlon and Covergirl now make versions that have been getting great reviews and are relatively inexpensive. If you try any, let me know how they work out!

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  9. You have definitely found your perfect shade(s) of red! Great tutorial, I can never get my red to last longer than an hour or two. Now I just need a fancy party to go to.

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  19. This is a great post, as is all your posts from the browsing I’ve seen. I love red lipstick, and I’ve noticed that I actually wore red in all of my posts recently! However, I just slap it on, it doesn’t look as professional as yours, and I really love your advice. I’ll definitely take it to heart, especially because I’m always wearing red. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  20. Thanks for doing a tutorial on red lipstick. Lipstick has always kind of scared me after watching my mom use it for years. Your lipstick however, looks nothing like how my mom wears it and makes me want to try a red lip for the holidays!

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