Step 1: Always exfoliate first
The biggest mistake you can make with a red lip is failing to exfoliate and moisturize before applying the color. The deep pigments in red lipsticks and glosses amplify the texture of your lips. Never apply a red color to chapped lips or you will be left with a flakey mess. I advise gently rubbing vaseline into your lips with a soft toothbrush or an exfoliating lip scrub (try LUSH Lip Scrubs) before starting your makeup routine. This will leave your lips soft and luscious and ready to be painted red.
Step 2: Dab some concealer around your lips
To avoid the color bleeding from your lips, always apply a little concealer around the border of your lips before applying red lipstick. This acts as a sort of boundary for the color and helps to make the red really pop.
Step 3: Apply color with a brush
The best way to apply a red lip color is to use a makeup brush. Use short, small strokes to fill in your lips with precision using the concealer you applied as a guide. And take your time, you never want to apply a red lip in a hurry or in the back of an Uber.
Step 4: Set your shade
Gently dust loose or pressed powder over your lips or use a setting spray (try Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray) to set the color. This is super important when working with a red lip to keep a long-lasting rich pigment and avoid smudging the color all over your face and clothes.
Step 5: Coordinate your look
Keep it simple! A bold, red lip should be the main focus of your look so don't get too adventurous with other colors. Nothing screams clown makeup more than a red lip with bright blue mascara or a deep green eye shadow. If you are afraid of a neutral eye palette, consider a dark black liner and a more subtle shade for your shadow - I always pair red lips with layers of a wide-eyed, black mascara and a bone-colored eye shadow.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
I love the velvety matte finish of this NARS lip pencil and the deep red color stays on your pout the whole night. Apply 2-3 coats of the color and set with loose powder.
BITE Lip Lab Crème Deluxe Lipstick in Spiced Apple and Cashmere Lip Cream in Rioja
BITE Beauty has the deepest, richest red pigments with 24-hour staying power - I needed makeup wipes to remove the color even after washing my face. One coat does the trick but combining both the lipstick and lip cream gives your lips that extra ooh-la-la red color.