The perfect red lip!


There is nothing better than a red lip to dress up an outfit. But there is nothing worse than a red lip gone wrong!

There have been countless times where I have looked in the mirror at an event to find either that my lipstick has ‘bled’ or that it has completely faded only to leave behind a dry, flaky residue…sexy!

But fortunately, through my numerous attempts, I have managed to master what I believe to be the perfect red lip.

So here is my secret recipe for red lip success…

1. Soften that pout! – You will set yourself up for failure if you do not ensure that you start with a soft base. Use an old toothbrush to gently exfoliate your lips. Make sure that you avoid over scrubbing… bleeding lips is possibly worse than dry ones! You may want to invest in a lip scrub to aid this process but to be honest I found it more of a hassle than an aid.

2. Pick your colours! – You will need a lip pencil and a lipstick of your choice. Pick a lip liner that is at least two shades darker than your lipstick. The reasoning for this is that you want to create the illusion of plumper lips. Think of it just like contouring your face…the darker lip shade will allow a shadow effect whilst the lighter lipstick will create the illusion of a highlight.  The two I used were:

MAC Lip Pencil ‘Kiss me Quick’ –

Revlon Colour Burst Matte Balm  245 ‘Audacious’ –||0

(MAC’S Morange Lipstick is pretty much the same colour)

3. Line those lips! – Although ‘over lining’ the lips is all in at the moment, be careful not to take this too far. You can afford to over line at certain areas, as long as you keep it natural. For example, make sure you stay within your cupids bow.


4. Fill in your lips – Use the same pencil to fill in the majority of your lips, but leave the centre untouched. By filling in your lips with the same lip pencil, you are doing two important things. Firstly, you are providing a base which will stick better than any lipstick available. It will give you the longevity you desire throughout the day/night. Secondly, by only filling in part of your lips, you are allowing the ‘shadow’ effect to be created. This is what will allow the illusion of fuller lips to take place. Remember, focus on getting the outer lines of your lips perfect. The ‘filling in’ process will be blended later, so don’t worry if it is not exactly how you want it!

two three

5. Using your lipstick/crayon – Your lipstick can now be used to fill in the rest of your lips. This is where your personal preference comes into play. If you like your look quite bold, you can stick to minimal blending and create an ‘ombre’ effect. If not, you need to work on blending the two colours together. I find the easiest way to do this is to dab them gently with a sponge/tissue. You could use tools to help you, such as a brush. If you do decide to use one, start from the middle of your lips and brush upwards into the darker colour rather than the other way around.


5. Go back dark! – The great thing about using two colours is that it becomes easy to tidy up the finished look. Use the lip pencil to straighten out any edges, fill in areas to make the look more dramatic or to even out the lighter areas.


6. Make the edges ‘crisp’ – The key to a good red lip is to ensure that bleeding of the lip colour is kept at bay. Although the lip pencil should reduce this, using concealer to finish the look off just ensures that the edges are crisp and the look is perfect. I used ‘Stay dont Stray’ by Benefit:

To be honest, don’t be afraid to use any concealer at this point. You are not using it for its sole purpose (to conceal), so don’t rush out and buy a new one! If you decide to use foundation instead, I would recommend using one a couple of shades lighter than your skin tone. By using a lighter tone, you are highlighting the outer areas of your lips, which again creates the illusion of fuller lips.


7.  The last step!– Finally, take any white eyeshadow you own (or a highlighting powder), and place a small amount in the centre of both your upper and lower lip. You can then blend this out with your finger or sponge until you have your desired result. Again, this is all about the illusion process. It is doing the same thing as the lighter lipstick but on a more intense scale.. highlighting the middle area of your lips to create a fuller pout!


& you’re done! 

This is my tried and tested way of ensuring the perfect red lip which stays on all day. If you want to ensure extra longevity, you could pop a coat of Lipcote on:

I used this for my wedding as an extra sealant to ensure my lipstick stayed all day! However, be careful as I did find it took away some of the intensity of my lip colour, especially on a look like this where a lot of work has gone into it!

I hope this has helped!

Thanks for reading




2 thoughts on “The perfect red lip!

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