How I Wear A Classic Red Lip

I love red lipstick. It’s a problem, really. My love of all lipsticks is well documented, but I have a soft spot for the classic red. Too many people reserve their red lipstick for a super formal event, or for evenings out, but my favorite way to wear red lipstick is in a casual way. Red lips,  with a plain t-shirt and jeans is the perfect running errands get-up when I want to be polished.

When I wear red lips I have two general rules: skin as good as it can look and simple eyes.

I prepped my skin and did my foundation routine as demonstrated in this post. For my eyes, I did my usual prep with Urban Decay Primer Potion followed by MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly. For color, I swiped on NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Yogurt and patted it in with my fingers, taking just to the crease.

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You can barely see any color, and in person the eye pencil is nearly the same shade as my skin. It’s a little deeper in tone and adds the slightest shimmer, making my eyes look slightly glossy, which I love with a bold lip. I run a bit of translucent setting powder over the top of the pencil to set it, as I find it creases if I don’t.

Then, in a move that will surprise no one, I lined my eyes with gel liner and tightlined. My eye shape really benefits from the structure of eye liner, and I prefer to use it, but if eyeliner is not your jam, skip it. Add loads of mascara and you can call the look done.

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Then I traced over the gel liner with my fav liner pen, Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in Trooper just to make the line extra sharp and extra black.

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Next, I curl my lashes because straight lashes just won’t do. Ever. Ever.

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Liner and lashes make my world go round. See the difference between the eyes?

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I don’t always add bronzer or try in any way to contour, but when I’m keeping my eyes simple and adding a red lip, I’ll add a bit just for extra shape to my face.

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It just adds a bit of shadow and warmth. Then, I add blush. If you are at all washed out, or you don’t wear blush regularly, you must when you wear bold lips. Weirdly, it will make the makeup look more natural. That seems counterintuitive because you are adding ANOTHER product, but don’t want to look washed out. Just trust me on this one.

For cheeks, I pulled out the Hourglass Ambient Blush palette, which for reasons I don’t understand, they only offered on a limited edition basis. Hourglass is a great brand, and one of the few brands I’d pay the premium for. Even though this blush palette is no longer available, any of their Ambient Lighting Blushes are worth the price. The shade I used for this look is a part of the permanent line, so feast your eyes on Mood Exposure (the blush on the right). It looks purpley in the pan, but it’s a very natural, very soft muted pink on the cheeks.


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The blushes also have swirls of highlighter, so they give a very subtle glow that is just magical.

Most days, I’d stop here with the makeup. This is a look I’d rock almost any day of the week, but when I’m feeling like a little lip action, it’s great paired with red lips.

As a part of my skin prep routine, I always put a layer of Nuxe Reve de Miel on my lips before I put on makeup. This balm is the BALM (I think the joke works better in person, or just maybe in my head, or maybe not at all.) It’s so thick and matte, and I always put it on again before bed. Seriously, your lips will thank you. It’s my favorite for pre-lipstick because the thick texture stays in place and keeps my lips from drying out. Because the balm doesn’t migrate, the lipstick doesn’t migrate. It’s awesome. So anyway, I layer on the balm, then blot any excess (if there is any) right before I start the lip process.

I don’t always use lip liner, but when I do a red lip, it’s a must. It helps with the longevity and even wear of the lipstick. I get that weird middle fade on my lips, and if I take the time to put on lip liner, it takes a lot longer to get to that touch up phase.

For the look today, I used MAC’s lip pencil in Cherry followed by the BEST RED LIPSTICK that’s ever been EVER, MAC’s Damn Glamorous. I know they are known for their reds, but this one is my fav. Sort of like the Kat Von D eyeliner, I pretty much pressure anyone I know to buy this lipstick.

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I always fill my lips completely. Then I take a lip brush and add lipstick to the edges of my lips. This helps keep the edge sharp and crisp.

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And finally I take the bullet and swipe it over the rest of my lips, making sure I get enough product on my lips to really fill in any gaps.


Simple. Fun. Polished.




And finally- a full shot of all the products I used.


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