Lady in Red (Lips)

Although the title of this post might lead you to believe I'm referencing Chris De Burgh, this is all about channeling Ms. Monroe. :) There are a few makeup elements that never seem to go out of style and a beautiful, bold red lip is one of them. While considered classic and timeless, you can always spice up a red lip to match the trends of the season. While orange hues were in for summer, deeper burgundies and berries are always fall appropriate. Regardless of the shade you choose, there are always a few key steps to the red lip that should never be omitted!
  • Exfoliating and moisturizing are your best friends. With natural hues and glosses, it's easy to skip this step as dry lips are less noticeable. Flakes and dry cracks stick out like a sore thumb with deep lip colors. My favorite exfoliating product is the LUSH Bubble Gum Lip Scrub. If you're not as passionate about everything bubblegum flavored as I am, they also have the Sweet Lips and Mint Julips lip scrubs with the same type of formula. For moisturizing, I am a huge fan of the EOS lip balms, but regardless of the product you choose, I would recommend putting it on at the beginning of your makeup process so that it has time to soak in. If you apply it right before, lip liner becomes a nightmare and it can sheer out your lipstick!
  • Lip liner is an absolute must. I honestly don't wear lip liner too often, but I can't do without it for bold or dark colors. Not only does it prevent the color from bleeding, but it also helps to create a defined line at the edge of your lips for a clean and precise look. 
  • Continuing with lip liner, the type of application and color you choose are crucial. If you pick a bright cherry red lipstick and a berry lip liner, it's going to look a bit crazy. I try to match my reds as much as possible. The only time I use a completely different color is when I opt for a nude, which I will explain here shortly. When drawing a line, try to stay as close to the edge as possible and resist overdrawing! There are plenty of other tricks to make your lips look bigger, and if you overdraw with a red lip, the wear after a few hours can make your mouth look chapped or completely defeat the intent of a clean line. (Morning after smudged lip is totally not the look we're going for here!)
  • Unless I'm in a hurry, shading in your lips completely rather than outlining is a huge must. Lipstick wears much more than liner does, and once it starts to fade you can be left with an extremely visible rim of red around your lips. If you fill in your lips completely with the pencil after lining them, everything will still appear even as it wears off. The all-over lip liner even gives the lipstick more staying power!
  • I've recently fallen in love with using a nude lip liner or one that is as close to my natural lip color as I can get it versus a red pencil. This is particularly handy if I don't have a lip liner that matches a shade of lipstick. (Let's be real... you aren't going to buy a new lip liner to use with every single lipstick you buy.) If the liner matches your natural lip color, you don't have to worry about the shades not matching, and when the lipstick starts to show wear, there are no worries about the liner showing.
  • Lip brushes make any lipstick application easier, but I'm one to apply the lipstick directly from the tube. I would suggest using any small brush with synthetic bristles as they will absorb less of the product. 
  • This is completely personal preference, but if I have a lip liner that matches the shade of lipstick, I shade in the corners of my mouth, but I don't place lipstick there. Lipstick in the very corners of your mouth can get messy at times. 
  • This may sound a bit strange, but concealing is a definite *do*! With a bold lip, all the attention will be drawn to your mouth and you want the skin to look absolutely flawless. Even taking a liner brush and concealer and outlining the skin around your lips can help create a flawless edge to the color and really make it pop!
  • The finger trick is essential. Put your pointer finger in the middle of your mouth, gently close your lips around it and pull your finger out. All the lipstick from the inside of your lips will end up on your finger and not on your teeth!
So here's the fun part - all my favorite products to perfect the bold lip!


  • NARS Heat Wave
  • MAC Russian Red
  • MAC Lady Danger
  • Revlon Really Red
  • Revlon Cherries in the Snow
Lip Liner
  • MAC Cherry
  • MAC Redd
  • CoverGirl Lip Perfection Liner in Passion 
Lip Gloss
  • NARS Misbehave 
  • Rimmel Moisture Renew in Cherry Boost
  • MAC Sonoran Rain
  • Bare Escentuals Buxom Gloss in Cherry
I hope this helps get the perfect red lip you're looking for, and if you have any favorite products to create yours, I'd love to hear them!


  1. What are your recommendations for eye make-up with such a strong red lip?

    1. I like to keep the eyes neutral when the lips are the focus, but you can't forget them! I like light shimmery colors and a little definition in the crease, but a really bold lash line to balance the whole face out. Maybe this will be an upcoming post. :)