Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: How to get perfect red lips

Paddy McGurgan is one of Northern Ireland's best known beauty experts and each week he tells you all you need to know about latest make-up techniques

By Paddy McGurgan

From Queen Elizabeth I to Marilyn Monroe and Scarlett Johansson, red lipstick is the colour of choice for influential women.

This single item of make-up has long been the go-to tool for females who want to make a statement. But with the plethora of red lipstick shades available, it can be tricky to find the perfect rosy hue.

The ideal shade for you is determined by its undertone, combined with your skin tone. Here is the red lip decoded.

Blue reds: Fair complexion

Bright reds with a blue undertone add vibrancy to paler skin tones. And cool blue tones in a red lipstick also make teeth appear whiter. These lipstick shades will pick up the pink tones in your complexion and really make your smile pop.

For bargain-loving beauty addicts, Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss, 111 Kiss of Life, is an affordable £5.49. Let's face it, anything Miss Moss puts her name too is bound to be stylish.


Expect sublime comfort and a ruby powder-enriched formula that delivers intense velvet colour all day long.

Want to treat yourself? Then the renowned MAC Ruby Woo (£16.50) is a creamy rich lipstick formula with high colour pay-off in a no-shine matte finish. This is one of MAC's top sellers ever, so divas looking for drama should make this a make-up bag must-have.

MAC Ruby Woo

Orange reds: Medium complexions

Medium complexions can lose and gain a suntan easily, so change your red lip based on the season. In the summertime, when you are soaking up rays, wear an orange-based red. This will complement your bronzed skin and lend a brightening look to the complexion.

Choose Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipstick in Electric Orange (£6.99), its crisp colour coming thanks to pigment technology, which has with a creamy feel, enriched with honey nectar. Delicious!


And for guaranteed glamour, splash out on Illamasqua Matte Lipstick in Liable (£20). Indulge in a n intense lip colour with a highly pigmented formula. The creamy matte finish is soft on the lips. Illamasqua lipstick also glides on smoothly and doesn't give up without a fight, so it's perfect for the all-night pout.


Subtle reds: Olive skin tones

The best red lip colour for olive skin tones, which can have a green or yellow undertone and tan easily, is a subtle red in a brick/rust shade. These earthy tones warm up the complexion and complement the skin perfectly.

Expect eyebrow-raising results with Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Pleasure Me Red (£6.99), and if you are a committed red lippy wearer it could be worthwhile to invest in Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Made It (£17.99). The formula is smooth, cushiony and comfortable with a demi-matte finish, so expect depth, dimension and definition with a fuller-looking pout that pops on camera.


Top rips for the perfect red lips:

1. Using a toothbrush, exfoliate the lips - this will make a smoother application for your lipstick to attach to.

2. Apply a lip balm while you complete your make-up as this will moisturise the lips and leave them in the perfect condition for application. Blot off the balm before you apply lip liner to avoid any product bleeding.

3. For those who find that red lipstick bleeds around the lips, apply a little Super Matte Antishine (£13.25). The mattifying primer, which is usually applied to the face, is perfect to ensure your lip colour does not spread or feather.

Super Matte Antishine

4. Use a lip liner to create the perfect lip outline, which should be blended from the edges to the centre of the lip slightly. Pinch the corners and edges for an easier blend.

5. For longevity a matte lipstick will always be best but, if you suffer from dry lips, use a cream lipstick and blot, then reapply for extra durability.

Belfast Telegraph

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