How To: Wear Red Lipstick

Red lips are oh-so-hot this season. It is spotted all over the runway, in magazines and makeup counters. But before you dig up your reds and start wearing them away, read on for a few tips on how to do the perfect red lips:

* Any shade of red – strawberry, burgundy, cherry, berry – is hot! The only reds you should avoid are metallic and glittery red. Self-explanatory.

* As for the finish, matte is definitely the way to go but if you do not have a perfect lip line like me or you are not used to bright colors, use a lip gloss or stain instead. I *love* MAC Tinted Lipglass in Russian Red!

* Skip lip liner. Instead, use a good lip brush for a less-painted yet perfect application.

* With lips this bright, keep the rest of your face as natural as possible. A dewy foundation (try Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation) together with nicely defined eyebrows, a little eyeliner and a few coats of black mascara will have you looking fresh yet sexy.

* On porcelain complexions, pick a red with blue undertones. Blue-based reds also tend to make your teeth look whiter. Those with a warmer complexion should stick to reds with orange/coral undertones.

* Remember to prep your lips in advance. Scuff off all dead skin with an old toothbrush and apply Vaseline or lip balm before you start doing any makeup so by the time you do your lips, your lips would be soft and moisturized.

Image credit: Getty Images.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE,, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. Hi Phyllis :) I love the red lippie classic look too. But I am absolutely hopeless with choosing the right shade. Do you have any matte red MAC lippie colour to reccomend for an extemely fair asian tone, like Zhang Ziyi?

  2. hey Lynn, I would say go for a blue-toned lipstick like Givenchy’s Lip Lip Lip! Extreme Lipstick in #308. It is a great red and would look good on anyone.

  3. Thanks gal for the wonderful tip. I bought Givenchy’s #308 and MAC Russian Red lippie! Love em’ both. By the way, your webbie totally rocks :)

  4. which lip stain would you recommend? i’m looking for one that doesnt amplify my lips that much. something understated.

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