How to Get Perfect Red Lips for Valentine’s Day

Red is the perfect lipstick shade to wear on Valentine’s Day; it’s bold, classic, sexy, and gives a sense of confidence that a sweet pink lip just won’t.  We’re teaching you all the tricks when it comes to choosing the right shade of red for your complexion, lining and applying it like a pro, and how to make it last all night. Read on to see how to get perfect, kissable red lips this Valentine’s Day.

If you’ve always wanted kissable red lips for Valentine’s Day but weren’t sure how to achieve the look, we’re taking you step by step through the process. Follow these steps and you’ll be rocking crimson lips in no time! 

Choosing the right shade


If you aren’t sure which shade of red will complement your complexion, check your veins to see what color they appear to be. If they are green, you have a warm skin tone; if they are blue, you have a cool skin tone. If they appear to be both blue and green, you have a neutral skin tone.

warm skin tones


Warm skin tones look stunning in firey reds like NYX Matte Lipstick in “Indie Flick”, brick reds like NYX Matte Lipstick in “Alabama,” or rich wine shades like MAC Charlotte Olympia Lipmix in “Crimson.”

cool skin tones


Cool skin tones look gorgeous in coral reds like NARS Audacious Lipstick, or deep blue reds like Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in “Icon,” and MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo.

neutral skin tones


If you have a neutral skin tone, you’re in luck— you can rock shades that flatter both warm and cool skin tones.

For a universally flattering shade, try the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored.

1. Exfoliate


It’s important to prepare your lips so they are soft and smooth before you even apply any color. Exfoliate your lips with a DIY lip scrub — coconut or olive oil + brown sugar will do the trick. Apply the scrub in gentle, circular motions to slough off old skin and reveal your fresh, smooth lips. The oil will act as a moisturizer, which is also key to great looking lipstick, especially if you are using a matte lipstick which can sometimes be drying. Just be sure to give it time to really sink in to your lips, as the oil can be too slick to hold a regular lipstick in place.

2. PRIME


Priming your lips using foundation or concealer will cover up the pigment in your lips, giving you the truest color of the lipstick in the tube. Using a beauty blender or makeup brush, apply your lips with a product that matches your foundation (or just use your foundation). Be sure to use enough product to neutralize the color your lips, and if your lips aren’t too dry you can set it with a little bit of powder. If your lips tend to dry out quickly, skip the powder and go straight to product.

3. Line


Line your lips with a color similar to the lipstick you plan on wearing. Whether it’s a pencil or cream liner, creating that barrier on your lips will give you a more precise line than if you were to just apply your lipstick straight from the tube. If you don’t have a liner, use a small precision brush to apply your lipstick as a lip liner before you go in with the wand or lipstick. With a bold color like red, it isn’t necessary to overline your lips, but you certainly can if you want your lips to look more plump. When overlining, be sure to hug the outer perimeter of your lips for the most natural look— if you go too far outside your natural lip, it’s also tends to get messy.

3. APPLY


Once they’re lined, you can then go in with the lipstick and fill in your lips without having to worry about getting a perfectly straight edge. Liquid lipsticks come with wands or doe foot applicators, but if you’re using a stick form of lipstick you can also use a lip brush if you aren’t quite comfortable applying straight out of the tube. If you make a mistake, you can clean up the edges with concealer or makeup remover and a small brush.

Tip: for more plump lips, use a lipstick with a glossy finish. The gloss will reflect the light, making them appear larger than they really are. This, combined with slightly overlining the lips will make them look ultra luscious.

4. LOCK IT IN


Pressing a tissue over your lips will pick up any excess color while still keeping your lips “stained” the color of your lipstick. While the tissue is still on your lips, apply translucent powder with a brush. The tissue will act as a barrier, giving a finer coverage of powder while still setting it in place. You can then leave it as-is for a long wearing matte color, or add a bit more shine with another coat of lipstick. 


Follow these tips and you’ll be rocking a red pout in no time! By priming your lips with foundation and locking it in with powder, you can feel confident that your color will last all day or night. Whether you have a casual lunch date or an over-the-top romantic evening planned, you can focus on what really matters– having a great time on Valentine’s Day!


Photo Credits: Kristen Love

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Kristen Love

Kristen Love resides in the Chicago area with her husband & two kiddos-- an energetic toddler who will do anything to make his sweet, baby sister giggle (which doesn't take much). She is the author behind The Love Notes Blog, a YouTube beauty vlogger, an extreme DIY’er, obsessive chick flick watcher, lover of all things pretty & her spirit animal is Li’l Sebastian. Connect with her! Blog: www.thelovenotesblog.com | Instagram: @thelovenotes | Facebook: The Love Notes Blog | Twitter: @lovenotesblog | Snapchat: @thelovenotes | YouTube: www.youtube.com/kristenlove13

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