Fashion Magazine

Red Lipstick – How to Make It Work for You

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport
how to choose a red lipstick how to choose a red lipstick by imogenl featuring lips makeup


Red Lipstick can look stunning, but it does come with a few trickier aspects such as bleeding and getting the color right for you skin tone.  It’s more noticeable than many other colours, so when it’s wrong it creates a mouth focus and makes your lips look more unrelated to the rest of your face. So let’s look at all the aspects of red lippy to help you find the one that will work for you.


The age old problem that teds to come as we get closer to old age!  In my 20s I never had the problem, now in my 40s red lipstick is harder to pull off as  lines around my mouth are appearing, creating little creeks for the lipstick to bleed into.   Ways you can tackle this:

Lip Liner

It may help you keep your lipstick in place.  Or alternatively, find a great red lip liner and use it as your lipstick – it’s drier consistency means it won’t bleed.

Matte vs Glossy

Matte lipsticks don’t bleed, again, like lip liner, they are drier, so tend to stay where they are put for longer.  Glossy lipsticks, even though they look gorgeous, are much harder to pull off if you have bleeding.

Lip Primer

Some lip primers and lip bases (or use an eyeshadow base on your lips) can help stop your lips bleeding.  Put it on before your lipstick, let it dry, then apply your lippy.

Lip Stain

If you want a more subtle red, try a lip stain, they are drier than a lipstick and will stay put for longer.

Long Wear Formula

Alternatively, the long wear formulas tend not to bleed as they dry out on your lips more quickly.  I don’t love them for every day as they do tend to dry out your lips, but for a special occasion they are great (and won’t leave nasty lipstick marks on your glass either!).

Choosing a Colour

Undertone – Warm or Cool?

What’s your undertone?  Are you warm or cool?  If you’re warm, look for a orange red (tomato) color.  If you’re cool, then go for a blue-red (raspberry) shade.

Intensity – Bright or Muted

choosing a red lipstick - bright or muted
choosing a red lipstick – bright or muted by imogenl featuring lips makeup

If your colouring is bright – and bright coloured clothes suit you, then you’ll want a brighter lipstick shade.  But if you have more subtle, soft colouring, then opt for a more softened shade of red, something that is more related to your natural lip color rather than a bold red.

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