Whether you’re happily single or blissfully bonded, Valentine’s Day is bound to have you seeing red. Plush velvet hearts, bouquets of roses and store displays all showcase the color of love. It doesn’t need to be Valentine’s Day for you to wear classic red lipstick, of course, but it couldn’t hurt to wear Cupid’s favorite color on February 14, either; it’s always smart to look kissable on Valentine’s Day. Besides, if you happened to forget and need a last-minute gift, a red-lipped kiss works beautifully.
As gorgeous as it is, red can be tricky to wear. Follow these tips and go red fearlessly.
Pick the Right Shade of Red Lipstick
Red’s naturally a warm color, but some reds have a blue undertone that makes it super-flattering to cool complexions, while others spice up warm skin tones. Warm reds include shades like tomato, flame and brick; these colors look best with golden or olive skin tones. Cooler reds have a kiss of pink in them like watermelon and cherry reds. Figure out your natural skin tone and choose a red that suits it.
Wear a Bold Brow
Strong red lipstick needs another strong element on your face to balance it, but heavy eye makeup with red lips looks overdone for anything but the red carpet. The solution: neutral eyes and strongly defined eyebrows. A little brow pencil brings balance to your face without competing with your lipstick for attention.
Red lipstick caked over chapped, flaky lips is the antithesis of sexy. It’s vital to smooth your lips before wearing red, so wear lip balm to bed the night before to ensure you get a kissably smooth surface for your red lipstick. Exfoliate your lips with a rough washcloth after your shower, then follow with another dab of balm before applying your lipstick.
Prevent Lipstick Feathering
Highly pigmented red lipstick can find its way into tiny lines around your mouth and cause feathering, a look that’s more scary than sexy. Lip liner is one way to keep lipstick where it belongs, but it dries your lips. Instead, line the outside of your lips with a colorless, waxy lip pencil. The stiff texture of the product fills in those small lines so lipstick can’t bleed into them.
Keep Lipstick Off Your Teeth
Red lips are drop-dead sexy; red teeth, not so much. A mirror can help your smile stay lipstick-free, but you can also try a couple of beauty pageant tricks for a white smile. Once you’ve applied your lipstick, poke your finger in your mouth and pull it out. This removes the innermost application of the lipstick, and that’s the part that gets on your teeth when you smile. Try adding a dab of lip balm to your front teeth as a temporary measure. The lip balm trick won’t work through a romantic dinner, but it’s a good way of protecting your teeth for the first few minutes after you apply lipstick.
Still not sure if you’re ready for lips as red as a paper valentine? Try a sheer shade that gives you a kiss of red without looking heavy.
While you’re in the Valentine’s Day spirit, you might enjoy these articles:
Five Tips for Writing Romantic Love Letters
How to Make Sure Your Lipstick Sticks
15 Things Every Woman Should Do Before She Settles Down