Q: I love the red lip look you did for the model in this photo. I love to wear red lips myself, but I never seem to have any luck when trying to wear red lipstick (or darker lipstick colours for that matter!) How do I keep the lipstick from bleeding into the tiny lines around the mouth?
A: Great question. Red lips are a gorgeous look–but since they make such a bold statement and draw immediate attention–they have to be done right! The tricky thing with darker lipstick colours is that when they smudge or shift into the fine lines, they’re waaay more obvious than neutral lipstick colours. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when rocking those red lips:
1. Use a matching-coloured lipliner.
Outline the lips with lipliner – you can either follow the shape of your natural lipline or ever-so-slightly draw just outside/inside the lipline to enhance/trim lip size, depending on what you prefer. Use a lip brush to blend the lipliner in towards the centre of the mouth – this will help the lipstick have a base to adhere to. It also ensures that if the lipstick fades, you’ll still have some colour left on the lips and avoided the dreaded “ring-around-the-mouth” look.
2. Blot and re-apply.
After applying lipliner and a couple of coats of your red lipstick, use a one-ply tissue to blot your lips. Re-apply the lipstick to finish. Again, this will ensure a bit of colour remains on the lips and maximize the length of its wear as the day goes on.
3. Use a reverse lipliner.
A reverse lipliner is simply a neutral skin-toned colour pencil that can be used to refine the shape of the lips, once lipstick has been applied. Applying a reverse lipliner (like my beloved one by Cargo) will also help to create a border around the lips. This border will help prevent the darker colour from migrating to where it’s not supposed to! Make sure you have a fine, sharpened point and trace just outside the lipline’s natural border – and voila – red lips as neat as when you initially applied them! (Be sure to blend out the reverse lipliner well, or you’ll end up with a lighter ring around the mouth!) The reverse lipliner also works great as a touch-up tool – just pop it into your purse for any touch-ups required later in the day.
4. Use lipgloss sparingly.
Try to avoid applying excessive gloss all over your red lips – remember that gloss is wet in texture, so it has a natural tendency to move. To alleviate this, dab just a bit of shiny gloss on the centre of the bottom lip to add dimension and create the illusion of fuller lips.
Hope this helps!