Your Ultimate Guide to Wearing a Classic Red Lip

red lipstick


Red lipstick is undoubtedly a classic, popping up on Fashion Week runways year after year. There are a million shades of the timeless hue, from your traditional blue-reds to shiny, lacquered iterations. And just as there are endless shades of red, you can quickly find yourself deep in a rabbit hole when it comes to looking through red lip tutorials. That's why we've tapped two of the industry's top makeup artists to separate fact from fiction when it comes to creating the perfect red lipstick look (that actually lasts). Keep scrolling to watch a red lipstick video tutorial from makeup artist Bob Scott, plus tips from MAC Senior Artist Rebecca Butterworth.

How to Get the "Cool-Girl" Red Lip

"The cool-girl lip has an insouciance and a nonchalance to it. Intense color paired with diffused edges or a definite texture (car paint high shine or powdered matte) separate the modern lip from the overly precise, stamped-on retro lip."

It's All About Context

"Red lips are all about context. Let every single one of your freckles show through. Skin can be as raw and real as possible to offset the perfection of a red lip."

What About Eye Makeup?

"If you're into going without mascara, that's the best way to keep it modern. Curl your lashes and gloss your eyelid with highlighter or lip balm and you're good to go. Alternatively, if you want to wear mascara, layer it on for a post-punk feel."

And Lip Liner?

"Opacity is a really important step in the making of a modern lip, and a lip liner that matches the color of your chosen red is crucial for a clean, opaque finish."

Getty/ Selin Alemdar /Contributor

How to Curve Your Cupid's Bow

"Using a brush will make this easier. Try out a brush that has a curved edge because it'll do so much of the work for you. My go-to brush is actually an eyeshadow brush—MAC's 248 Small Eye Shader Brush ($27). It's flexible with a slender profile and a rounded edge. Use the rounded edge to stamp the curved shape onto your Cupid's bow."

How to Find the Best Red for Your Skin tone

The following is a good rule of thumb:

How to Get a High-Shine Finish

"High shine is back in a big way. Modern women want extremes of texture that make definite statements. MAC Lipglass Clear ($17.50) is the ultimate shine-maker. It's Perspex shine in a tube. For a modern matte, take cues from old-school makeup techniques: Separate a tissue into one ply and blot your lip color. While the tissue is still covering the lips, dust a layer of loose transparent powder on top."

Related Stories