Perfect red lips. Let’s be honest, ladies! We’ve all seen that woman with the perfect sexy red lip. But when we try it at home, sometimes our results come out poorly, sending us for the bottle of high test makeup remover.
The red lip is a classic look. When it’s done correctly, perfect red lips are sexy. It can look elegant and edgy at the same time. That said, this look can go wrong quickly, making you look outdated and matronly. Think of the little old lady (be honest, you know one) with the lipstick smeared outside her lip line, about halfway to her nostrils.
This guide will show you how to achieve a modern and contemporary red lip that will last for hours. I will forewarn you. I’m an Estee Lauder junkie. I have used both their skin care and their makeup for years. In fact, I am turning 50 this year and have used Estee Lauder products since I was in my 20s. The formulas and colors change with the trends, but the quality has been consistent. Indeed, I attribute my relatively line-free skin to their skincare lineup.
Step 1: Protect your lips
Coat lips with a good lip balm. I love Estee Lauder’s classic Lip Conditioner. It adds moisture from Vitamin E and absorbs well so your lips won’t be too slippery to hold the lipstick.
Step 2: Use a good serum
Apply a line-filling serum outside of your lip line to fill any fine lines and prevent bleeding. I love Estee Lauder’s Perfectionist Pro serum to fill in those little fine lines I’m starting to get. After all, lipstick bleeding into those lines makes any woman look far older!
Step 3: Line the lips
Grab your lip liner, ladies! Line to just at the outer edge of the lip line with a very sharp red lip liner. I prefer Estee Lauder’s Double Wear lip liner in Red – it is a true red and had long-lasting staying power. Additionally, it has a fantastic lip brush on the opposite end. This is my preferred lip brush when I do makeup for clients. Do not…and this bears repeating…do not line your lips too far outside of the lip line. This is the look of the 1990’s and will make this look matronly instead of modern.
Step 4: Use that same lip liner
Now, use the lip liner to color inside the lines you just drew. Coat your whole lip with this lip liner. This gives your lipstick a long-lasting base to help it stay put. Consider it a primer for your lipstick.
Step 5: Grab your lip brush
Use your favorite lip brush to pick up lipstick from your tube and apply it to your lips, staying inside that outer line. I really like Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in Vengeful Red. It’s a true red and flatters my own skin tone. Of course, you’ll use whatever red is best for your skin tone, but you can’t go wrong with the long wear and creamy formula of the Pure Color Envy formula. Blot on a tissue to remove any excess lipstick This gives you a nice finish that keeps this a very contemporary and sexy daytime look.
Step 6: Repeat step 5
After you blot this second time, check your teeth to make sure there is no lip liner or lipstick stuck to your pearly whites. Perfect red lips are a no-go when red is stuck to your teeth!
Step 7: Evening glam, girl!
If you are heading out for a night on the town, dust a very small touch of metallic gold eyeshadow to your cupid’s bow (the little notch in the top of the upper lip). It adds an intriguing little shimmer that catches the evening lighting. I use the Estee Lauder Heat Wave compact when I go for this look.
Following these steps is not as complicated as it sounds as you’re reading this. It is really only a two-minute process. Once you master the techniques to get those perfect red lips, you too will be hooked on the red lipstick look.
Want more makeup advice for the Fifty Plus Fab woman? Check out our guide to avoiding mascara mistakes. Please share your own red lipstick photos with us on Instagram with the hashtag #perfectredlips
Here are my own perfect red lips, in my favorite Estee Lauder color: