Mastering a red lip takes practice and confidence. We’ve asked Makeup artist Rachel Elizabeth to show us how…

Anyone can wear a red lip if they believe they can and if you follow these simple steps, you’ll master it in no time.

  • Blot off any excess lip balm, if they’re too slippery your colour will bleed and won’t hold for as long.

  • Lip Liner: Match it to your lipstick colour as best you can. M.A.C Russian Red Lipstick and Cherry Lip Liner pencil work really well together. It also helps to look for matte textured lipsticks such as Russian Red as they have more staying power than sheer glossy textures like the M.A.C Lady Bug.

  • For full pouty lips, you need to draw in an upward motion (refer to diagram). Start at the cupids bow - get both points matching before moving on the the centre of your lower lip.

    Lip Diagram
  • Once you’ve got the centre right, move back to your top lip and draw in an upward motion from the outside in. Match up the other side.

  • Then do the same for your lower lip, but draw downward for fullness.

  • Once you’ve got the outline perfected continue with the lip liner by filling in your lips - this will give your color much more staying power and prevent that dreaded outline from showing through once you’ve started your day or evening.

  • Lip Brush

    The secret to a really clean, sharp bright colored lip is to use a lip brush. The catch is that what you typically find to be a lip brush from cosmetic companies isn’t that good. You need something wider and flatter like the one below. These can be purchased from art stores for around $10. The fuller your lips, the larger the brush.

  • Load the brush up with plenty of lipstick and holding the brush flat to your lip, slowly follow the shape created by the liner.

  • Finish off by applying a small amount of gloss to the center of your lips and blend in with your brush. The above mentioned Russian Red lipstick has a matching lipglass in the same colour.

Last but not least, the old trick of powdering your lips in between pencil and lipstick layers is only suitable if you want dry, tight and over loaded lips. Re-applying occasionally is much more effective!

As for the rest of your makeup; Don’t go too heavy. Red lips work well with a good coverage foundation so that any naturally occurring red pigmentation around your nose or cheeks can be concealed rather than accentuated by the bold lip colour.

A classic look is red lips with black eyeliner, false lashes and soft rosy cheeks. A peach blush such as M.A.C Style will clash with red lips. You’d be better off going with something softer like M.A.C Tenderling.

It’s hard to say what tones will work for different people, it’s just a matter of trusting your makeup artist or if you’re on your own, trial and error.

Two of Rachel Elizabeth’s favourite red lipsticks are Nars Jungle Red and M.A.C Russian Red.

Nars Jungle Red and M.A.C Russian Red