Spring makeup trends: how to achieve the modern look of classic red lips.
TRENDS: Keeping up with all the latest do's and don'ts can leave a woman perplexed, as trends change more quickly than a runway model before her next catwalk. Trends in fashion and makeup revolve from pale, to dark, to colourful, to bare, to brazen, and back to pale....but with one constant: The little black dress, and red lips. So, if you just can't keep track of the latest trends, and are looking for a classic statement that is timeless and simple to achieve, look no further than a tube of red lipstick. Here are some tips to help you pull off this look splendidly.
Start with smooth, hydrated lips. Apply a moist, warm facecloth to your lips to soften up any chapped skin. Then, using an exfoliating cream or gel made specifically for your lips, gently rub in a circular motion over and around your lips (according to manufacture'rs directions). Rinse well and apply a moisturizing cream or balm. If you have fine lines around your lips, follow with a lip primer, if desired, to inhibit lipstick "bleeding". Also, get in the habit of using a good moisturizer on your lips before bedtime. Repeat the exfoliation once or twice a week to keep your lips in prime puckering condition.
Next step: a perfectly-primed face. Because red lips are bold, you want to play down the rest of your makeup. Begin by exfoliating with a gentle face scrub, then apply a good moisturizer and a very light dusting of translucent mineral powder, to keep any shine in check. If you feel your complexion is a little blotchy, use some concealer or lightweight foundation, but remember to blend well. The goal here is to let your natural radiance shine through.
Find the shade of red that matches your complexion. This is really important, and is probably the reason many women shy away from wearing red lipstick...they haven't found the correct hue. If you have a cool-based complexion -- you successfully wear clothes in jewel tones, fuchsia, purple, black, navy, and bright white -- choose a red lipstick with blue undertones, and avoid anything with an orange or rust quality. Great examples of this are: Chanel Romantic #28, Mary Kay Apple Berry, Lancome Retro Rouge. If your complexion is warm -- you can wear rust, chocolate, moss green, camel, and ivory -- then you need to find an orange-based red for your lips. Don't worry, you won't look like your great-aunt Harriet with her glowing coral lips!! Some great suggestions to try: Revlon Toast of New York #325, Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Perfect Scarlet, and L'Oreal Endless Fired Up. If your complexion is more neutral in tone, lucky you! You have a little more leeway in colour selection, and can wear a variety of shades in your wardrobe: Your best colours are charcoal, dark brown, taupe, jade, periwinkle, melon, and eggshell. The reds for you aren't as limited (try experimenting); however, if you stick to pure reds (neither blue-toned nor orange-toned), you will have the best compliment for your complexion. Pure reds are a bit harder to find, so I'll list some here: Mary Kay Creme Lipstick in Red, Avon Ultra Color Rich Red 2000, Maybelline Red Revival #645, and Cover Girl's Classic Red #580. Whatever your skin tone, if you are in doubt about the shade, its better to go darker rather than brighter. One more thing...want to know how to try out a new shade without putting it directly on your lips? Color the pad of your index finger with the lipstick, squeeze the base of your finger (it turns more the colour of your natural lips), and then hold your finger up to your mouth, laying it knuckle-side against your own lips...a "finger-lip".
Matte vs. gloss, liner vs. unlined. For daytime wear, stick to a matte, cream, or a stain formula...its business-friendly. Try lining your lips with a neutral color more the shade of your own lips. This will keep the lipstick from feathering and also tone down the brightness a notch. Another idea for using lip liner is to fill in your entire lip area with liner before applying your lipstick; the lipstick will last longer, but it can potentially dry out your lips, so be sure to keep your lips well hydrated regularly. For evening and high-glam moments, use a matching liner and be very careful to line evenly and on your lip edge...if you try to make your lips look larger by lining outside of your natural lips (a trick that can work with softer colours), you'll just end up looking like a 3-year-old playing dress-up...trust me, I've seen it. Add a dab of gloss to the center of your pucker, but don't get too carried away; less is more.
Balance with mascara. Unless you want to look like Tammy-Faye or Dolly (which you don't), keep the rest of your makeup simple. For daytime, skip liner and eyeshaddow and just stick to plain black mascara (or dark brown if you are red- or fair-haired). For a night out on the town, add a sleek, thin line with an eye pencil and an extra coat of mascara, just to balance out the bit of gloss on the lips. You probably won't need any colour on your cheeks (the prep with the exfoliator should give you a pink glow), but just a hint of blush will be okay if you are very pale. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way and pinch your cheeks! It really works, and looks very natural. Try it! Also, keep in mind a French Manicure, neutral or clear nail polish is best, unless you have an exact match with the red lipstick.
Following these few tips should put you well on your way to being in style, the chic, classy way. Even if wearing red has been out of your comfort zone in the past, you might find it a very appealing alternative. Red lips and a smile...it is a classic look that has withstood the test of time, and is a symbol of confidence, sex appeal, and success. What more could you ask for?