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How to choose, apply and wear red lipstick, whether it’s a cream, gloss, or matte red lipstick, with confidence.
A bold red lipstick is a timeless classic that can be paired with so many different styles. It’s also an easy beauty trick for looking polished and put-together on the fly — just slick your hair back in a tousled ponytail and swipe on a bit of rouge, et voilà, no one will even suspect you popped out of bed ten minutes ago. Red lipstick can look great on anyone, as long as you know how to pick out the right rouge for your skin tone:
These are our tips for choosing the best red lipstick for your skin tone. But if you’re comfortable with brighter or bolder colors, or want something totally different, then go for it.
Also referred to as blue reds, cool reds won’t clash with the cool undertones that are common in those with fair skin — so as not to look shocking or bring out imperfections. And in terms of brightness: The fairer your skin is, the less bright you need your red lipstick to be, as it’s already going to stand out. L’Absolu Rouge Ruby Cream Lipstick in Rubiez is a safe bet.
We recommend that you lean towards red lipsticks that are warmer, with hues of orange in them. This range of skin tones tends to have more warmth in their undertones, so any red lipstick with orange or even gold is fair game. L’Absolu Rouge Ruby Cream Lipstick in Bad Blood Ruby is a bold warm-red that could be perfect for you.
The sky is the limit for those with darker skin tones, as they can have both warm and cool undertones. A true red is an easy pick, although you can easily experiment with berry and ruby shades. One tip? Opt for brighter shades, which contrast with your skin and make your red really pop. Try L’Absolu Rouge Hydrating Lipstick in Caprice.
Once you’ve found the most flattering shade of red for your skin tone, it’s time to choose your finish, as there are sheer, cream, and matte lipsticks out there. To find your match, consider your lifestyle and what you’ll be doing while wearing your most flattering shade of red lipstick. A sheer gloss like Lancôme L’Absolu Lacquer Gloss in Be Brilliant tends to be the most forgiving and low-maintenance. However, you may have to reapply it if you want to keep the color looking fresh.
If you know you won’t have time for touch-ups, the upside of matte lipsticks is that they tend to adhere well to lips — versus super-shiny glosses, satin finishes, and sheer tints — so they’ll last all day (though you may have to check for smudges). And while they have a reputation for being a little drying, that’s not the case with our lipstick. Take the L'Absolu Rouge Drama Matte Lipsticks. These matte, velvety texture lipsticks with jojoba oil moisturize and do not smudge, meaning they go on your lips and stay there — instead of onto your friends' faces.
To get full-looking lips, start by exfoliating your lips. It’s a must especially if you’re wearing matte lipsticks, which may highlight flakes and dryness. Use a lip scrub and buff it into lips with a toothbrush, then rise. Follow with an application of Absolue Precious Cells Nourishing Lip Balm, which not only nourishes lips but also makes lip appear smoother, softer and more supple.
Next, line your lips with a red pencil, which serves as your primer. Then, apply a lipstick in a matching shade directly from the tube. In this order, you’ll get the most definition and intensity. Not going all-out? For a more natural look, apply your lipstick first and then blend lip liner into your lips.
Lastly, try this trick to turning any lipstick formula into a longwear lipstick: Separate a tissue into two thin sheets, hold one against your lips, and dust translucent powder over the top. Not only will this set your lipstick, but it can also turn any lipstick into a matte lipstick, too.
Since a red lip draws all the attention to the face, pair it with a buildable foundation like Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation to ensure that your skin looks flawless and matte. And while you should always feel free to wear as much makeup as you want, consider scaling back your eye makeup to mascara and eyeliner to keep the spotlight on your red lipstick. From the office to a dinner date, it’ll always look just right.