A red lip suits many different occasions, but the bold shade is particularly appropriate for the festive season. Think Santa Claus, mulled wine and iced cranberries – a crimson lip truly does partner perfectly with Christmas.
The problem is with so many red shades and textures to choose from, how do you know the right one for your skin tone and long-wear needs? To help you identify your best match, makeup artist Saffron Hughes from FalseEyelashes.co.uk has all the intel you need.
Determine your skin tone
“This will help you choose the best red lipstick for the holiday season,” she explains. “If you know your skin burns in the sun, the likelihood is that you have a cooler skin tone. Also, look at the veins on your wrists. If they are blue or purple, you have a cooler skin tone, whereas if they are green, you have a warmer skin tone.
“If you have dark skin, try holding a white sheet of paper to your face. In comparison to the white paper, if your face has red or purple undertones, you have cooler skin. Gold or yellow undertones signal a warmer skin tone.”
Find your red based on your skin tone
“Once you’ve determined your tone, you can pick the perfect shade of red. For cool tones, opt for blue-based or pink-based reds like a raspberry. For warmer tones, think pillarbox reds with gold or peachy undertones, as these won’t wash out your complexion,” Saffron says.
Apply the red lipstick like a pro
Step one: Prep the lips
“This is a vital step most people miss out on. However, for Christmas day, take the time out to prep the lips by exfoliating your lips properly, so your lipstick lasts all day and doesn’t flake off,” says Saffron. “To do this, mix 1 tbsp of coconut oil with 2 tsp sugar and massage the mixture in.”
Step two: Line the lips
“Lip liners are essential for creating the perfect red lip as they prevent smudging and can make your lips look fuller. To properly apply a lip liner, mark an X on your cupid’s bow to create definition, then overline the bottom lip slightly. Draw upwards from the corners of your lips to connect to the X and to the line on the bottom lip you created,” Saffron suggests.
Step three: Fill the lip in
Saffron recommends using a flat lip brush to apply the colour, if you have one. If you don’t, simply use the sharper tip of the lipstick bullet colour slightly over and then inside the lipstick liner edges.
Step four: Clean up and define
“To finetune your lip shape or to fix any lip colour mistakes, finish by going around your lips with an angled brush that has been dipped into a creamy concealer – just make sure the concealer is blended into your foundation well, so it doesn’t look like an odd bright outline around your lips,” Saffron says.
Looking for a high-quality red lipstick with lasting wear? Treat yourself to the OK! Christmas Beauty Box, which features Emolyne The Complete Kit, worth £55. The limited-edition Beauty Box costs £55 and you’ll get 11 full-size products including gorgeous skin, hair and makeup treats worth over £350.
The lipstick kit included in the box houses a lipstick, lip liner and nail varnish in a matching hue, so all you need to do is select the shade “Current Red” from the dropdown menu when you’re adding it to your basket to snap up the products in a universally-flattering festive rouge.