How To Wear Red Lipstick

These simple tips will help you rock that bold and timeless shade confidently like a diva.

Reviewed by Ashi Aisha, Certified MUA
Written by Shreya Mukherjee, MA (English)
Edited by Subhrojyoti Mukherjee, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Anu Pallavi, BA  • 

Whenever something bold and classic comes to our mind, we think of red lipsticks. If you know how to wear red lipstick right, it can make your lips pop and look seductive and appealing. Red lips are an irreplaceable fashion trend, and it is a universally flattering shade that compliments every skin tone. You will find endless shades of alluring red, and you can quickly find multiple tutorials online on how to wear the shade right. If you want to make a statement with red lipstick, you should know how to get the most out of it. This article will be your ultimate guide on how to wear red lipstick so that you feel bold, glamorous, confident, and empowered. Read on!

protip_icon Keep In Mind
  • How To Match Dark Skin Tone: Look for fig or berry tinted red lip colors if you have a dark skin tone.
  • How To Match Light Skin Tone: Pick coral or orange-based red shades if you have light or pale skin tone.
  • Big Lips : Never forget to apply concealer while applying brighter shades like red and avoid over lining your lips.
  • Thin Lips: Overlining should be your go to plan to plump up your lips and make them look bigger.

How To Wear Red Lipstick – Tips And Tricks

Before we begin with our tutorial on how to wear red lipstick in an effortless and easy manner, here are a bunch of things to keep in mind to rock the perfect red pout.

  1. Finding your perfect red is the first hurdle. Did you know that the color red is split into various tone categories? For instance, true red, blue tone, and orange tone. Experiment with different shades to find your personal signature red.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Every individual has different undertones. Opt for blue-toned red if you have cool skin undertones and orange-toned red if you have warm undertones. You can check your complexion undertone by looking at the color of your veins on the wrist under natural light. Green veins indicate warm undertone and bluish or purplish veins indicate cool undertone.
  1. Next comes finding the finish and formula you’re most comfortable with. You can choose between matte, gloss, sheer, cream, and liquid lipstick.
  2. Before you begin, exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub or an old toothbrush for a smooth and flawless application. This also helps to prolong the longevity of your lipstick.
  3. Don’t forget to apply a nourishing lip balm or a primer to moisturize your lips before you set out to apply your lipstick.
  4. If you want to prevent your glossy lipstick from bleeding or feathering, use a lip pencil to line your lips before application.
  5. If you are a beginner, we recommend a shade like “Russian Red” by M.A.C. It’s right in the middle of warm and cool tones, making it the perfect versatile red lipstick for every skin tone.

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Tutorial – How To Apply Red Lipstick Perfectly

Here are the essentials that you need before you start applying red lipstick.

What You Need
  • Lip balm
  • Red lipstick
  • Lip liner pencil
  • Lip brush
  • Concealer
  • Face powder
  • Tissues

Note: If you’re a newbie, solid regular lipstick is recommended rather than a trendy liquid lipstick. Although a liquid lipstick is long-lasting, it’s easier to go for a regular one and then transition slowly.

protip_icon Fun Fact
The earliest known red lipsticks were made over 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia. The process involved crushing gemstones and wearing them on the lips.

How To Wear Red Lipstick: A Step-By-Step Tutorial With Pictures

To learn how to apply red lipstick properly, follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Prep Your Lips

Step 1 of how to wear red lipstick
Image: Shutterstock

Apply a nourishing lip balm, preferably before you start doing your makeup, so it has enough time to get absorbed into your skin. If your lips are chapped or dry, gently exfoliate them using a wet wipe and buff away any dead skin.

Step 2: Blot Away The Lip Balm

Step 2 of how to wear red lipstick
Image: Shutterstock

Do not go in with your lipstick directly after prepping your lips. Instead, use a tissue to blot away the lip balm. Next, apply a light layer of powder on your lips with a brush and prime them with primer to create a nice and dry canvas for your lipstick to adhere to.

Step 3: Apply The Lipstick

Step 3 of how to wear red lipstick
Image: Shutterstock

Apply lipstick before you apply your lip liner. Use a lip brush to really work the formula into your lips to make them smudge-proof and kiss-proof.

Step 4: Time For Your Lip Pencil

Step 4 of how to wear red lipstick
Image: Shutterstock

Use a lip pencil in a shade that matches your red lipstick to define the edges, create an attention-grabbing striking look, and correct any unevenness or asymmetry on the lips. You can also use the pencil to slightly (yes, just slightly) overdraw the lips to make them look poutier and fuller. Make sure you don’t start far away from your original lip shape. It looks good only in pictures but slightly bizarre in person.

Pro Tip: Don’t use a lip liner that’s significantly lighter than your lipstick unless you want to make your lips look smaller. Also, don’t use one that’s a lot darker than your lipstick, unless you’re going for an ombre look (in which case, you must remember to blend it out really, really well).

