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How to Apply and Maintain the Perfect Red Lip

January 23, 2018

Let’s talk about red lips. We wouldn’t want to oversell it, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that a swipe or two of red lipstick can be a total game changer. Need something to spice up your day to day makeup look? The answer is a bright candy apple red. Looking for a way to get glam for a special occasion? Look no further than a coat of crimson lipstick. Red lips aren’t just a makeup trend, they’re the ultimate classic. The tricky part isn’t deciding to wear a red lip color—that’s a no-brainer—it’s learning how to apply (and maintain) a red lip. After all, eye catching makeup isn’t quite the same if it’s sloppy or wearing away. If you’re ready to rock red lipstick, but need help with how to do it, we have you covered. Here’s how to apply and maintain a red lip:

Step #1: Slough Away Dead Skin

If you’ve ever envied someone else’s perfectly smooth and lacquered lips, chances are they’re remembering an important step that you tend to skip. You’ve probably heard that one of the secrets to evenly applying foundation is to exfoliate first, and the same is true of lip makeup. Taking a few seconds to use a scrub on your lips can make all the difference in how your red lip color applies. Before breaking out your lipstick of choice, massage a small amount of the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Face Scrub into your lips, then rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Step #2: Make Time to Moisturize

Once you’ve finished sloughing away flakes, you’re almost done with prep work. But first, you need to take a note from your skin care routine. After using a lip scrub, it’s a must to moisturize. While you can leave your face cream out of this tutorial, you will want to follow exfoliating your lips with applying a layer of lip balm. Smooth on a conditioning lip balm and you’re good to go.

Step #3: Create an Outline

Lip liner time! In case we haven’t gotten through to you yet, this is your gentle reminder that lining your lips is essential for a lip look that lasts. Start by taking the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner in In-Matte-Uated With You or Matte in Manhattan—both of which are vivid reds—and line around the perimeter of your lips. It’s up to you whether you want to underline to make your lips look smaller, overline to make your lips look bigger, or simply stick with the natural shape and size of your lips.

Step #4: Fill It In

Don’t put your lip liner down just yet. To ensure your lip color has staying power and (eventually) fades more evenly, use the liner to completely fill in your lips. This extra step creates a better base for applying lipstick.

Step #5: Find Your Formula

Now, obviously, you know what color to paint your lips. The only decision left to make is what kind of formula to use.

If you want a glossy look…use the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Shine Lipstick in Enamel Red.

If you want a matte finish…use the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Matte-ly in Love.

If you want a long-lasting lip…use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Matador.

Step #6: Coat Lips with Color

You’re probably already a pro at this part. Apply your freshly picked lipstick over anywhere you used lip liner. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look immaculate yet, you can fix that next.

Step #7: Use Concealer to Clean Up

Coloring inside the lines isn’t everyone’s strong suit. That means it’s OK if your red lipstick needs to be cleaned up a tad. All you’ll need is a small makeup brush and a full coverage concealer, like one from the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing and Contour Kit. Dip your brush in the concealer, then apply it around the edges of your lips to sharpen your lines. Blend out the edges, and ta-da, no one will know your hand isn’t always super-steady.

Step #8: Repurpose Your Powder

Translucent face powder isn’t only critical when it comes to setting your foundation and concealer. It’s also a trusty trick for maintaining your red lip all day long. Before you hit the town, place a tissue over your lips and reach for the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder. Dip a fluffy powder brush into the powder, then dust it over the tissue. And that’s it! No more losing your lipstick on every glass you touch or cheek you kiss.

Step #9: Prepare for Touch-Ups

You’ve done everything you can to prevent your lipstick from fading way too fast, but it’s always best to be ready for the unexpected. Just in case your lipstick starts to look worse for wear as the day goes on, be prepared to touch it up. Keep your lipstick and liner on hand, that way you won’t have to wipe away your red lip at the first signs of trouble.  

Step #10: Remove It All at the End of the Day

Once you’re ready to take your red lip off, reach for a micellar water that can cut through long-lasting makeup, like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types. Just saturate a cotton pad with the micellar water and wipe the pad across your lips to remove color.

Not sure what shade of red is right for your skin tone? We can help you with that. Here’s Our Best Red Lipstick for Every Skin Tone.

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