Nothing expresses glamour and rebellion in equal measure quite like crimson lips. But the most classic trend in make-up can also be the most complicated to wear.
“A flawless scarlet mouth involves the right tools, textures and hues,” says Sonic Sarwate, senior artist, M.A.C India.
Sarwate‘s 4-step red lip guide
Find your red: Remember the golden rule — one red doesn’t fit all. Blue-based reds are perfect for pale skin; orange-y reds work well on olive and dark complexions. Try both colour families (on your lips, never the back of your hand), the right red will make your face come alive, while the wrong shade will look as though the colour has been drained out of you. The best reds are balanced perfectly between creamy and matte with a hint of sheen. Look for a densely pigmented formula that goes on super dark — the more pigment it packs, the less touchup it requires.
Prep work: Red lipstick magnifies dry spots; take care of any flakiness by gently exfoliating with a baby toothbrush. Next, dab on a lip primer and give it a few minutes to sink in — it moisturises enough to help the liner and the lipstick glide effortlessly. Avoid a balm, it can make your lips excessively glossy and cause the colour to bleed.
Right tools: A scarlet lip requires precision, and the right lip pencil. The trick is to choose a matte formula to ensure the colour doesn’t bleed. Choose a lip pencil that’s either the same shade as your lipstick or in the same colour family. If you can’t find an exact match, go a tad darker.
Work with patience: Trace your natural lip line with the pencil and also use it as a crayon to fill them in. Next, layer the colour straight from the tube, blending inwards. Blot with a tissue and swipe on a second coat.