Step 5: Blot Your Lips

Step 5 of how to wear red lipstick
Image: Shutterstock

Take one ply of tissue paper and press it against your lips to absorb any excess oils and then reapply another light layer of your lipstick. This will double the wear time of your lipstick.

Step 6: Clean Up

Step 6 of how to wear red lipstick
Image: Shutterstock

Use an angular brush with a little bit of concealer on it to clean up and sharpen the edges of your lips. You’re using the brush like an eraser to achieve a crispy, clean edge. Finally, take a brush and dip it in some face powder. Use it to powder the skin right along the edges of your lips. You can make your lipstick transfer-proof by using some translucent setting powder over a tissue.

This will help absorb any excess oils in the area, preventing the lipstick from melting and bleeding.

Step 7: Check For Lipstick On Your Teeth

Step 7 of how to wear red lipstick
Image: Shutterstock

When wearing red lipstick, we make the common mistake of not checking for stains on our teeth. Place a finger in your mouth and pull out after freshly applying the lipstick. It removes excess color that most probably will transfer to your lips. Make sure you do a quick check before stepping out.

And you’re all set!

The final look
Image: Shutterstock

Ladies, if you’re new to lipstick, don’t be afraid to rock red just because it’s a bold and expressive color. Embrace the confidence that your red lipstick lends you! Red lipstick not only looks great with your little black outfit on a special night out, but you can style it incredibly with a pair of jeans and a casual sweater on a Saturday afternoon.

Lydia, a beauty blogger, shares her personal experience of experimenting with various looks with her red lipstick. In her blog, she mentions 12 unique looks that she styled while donning a red lip shade! She provides valuable tips and insights about makeup product variations, clothing, and what adding a shimmery nail polish can add to the look. She further adds, “Brave the barefaced!!!! However scary it may seem the simplicity and naturalness goes beautifully with the brightness of the red lipstick (i).”

Infographic: Red Lipstick Done Right: Tips For Achieving A Gorgeous Pout

Your makeup can make or break your look, especially when it comes to lipstick. If you feel applying red lipstick is a hassle, it’s time to learn some useful tips. Check out the infographic below and bookmark a few simple ways you can apply some rouge lipstick!

red lipstick done right tips for achieving a gorgeous pout (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Follow these beauty tips for applying lipstick and get ready to receive endless compliments because now you know how to wear red lipstick, and you are certainly going to rock it like no other. Let go of your fears because it is a bold and playful color. Trust us – with gorgeous red lips, you will never go wrong. You just need to identify the tone that goes well for you and the finish accentuating your look. The rest will follow. So, go on a create that showstopper look for yourself. Do not forget to hydrate your lips before you apply the lipstick.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of red lipstick is right for me?

When it comes to red, true reds that do not have orange or blue undertones flatter all skin tones. Choosing your lipstick finish depends on your comfort level with matte, creamy, or glossy finishes. To find out what you like best, test away!

Should I keep the rest of my makeup simple when sporting a red lip?

Yes! This especially applies to your base makeup. Make sure you don’t have a lot of blush or heavy contouring going on as this can end up looking loud and gaudy. It’s okay to enhance your eyes with a winged liner look or even a subtle smokey eyeshadow depending on the occasion. But keeping it minimal, elegant, and sophisticated is key. As a beginner keeping it simple is a smart move. But experimenting with what works best for you as you gain confidence with red lips is the key.

I have gorgeous red hair. Which red lipstick should I go for?

If you have flaming red hair, coral red lipsticks will look stunning on you. Even M.A.C’s iconic Ruby Woo would be a hit on you!

I have thin lips. How do I pull off red lipstick?

Bold colors can make your lips look thinner. But if you master the application technique, you won’t have any trouble with red. Use a lip liner and stick to a red lipstick with a cream finish to make your lips look fuller.

Which red lipstick will flatter my dark hair?

Hello, brunettes! Try true reds or bright berry-colored reds, and you won’t be disappointed. They bring out your feminine and daring side while making you look chic and modern.

What’s a good red lipstick if I have fair to pale skin?

First of all, don’t shy away from bold colors. They are unique and powerful shades. We recommend trying a true red, a dark brick red or a cherry red.

Is red lipstick okay for an interview?

Just a hint of red lipstick is okay for an interview. Ensure it is not too bright or dark as it may come across as intimidating and over-the-top.

Key Takeaways

  • Exfoliate and moisturize your lips before applying lipstick to achieve the ideal effect.
  • Use a lip pencil to line your lips before application to prevent your lipstick from running or charring.
  • Use a lip brush to apply the lipstick. Simply, begin in the center, work your way outwards, and fill in all the corners.
  • Take a piece of tissue paper and press it against your lips to soak excess oils.
  • Lastly, use an angular brush with some concealer to clean up and accentuate the corners of your lips.


Discover the captivating allure of red lipstick in the following video and unleash your inner confidence. Embrace the power of red on your lips.

Personal Experience: Source

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