The Right Red

13 Jan

Red lipstick is like trying a dish at an Indian restaurant. It looks beautiful, but will it make me want to stay home for a week with my head under the covers after I try it? I have a friend who has the red lip down to a science. She has paired it with anything from a party dress to a heather gray v-neck with skinny jeans. Tempted, I tried it. And LOVED it! I now own three different tubes as well as a red lip tint. Don’t believe me? Put your fears aside and follow these tips for a retro (and Valentine’s day appropriate) look you’ll love.

Prepare your mouth

Simple things like brushing and whitening your teeth will make a world of difference. Red lipstick will play up your mouth in a gorgeous way, but it will also showcase coffee-stained teeth. Look for a toothpaste that protects your teeth against tarter, but also contains a whitening agent. Crest 3D Whitening toothpaste removes surface stains, as well as protecting teeth from future stains. My favorite is Aquafresh Extreme Clean Whitening Action toothpaste; my breath feels fresh for hours. Whitening strips work, but they are expensive. I recommend a whitening mouthwash that you can use every night before you go to bed, like Listerine Whitening pre brush rinse.

Buff your lips

Lips tend to be dry in the winter, and wearing a heavy balm under lipstick will make the color fade faster. Sloughing away those dead skin cells will make your lips look flawless. Try C.O. Bigelow’s Lip Buffer, or make your own by applying a bit of sugar and water to your ring finger, and rub in a circular motion.

Pick the perfect shade

“If I had to teach someone just one thing about lip color it would be this: Find a lipstick that looks good on your face when you are wearing absolutely no makeup.” I don’t think I could say it better than wonder woman and make up artist extraordinaire Bobbi Brown does in her book, Beauty. For a trial and error tactic, go to your favorite make up counter (mine are Benefit and M.A.C.) Wear minimal make up to the store, so you can see exactly what the lipstick does with your skin tone. And don’t be afraid to ask the person working the counter. That is why they are there! An outside opinion will make you feel better about your choice.

A drugstore make up gal can try this trick: pull out your lip and look at what color the inside of it is. A color that contains similar pigments will look beautiful on your face. As a general rule, pink skinned women should wear cherry reds, medium skinned girls look great in fire engine reds. Dark skinned women look wonderful in dark red and burgundies. My favorite drugstore lipstick is Maybelline’s Color Sensational line. It is extremely creamy and comes in 48 shades.

Not quite ready? Opt for a lip tint. The color won’t be as bright and or require as much upkeep. My absolute favorite tint is Tarte’s Lipsurgance natural lip stain in Envy. The deep berry color makes my lips look like I just came in from a cold walk. Plus, it’s vegan!

Apply it

Starting at the center of your lip, swipe the color across your bottom lip. Then rub your bottom and top lip together. Finally, fill in spots your might have missed like the corners or edges. To ensure that lipstick doesn’t get on your teeth, stick your index finger in your mouth and then pull it out. If you’re going out, make sure to pack your lipstick so you can touch up as needed.

Kiss someone

Or something!  A mirror, letter, window, anything to show off your bold new look. Just don’t forget to re-apply.


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