How To Pull Off A Classic Red Lipstick

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Playing with makeup is one of the most foolproof ways of sparking joy in your day. Think of your face like a canvas, and your beauty products as the watercolors you use to create your masterpiece. There's no doubt makeup application is an art, and it can completely change your look even if you're just wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. People nowadays are becoming even more playful with their makeup. Some are doing full-on "Euphoria" makeup by layering their eyelids with tons of glitter and sequins, or by playing around with fuchsia blush high on the cheekbones. 

While we'll never get enough of recent eyeliner hacks, like using a sticky note or bobby pin as stencils to make perfect winged eyeliner every time, there's also something about the classics we'll always go back to. Whether you love going full surrealist art on your makeup, or you like more traditional touches, there's no doubt that Old Hollywood inspired beauty looks are some of the best.

Marilyn Monroe knew some of the best beauty tricks to look glamorous in no time, so why not copy her tried-and-true tips in today's world? As countless Golden Age photos show, you can't go wrong with these classic tips (via Refinery29). Black winged eyeliner opens up your gaze, and structural contouring with bronzer just under the cheekbones provides the most definition. Another must-have staple? Red lipstick, of course! That being said, if you want to master the art of the red lip, there are a few tips to follow for perfect application.

It's all about the right application

Keep in mind, mastering the perfect application is necessary if you want to nail a fantastic red lip every time you wear this shade. While other factors certainly come into play, there's little doubt that keeping your lipstick looking sharp all day is crucial. Most of us know the disappointing feeling of glimpsing in the mirror only to see your red lipstick running down the corners of your mouth — however, these tricks will make sure that never happens again!

As makeup artist Mansi Mehta Kothari told Swirlster, you should always moisturize your lips with a hydrating balm at least two minutes before applying lipstick, dabbing the remaining balm off before you begin. Meanwhile, Fustany suggests using a clean toothbrush to exfoliate your lips beforehand, or even a D.I.Y. brown sugar scrub to remove the dead skin cells. 

Once that's done, Kothari says you should go in with a matching lip liner first, lining your mouth's shape and filling in with the liner. This will make sure your lipstick has maximum stay power once you apply it (via More). The next step is, of course, swiping on your red lipstick, but don't go overboard! This is just the first layer. Once that's in place, apply a layer of your go-to translucent powder over your lips to make sure the color doesn't budge. Finish with a second layer of red lipstick, and you're good to go!

Finding the right shade for your skin tone is important

Many of us believe we don't look good in red lipstick and tend to shy away from it. Sure, nude lippies are gorgeous, but sometimes seeing Taylor Swift sporting her iconic crimson pout makes you want to try the shade yourself. If you think red lipstick just isn't for you, it's probably because you haven't found the right shade yet. This will make unearthing your red lip shade a near life-changing experience.

Byrdie explains that finding your preferred shade of red lipstick involves first figuring out your specific skin tone before diving deep into your most flattering color profile. If you have a cooler skin tone, this means your veins show up blue under your skin. You probably prefer silver jewelry more than gold, and you look best in jewel tones like emerald or sapphire (via Good Housekeeping). Sound familiar? 

In these instances, a blue-red lipstick is best for you, such as MAC Cosmetic's Lipstick in Russian Red. Meanwhile, warm skin tones are just the opposite, with greenish veins, and usually a love for gold jewelry and earth-toned clothing. You look best in brick reds, like Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta. Deeper skin tones look amazing in bright orange reds, like NARS Heat Wave (via Molly Sims). Neutral skin tones are right in the middle, looking best in bright reds like Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire and Ice.

The best makeup to pair with a red lip

Once you know your perfect red lipstick shade and how to apply it correctly, it's time to think about the rest of your face. Pairing your red lip with the right makeup is crucial, especially if you want to keep your look modern and fresh. Rebecca Butterworth, a Senior Artist with MAC, sat down with Byrdie to talk about the best ways to pair makeup with a red lip, and our entire outlook on beauty has been changed forever.

As Butterworth said, "red lips are all about context," so you should always keep your complexion looking as "raw and real as possible to offset the perfection of a red lip." While pairing a red lip with too much foundation and bronzer can look costume-like, letting "every single one of your freckles show through" creates a beautiful contrast between the lipstick shade and your natural beauty. Plus, this strategy also ensures that you can wear red lipstick throughout your day-to-day life, whether headed out to the office or to brunch on the weekend. 

When it comes to eyes, Butterworth also shared that the "best way to keep it modern" is actually ditching mascara, simply curling your eyelashes and applying a glossy balm on your eyelids instead. Alternatively, if you're swiping on your favorite red lipstick for a night out, go for a rose-based, metallic bronze shadow, or a graphic, in-your-face, black cat-eye (via L'Officiel).