Saturday, 27 July 2013

How to Wear Red Lipstick~ This is my classic take!

Someone over on a fashion site I love asked "I want to wear red lipstick for a night out with a little black dress, but how do I do my eye makeup to go with it?".


If I'm wearing red lipstick, I always stick to the same sort of thing (just variations on a theme!) and believe that it's best to look back to when red lipstick was all the rage so I take my cue from vintage styles. Red is a very bold colour choice for the lips and you're at risk of your eyes vanishing because the red draws so much attention! That said, I don't think using a bold colour on your eyes is the way to go. Red is hard to match colour-wise unless you go for deep tones like emerald, sapphire, or gold. If your lipstick is a darker red then it's easier to find something that won't look clashy but most colours will clash terribly with true scarlet!

What I do pretty simple and quick, is suitable for any skin shade (maybe not if you skin is blue or green...) and also suitable for any eye and hair colour, as it uses no bold colouring at all!

What am I using?

I use a fine chisel/wedge brush and a round brush, neutral base colours (I am using a dusty pink but you can use any shade of nude or tan, whatever you feel is better with your skin!), a shimmery cream eyeshadow (which I will use a a highlighter), a sparkly black powder, black liquid eyeliner, black kohl eyeliner pencil. As an alternative to the cream shimmering highlighter (which I use because it goes nicely on a Chinese skin tone), you can use white if you have very fair skin, and pink works brilliant with African skin tones!

Because the person asking already knew exactly what lipstick they wanted to wear, I'm starting this post with all my other makeup in place (foundation etc, lip liner and lipstick). You can see that the eyes look a little small and forgotten and the lips draw all the attention, which makes it look a little unbalanced:


First, we need to vary the tone of our eyelids from the skin around our eyes - a shade darker or lighter, or a little warmer than your natural skin tone works best. I apply my neutral base. You can use whatever application device you'd like for this, but I find a round, flat brush swept across works best. I apply it over most of my lid, everywhere inside the eye socket.


Here I apply black kohl. Later on, I'm going to be applying some solid black liquid eyeliner, which is great when it's crisp but I like to make it just a tiny bit smokier to bring it up to date. In the 50's you'd just hear "Smudge my eyeliner on purpose? Surely you jest!". I apply a thickish line of black kohl pencil eyeliner over the outer half of my lashline. I smudge this out with my pinkie finger (I have tiny hands!) but you can use your chisel brush to sweep it up and out. Some kohls smudge better than others (they're not supposed to be smudged, after all!) so if you feel like you haven't put on enough or it's too light a grey, just add another layer. Blend it well around the outer edge of the eye, let a little smudge underneath too. I've added a picture so you can see what it will look like half-done!

And when both eyes are smudged to their smokiest best:

The reason I use kohl for this is that it's crisper to control over a powder but it's not quite as solid as a liquid liner.


I apply a thick, solid line of black liquid eyeliner along the top lashline and give it little flicks at the end, somewhere between a cat flick and a Korean-style extended lashline. You can make the flicks to any extreme that you like (short and chubby like Amy Winehouse's signature style was, or long and fluttery). I'm going for a happy medium. (Sorry it's a bit messy, I was doing this really quickly!)


I apply my highlighting powder to the inner corners of my eyes and sweep it beneath my eyebrow (highlighting the brow bone). This will make sure my eyes don't get 'lost' in lower light, like a night club! Use something with a gentle shimmer. 


Finishing touches. I use my angled chisel brush to apply black shimmering powder around the corners of my eye. A little kohl can be dragged beneath the eye if you need to darken it up a bit. The black powder just makes the look a little bolder without looking clumpy and inky like more liquid liner would make it. I also add whatever eyebrow shaping I might fancy at this point, and you can add your mascara too. 

It's completely versatile, and a little bit casual, but very classic. We want the red lipstick to be the colour on our face, but we don't want to lose our facial balance in the process. Plain neutral and black around the eyes will go with any clothing and jewelry so if you suddenly change your mind at last minute (or that dress doesn't quite fit as well as you thought), you don't need to change your makeup!

Finally, a non-blurry closeup! Here you can see the shape of the powder and the sparkles in it, the highlighting powder, and the neutral tones coming through there!

Lastly, apologies for the blurry and shiny photos - I was in a rush to get this style question answered (and it's Saturday! I have shopping and chores to do!).

As always, feel free to send any questions or comments below, send me an email to, or pop me a wall post or a message over on my Facebook page.

Ciao for now!

No comments:

Post a Comment