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Your guide to finding and applying the perfect red lipstick

08 November 2019 | Anna-Bet Stemmet

Take your look to the next level with a killer red pout that’s tailored to you. This quick and handy guide will help you find and apply the perfect red lipstick like a pro.


Is there anything more striking than a perfect red lip? It’s the trend that has endured for decades, and with good reason – everyone from Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, to Tim Curry (in The Rocky Horror Picture Show!) and Jessica Rabbit have proven that a perfectly red pout can amp up a look from drab to fab in no time flat. 

It’s classic. It’s iconic. But it can also go bad pretty quickly if you happen to choose the wrong shade or apply it like a makeup newbie. To find out how to avoid these pitfalls, we asked Martie Olivier, beauty therapist, makeup artist and owner of The Beauty Room in Malmesbury, for advice. Here’s what she had to say.

Find your shade

“First things first, you need to determine your skin tone – do you have a yellow, pink or blue undertone? Are you dark, are you fair?” says Martie. “Pale and porcelain skins with cool undertones should be looking for red lipsticks with a similarly cool undertone; something that's not quite blood red. People with olive tones or a yellowish cast to their skin, on the other hand, should keep an eye out for a red that leans towards orange. Ladies with dark skin have it good – they can pull off just about any kind of red lipstick! Pink, orange, red –  you name it!”

Tip: Trying on lipstick at the store? Remember to take along a tissue or wet wipe to clean the tester before you use it to avoid the transfer of unwanted germs or bacteria.

How to apply lipstick like a pro

“Start by exfoliating your lips with a lip scrub or treatment to clear away any dry skin,” says Martie. “Next, apply your primer and wait for it to set. Then, take your lip liner, line the lips and colour the whole surface of the lips with the liner. Apply your lipstick, take a tissue, blot and repeat. You can do this up to three times to ensure that the colour is nice and vivid. If you really want your lipstick to stick, take a single-layer tissue, place it over your lips and dust it with a loose powder using a big brush. This results in a nice matte look. If you want to go for a juicier pout, add a bit of lip gloss after this step.”


IMAGE CREDIT: shutterstock.com

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