Rules of the road tell you red means stop. But when it comes to attention-grabbing lipstick in bold, fire-engine hues, you can go full steam ahead.
Sure, it's a dramatic leap for those loyal to paler shades. But even the least vampy among us can pull off vivid, seductive lips with style.
Made in the Shade
“Red lipstick is timeless,” says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Marina Gravani. “Marilyn Monroe wore three shades of red that she mixed together, and then she put Vaseline on top.”
In your search for the perfect shade, start with a classic, ripe-apple hue like ULTA Lipstick in Red Haute. “If you're not used to your lips being the main focus, put on the color a few hours before you leave the house, and look in the mirror a lot to get used to it,” advises Gravani.
If, after several stolen glances, your lips still beg for subtle softening, make like Marilyn; a layer of sheer balm adds polish and levity.
All in a Day
Red lips aren't just for creatures of the night. Dab on fiery gloss during the day for a look that's appropriately shiny and sun-kissed. Cargo Lip Gloss in Tokyo stays on for up to six hours, so you don't need to worry about losing that cherry pucker. Stains, like Revlon ColorStay Lip Stain in Flame, are hypersaturated, so they'll also keep you in the red for the long haul.
At night, swap out glosses and stains for darker, intense shades, such as Revlon Matte Lipstick in In The Red. You'll be surprised how a new swipe of red can transform your look from sweetheart to femme fatale.
Naturally, it's all about give and take. “If you're going with a bold lip, don't do too much to your eyes. Allow your lips to be the focus,” says Gravani. “That could mean going with a strong brow or heavy liner, but not both.”
By finishing things off with a soft pink cheek powder or touch of bronzer, you'll be ready to get out there and stop traffic.