Applying a red lipstick can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Now that I've provided tips from choosing your undertone, to picking a cool red, a warm red, and a true red, you're good to go. But wait — there's more:

  • Prep — Get the lips ready to hold the bold shade with a light sweep of foundation or a lip primer such as Smashbox Lid & Lip Primer ($24). Set with a dusting of translucent powder. Coty AirSpun Loose Face Powder in Translucent ($6.99) should do the trick.
  • Line up — Using a lip liner in a shade or two closest to your natural lip color, line and fill in your entire lips. You can also work with a red liner if you can find an exact match to your lipstick. Never use a darker color. It can look très tacky.
  • Apply — You can always do it the old fashioned straight-from-the-tube way, but I like using a lip brush for more control. Start at the center of your lips, and work outwards.
  • Blot and re-apply — For a surefire way to lock in the color, blot with a tissue and apply your chosen red once more.
  • Finishing touches — Make a little smudge? Clean it up with a Q-Tip and some concealer. Want some extra shine? Layer a red gloss like NP Set Lip Gloss in St. John Red ($15) or a sparkly clear one such as Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips in Dominique ($18).

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