The Audrey Hepburn Look
Nothing says “pucker up” like a pair of vibrant red lips. Red is a color everyone can wear. The key is to choose the right degree of pigment for you… and not be afraid to be just a little daring.
If you rarely wear lipstick, opt for a subtle shade in the refined style of the always elegant Audrey Hepburn. Pat on lipstick with index finger, and top with a layer of gloss to add shine and help the look last all day.
Try: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain in Feelin’ Rosy (More Info | Buy), Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss in Red Light (More Info | Buy)
The Elizabeth Taylor Look
For a glamorous, old-Hollywood look reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor, only a bold, fabulous red will do. Create a base coat of lip liner on the inside of the lips, rather than the edges, and apply lipstick with a brush for a smooth, flawless finish.
Try: Stila Long Wear Lip Pencil in Passionate (More Info | Buy), L’Oreal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Ravishing Red (More Info | Buy), Mehron Stageline lip brush (1/4 inch flat end)
The Marilyn Monroe Look
Get the bold pout of Marilyn Monroe with a long-lasting lipstick that contains more pigment than wax. For a soft and supple finish, top the color with lip balm.
Try: Maybelline Superstay 24 Color in All Day Cherry (More Info | Buy)
Summary: Red lipstick is classic, elegant, versatile. And with these guidelines, everyone (yes, that means you) can wear it.
Consider the lighting. “If you’re going to be outdoors, pick a softer or sheerer shade,” says Rachel Lockhart, owner of Rachel’s Makeup Studio, in Boston. “For evening, go bolder, so your features stand out.”
Avoid deep reds if you have thin lips. They tend to make lips look smaller.
Experiment with intense shades if you have strong coloring. “Natural contrast gives you more options,” says Jill Morton, head of ColorCom, a consultation agency in Honolulu, says of those with exaggerated natural coloring (for example, paper-white skin, black hair, and blue eyes).
Don’t play up your eyes. “Pair red lipstick with the lightest possible eye makeup,” says lipstick designer Poppy King. A little mascara and beige shadow will do.
Don’t toss a red lipstick in a shade that doesn’t work. “Top it with a gold gloss to warm and soften it, or add a pink gloss to take it to the bluer side,” says makeup artist Maria Verel.
Coordinate your look. Dot a little smudge of the lipstick on the apples of your cheeks, then blend it with your fingers.
Be precise. That means whether you’re using a brush or applying lipstick straight from the tube. “Red lipstick should never be applied casually in the back of a taxi,” says Verel.
Don’t use red lip liner. If it doesn’t match your lipstick perfectly (and odds are it won’t), you’ll end up with a two-tone effect. If you like using liner, find a shade that’s close to your natural lip color and use it to outline your lips.
Prevent “bleeding.” Apply a little concealer around the border of your mouth.
Avoid getting lipstick on your teeth. After applying, put your finger in your mouth, purse your lips around it, then slowly pull it out to remove excess color.