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Lip Game Strong! Tips to Finding Your Perfect Red Lipstick

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By Fiorella Valdesolo, Glamour

Photo: Gianni Pucci/

It was this look at the spring Céline show, above, that fueled our current lipstick obsession: opaque, velvety, pure red lips paired with a face that had little else going on than a swipe of eyeliner. "There's something so cool about a red lip with minimal makeup, because it looks effortless and fresh," says makeup artist Diane Kendal, who did the show.

Her essential tools: the classic blue-based matte red MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo (lipstick and a pencil, $17 each,, a lip brush, and transparent loose powder. "I fill in lips with the pencil," says Kendal, "and then really work the lipstick in with a brush. Next, I use the pencil to perfect the edges." She dusts the powder on top to make it stay, but for everyday use, you can forgo the powder and just blot with a tissue. Maybelline New York Global makeup artist Yadim took a similar liner-and-lipstick approach for the equally bold look at Jason Wu, below. "To keep the pigment strong, I put a thin layer of concealer on lips before adding the color, which was a blend of Maybelline New York Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid in Rebel Red with a hint of Berry Boost [$8 each,], plus liner," he explains. "I blot with tissue, then I do another layer of lipstick and liner to intensify it."

Photo: Gianni Pucci/

How to Find Your Red
"Red lipstick is one of the easiest ways to look pulled together," says celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt. "It instantly dresses up a face." Unsure which shade to use? He recommends choosing one based on your eye color (a throwback to the 1980s how-to-find-your-colors book Color Me Beautiful):

Berry Red: "If you have blue or green eyes, you probably have a cooler skin tone, so reds that are more berry are beautiful on you," he says. (Try Surratt Beauty Lipslique in Rubis, $34,

Orange Red: Hazel, amber, or brown eyes? "You often have more warmth in your skin, so anything from a well-balanced 'stop sign' red and an orange red to bricks and russets look better," Surratt says. (Try Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Ravish Me Red, $8,

True Red: The no-fail crimson that's great on just about everyone: a blue-toned classic red. (Try Maybelline New York Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid in Rebel Red, $7.99,

Now, How to Make It Last
Half the battle with lipstick is keeping it intact postapplication. For the top lip (where color is more likely to smudge, feather, or bleed), Surratt lines and fills it in with a matching lip pencil like the one at left. On the bottom (where color tends to stay put), a dab of concealer or YSL Touche Eclat Highlighter ($42, just below the lip line is enough. Another favorite red-carpet hack of his: Stain the whole lip area first with a lip marker (try CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain, $8.99, then top with a similar color of cream lipstick for a full-impact look. The only trick with markers and heavily pigmented lipsticks is taking them off at the end of the night. Your best bet? An oil-based makeup remover; we like Make Twilight Lip Oil Remover ($12,, which takes off even the most serious formulas.