Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Perfect Red Lip in Five Easy Steps

I get a lot - A LOT - of beauty question post requests {keep 'em coming!}, and I am going to start doing better about addressing them. I began drawing all over myself with markers, pens, paint, you name it when I was a toddler {and it's quite funny when I catch myself telling Munch to not do so...at least she comes by it honestly} and continued doodling on my hands, arms, wherever through high school, so being able to paint my face and get away with it? As far as I'm concerned, there's hardly anything better! 

One of the most frequent requests I get is, "Sheridan! HOW do you get the perfect, long-lasting red lip? I need to know!" After this recent How I Wore It black tie blog post, the red lip requests hit an all time high, so without further ado, here is my own tried and true method of how to get the perfect, smudge-free, and perhaps most importantly, long-lasting red lip.

A classic red lip looks fantastic on ANYONE, and there IS a perfect shade for each and every skin tone- yes, even yours. I was speaking with one of my interns today about this post who has gorgeous, dark olive skin and deep brown eyes; at first glance, one might think, red? Can she pull it off? She showed me an amazing shade of Chanel she recently purchased that was PERFECT for her coloring. Visit your nearest beauty counter and have them walk you through different shades with different undertones - cool, warm, orange, blue - and you'll find the perfect red for you in no time flat. 

My all time favorite red is NARS Heat Wave. It has gorgeous, warm orange undertones. In this post, however, I put it over NARS Jungle Red liner, which causes it to take on a slightly cooler appearance than if applied on its own. I also left it matte with no gloss over it, which is how I prefer it, but of course follow with a layer of clear or sheer red gloss if you so choose. These are completely un-retouched photos without any special lighting so you can see the real deal application. 

{1} Make sure your lips are well exfoliated - a toothbrush works great. Apply a light layer of powder to keep the color in place. No one wants the red bleeding into small creases or cracks around their lips - never a good look! Using a bit of foundation or concealer will work well for this, too.

{2} Apply a sharpened red liner from the inner crease outward. I find that going this direction gives me a better line and opens the lip up. Play around and see if another way works better for you!

TIP: To give the appearance of fuller lips, often I will take the liner ever so slightly below just the base of my bottom lip. Don't go Anna Nicole Smith on me here - stick with your lip shape and size - but you can fudge just a bit and get great results. 

{3} Fill in your entire lip with the liner, making sure to really get the inner creases well. With such a strong color, if you are speaking to someone and have flesh colored gaps at the corners of your mouth, trust me - it WILL be noticeable. 

{4} To give maximum staying power, I use my finger to dab another layer of powder on top of the liner. I don't want this red to go anywhere. 

{5} Apply lipstick all over your top and bottom lips, blot, and apply again. 
If you made any errors during application and have red where you don't want it, either use a Q-Tip to wipe off, or a bit of concealer on a brush to perfectly define the edge.

Mother tested, kid approved.

I hear through the toddler grapevine that a dab of chocolate almond butter coupled with a red lip is all the rage on the playground these days.