A red lip is to the holiday season as presents are to Christmas morning– it’s not really necessary to enjoy the day, but it sure as hell helps.
While a red lip is a classic this time of the year, that’s the very reason why it can sometimes be difficult to wear– when everyone is familiar with the look you’re going for, it’s hard to pull it off in a way that’s entirely your own. Here’s are a few of my red lip hacks to help make pulling off a scarlet pout easy as hell!
Exfoliate Your Lips
A bold lip is a double edged sword in that it looks great… But it also highlights everything about your lips you don’t like. Namely, if they’re dry.
My number one tip is to make sure you are starting with exfoliated, moisturized lips– which are surprisingly easy to achieve. While brushing your teeth, simply swipe your toothbrush gently over your lips a few times, removing any dead skin and promoting circulation. Finish with a single layer of chapstick.
Mute the Rest of Your Face
While this is a tried and true tip, I stand by it– if you want the attention on your lips, you have the keep the rest of the face soft to truly make an impact.
I’ll limit myself to neutral colored eyeshadows (usually cream and soft browns to still create depth) and unless I’m going out I skip the liquid eyeliner– with a red lip it’s much more flattering to use a soft kohl liner that’s been smudged out.
BUT– Play Up Your Brows
A red lip does require some support from the rest of your face to keep it from looking clownish– and the best way to do that is to play up your bone structure by emphasizing your brows.
Spend some extra time filling in sparse areas and really focusing on creating full brows– although be sure to still create something that looks natural on your face. If you’re still feeling as if the red lip is wearing you, add a small amount of highlight under the brow, on the inner corner of the eye, and along the tops of your cheek bones to create more structure.
Line Your Lips
Straight up: the biggest mistake you can make is attempting to free ball your lips with a dark lipstick– in my experience there is no quicker way to potentially ruin your entire face.
When going for a bold lip, always take the time to line your lips and fill them in with a nude lip pencil. Not only does this allow you to establish where you’re going to put pigment, evens out any flaws in your lips– a bold lip is going to highlight anything unsymmetrical, so this is your chance to create the lips you always wanted.
But a word to the wise: Don’t go overboard. This is not the time to create those Kylie Jenner lips you’ve been lusting after. Stick as close to your natural lip line as you can.
Keep it in Place!
After spending years being notorious for leaving a smudge of lipstick wherever I go, 2017 was finally the year I set about keeping my lip colour in place.
After filling in my lips with a nude pencil, I carefully apply my first layer of lipstick, taking the time to really carve out my cupid’s bow and make sure there aren’t any flaws in my lip shape. Then, after giving it a minute or two to set, I lightly dust finishing powder over my lips.
Next, I reapply lipstick in a light layer, making sure my pigment is even. Finally, I’ll finish with a light layer of setting spray.
Another good trick is the use of lip stains. I am a huge believer in their staying power, and if you happen to have one in a similar shade to the lipstick you’re wearing they can be great for keeping everything in place.
The Finger Trick
There’s no kind of anxiety like Oh-God-Do-I-Have-Lipstick-On-My-Teeth anxiety, and once you wear a bold lip you live in constant fear. Are people looking at your mouth because of the lip color? Or is it because you have a big glob of red on your teeth???
Although there really isn’t a way to completely eliminate the threat, one thing that does help me is The Finger Trick. After applying and setting your lips, put your index finger in your mouth, pucker your lips around it, and pull it out. Any lipstick that was slightly too far on the inside of your lips should come off on your finger.
The Tissue Trick
There is a trick in reapplying lipstick that has been passed down woman to woman for generations: The Tissue Trick.
If you haven’t heard of this, I’ll tell you right now it’s genius– and the sole reason my lipstick stayed in place on my graduation day. If you’re out in public and have to reapply, start by swiping on a new layer of lipstick. Then, take a tissue, fold it in half, and press your lips down on either side of the edge (basically you are biting a kleenex with your lips.) Then, reapply lipstick again.
I have no idea why this helps lock in colour. Actually, I have no idea why this even helps. But it does. And my mother taught it to me, and I trust her.
What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Thinking of rocking a red lip this season?
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