Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Art of Red Lipstick

Hi, my name is The Make-Up Mistress and I am addicted to red lipstick.

Painted red lips always makes a statement. It is mysteriously sexy yet playfully feminine. It can make almost any face look dramatic. It can make you feel like and look like a vixen or a bombshell. It is simply very classic. I can't get enough of the stuff and I don't think enough women wear it. There seems to be some sort of negativity attached to red lipstick - it will make you look like a painted-up whore, if you are older than 30 you can't wear it, if you are pale with black hair it will look awful. Hell, I live in the most (apparently) fashionable city in Canada and yet I still get strange looks on the subway when I am wearing bright red lipstick. It's time we take red lipstick back and make it the hottest lipstick to wear.

Red lips can be a challenging color to apply, especially for newbies. Every woman who wears red lipstick, or any lipstick for that matter, wants it to be long lasting. Not necessarily kiss-proof but durable enough so it doesn't fade quickly throughout the day.

The key is to find a good lipstick and matching lip liner. I've tried many brands of red lipstick before discovering a classic red with the perfect consistency. I suggest trying Russian Red or Ruby Woo by MAC Cosmetics as both are your traditional red. Ruby Woo has a very retro feel to it, in both consistency and color - it's like your lips just stepped out of the 1950's! The only downside to Ruby Woo is that it is a very matte lipstick and your lips will feel quite dry by the end of the day. Russian Red is quite similar in color but is a little more moist. It's my personal favorite.

Most cosmetics counters will have (sanitized) samples for you to try out for yourself. If this cosmetics counter or brand carries a red lipstick that you love, they will also have a lip liner to match. A good lip liner should be a firm pencil that is soft and smooth to apply. My favorite lip liner is Cherry, also by MAC Cosmetics. It perfectly matches their wonderful Russian Red lipstick. As well, be sure to pick up a good lip liner pencil sharpener while you are there!

With a newly sharpened and matching lip liner, carefully outline your lips. If you have thinner shaped lips, you can always trace a little outside your natural lip line. Of course, you don't want to over-do it as the end result will look a little too clownish(like that time I tried recreating the 1920's beestung lip look while tipsy - yikes!). Lining your lips with lip liner will not make your lips look heavily made up. Lip liner gives a more precise look, once your lips are filled in with lipstick. Also, it helps your lipstick last a little longer and will prevent red lipstick from bleeding into the fine facial lines around your lips, especially for us older gals. Often, I fill in my entire lips with lip liner to ensure my lipstick lasts as long as possible. That's how much I love red lipstick.

Applying the lipstick is the fun part! You can do it two ways - you can apply it with the tube itself or you can use a lipstick brush. Using it via the tube with the lipstick brush is the most convenient and easy way. I suggest starting from the center of your upper lip and working to the corner of your mouth, repeat on the other side of your upper lip, and cover the entire lower lip. With a lipstick brush, your results will be concise and blended. The lip color will look professionally finished. Lip liner brushes are very easy to use with a little practice. They do require up-keep , so be sure to regularly wash your lipstick brush.

Once the lipstick is applied, softly press both lips together. It never fails, whenever I apply red lipstick I get some on my front teeth and no one ever tells me about it. Thanks, "friends". Always make sure you get rid of excess lipstick by blotting. Blot your lips with a tissue or with your clean index finger between your lips. For a more vibrant look, apply the lipstick once more. For a finished matte look, lightly apply face powder to your lips with a powder brush. You can even spice up your lips even more so with a dab of clear or matching lip gloss in the center of your lower lip - this tiny glimmer will draw kissable attention to your lips.

The last but most important step is to smile...and be the best sizzling bombshell you can be!

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