Late last year, The New York Times Style section published a piece on the Biggest Beauty Trends from Fashion Month, and while some of these trends like baby bangs come and go, I was happy to see one that is a timeless classic year round: Red Lips.
The appeal of a strong red lip - paired with not much else - wasn't lost on makeup artists ~ New York Times, October 5, 2018.
A strong red lip is my go-to when I’m either feeling glamorous or powerful (or want to embody those feelings), or if I’m too lazy to wear a full face of makeup. The current trend is to pair a red lip with almost no makeup at all, and to let your mouth be the central focus of your look. Now in real life, I prefer to add a little tinted moisturizer, maybe some under-eye concealer, mascara and brow gel. I firmly believe that a well-defined brow helps balance a strong lip.
While a red lip never truly goes out of style, there are a few caveats to wearing this look: you MUST have hydrated skin and lips. Red lipstick is notorious for bleeding, and if your skin isn’t adequately hydrated, it will bleed off your mouth, making you look like some tragic figure from the 80s. So what can you do to prevent this? Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I also like to use a lip scrub to make sure all the dead-flaky skin is off my lips and to set a smooth base for my look.
If you’re looking for great skincare products to hydrate your skin, check out this post I wrote on the 3 Beauty Products Saving my Skin This Fall.
Second, a red lip is not ideal for eating a full meal. It’s fine for small bites that go right in your mouth without touching your lips, but a full meal is a tough sell, particularly if the food has any grease or butter in it. In these situations, it is best to excuse yourself to the bathroom and smudge off as much of the red lip as possible before you eat, and then reapply once your meal has concluded.
So what are my favorite reds? I have a personal preference for matte or semi-matte red lips. I’ve tried the glossy red, but frankly my hair gets caught in it leaving red streaks all over my face, and well, it’s a mess.
I have 3 current favorites that I’m discussing below, including pictures of what they look like on me.
This was the first red I fell in love with, and I bought it because it was created in collaboration with Lilly Singh, and Lilly and I have similar skin tones. I bought this sight-unseen on Sephora, and lo and behold, it was the perfect red - bold, punchy, bright. This shade is quite matte, so the aforementioned lip scrub is a must before wearing this color. It is fairly long lasting, and with withstand light drinking (coffee, etc.) but not really eating.
I bought this one because I really wanted to support the concept of a truly inclusive beauty line, and this was another one I bought untested on Sephora.com. It did not disappoint! This red is slightly deeper than Bawse. This is a lipstick instead of a liquid, and goes on very smooth. The packaging is a slim rose gold tube, and I would lying if I said this wasn’t a huge factor in my decision to buy this product. It is super pigmented, and while this means it lasts longer (including eating) it is also the biggest pain to remove or fix if you’ve made a mistake. Point being, if you’ve decided to wear this color, don’t plan on taking it off anytime soon.
PS: if you kiss someone with this, they will have some transfer. If you’re making out with someone while wearing this lipstick, its going to look like a blood bath.
Velour Lovers Lip Color by Laura Mercier in Seduction
This was the only red lipstick that I actually tried on before the purchase, and is one that is currently in heavy rotation because it is an extremely moisturizing satin-matte color. So what this means is that it goes on like a satin finish but look like a matte, and forgives a little bit of lip dryness. This one is also perfect for those no-lip liner days because it has a very gentle smudged look at the borders of your lip; the classic french-girl red lip - perfectly imperfect. This is more on the wine end of the red spectrum, so particularly great to transition into winter.
I absolutely love the soft applicator on this lipstick, and it give you a beautiful diffused matte lip look, very forgiving if you accidentally go over your lip line. It’s got that perfect French girl lip look, but if you like, you can layer for a bolder look. I frequently put this on without a mirror because I live dangerously ;)
Since I’m always on the lookout for more and different red lipsticks, I would love if you would leave your favorite reds in the comments section! In the mean time, keep those lips healthy and hydrated!