Tips for Flawless Red Lips

I love to wear a good red lip, especially during the cooler months in the Midwest and throughout the holiday season. Red lips are classic, festive and bring that extra touch of polish and charm to any outfit; however, a red lipstick can be difficult to apply cleanly if you don’t properly prep your lips or have the right tools.

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I’ve learned from my mistakes over the years and have perfected a foolproof process to ensure a flawless red lip from start to finish.

1. Prep your lips. It is crucial to exfoliate your lips with a washcloth or a lip scrub – my favorite is the Fresh Sugar Lip Scrub. Red lipstick will show and pick up everything on your lips, so exfoliating will get rid of any dry patches or chapped skin. Follow up with a good lip balm.

2. Line your lips. Use a lip liner that is the same shade as your lipstick or slightly lighter. Outline your lips with the pencil, including into the corners of your mouth. This will help keep the lipstick from bleeding outside your lips. For extra staying power, fill in your lips with the liner.

3. Use a lip brush. Applying a red lipstick directly from the tube can be tricky, even for seasoned professionals. Instead, use a lip brush by swiping it over the lipstick a few times to pick up color, and then fill in your lips with short, light strokes.

4. Blot and set with powder. Blot your lips with a tissue both between the lips and on top of them. Using a translucent powder, lightly set your lips with the powder. Blot again to remove any excess product and powder.

These steps and tips should help you to achieve a picture-perfect red lip that will last all day and night.

Are you a fan of red lips? If so, what are your application tips?

Leave a Comment


  1. 10.16.14

    Absolutely! I couldn't agree more.

  2. 10.16.14

    It would look SO good on you. Get it, girl. πŸ™‚

  3. 10.16.14

    I have never tried those YSL lip stains – why? I'm not exactly sure. I'll have to get on that!

  4. 10.16.14

    That's right – I always forget that you like to add some gloss for that bit of pop. It's such a good tip!

  5. 10.16.14

    Absolutely! The Fresh Sugar Lip Scrub isn't cheap, but it is so worth the money. And, it lasts forever.

  6. 10.16.14

    You would look awesome with bold lips! I would try a plum or deeper neutral shade before you jump into red – sometimes you just have to work your way up.

  7. 10.16.14

    Yes, red is definitely the power color of blondes!

  8. 10.16.14

    Ahh, I know right?! Can't believe the holidays are around the corner. You would look fabulous with a bold or red lip, so I hope you rock it!

  9. 10.16.14

    You always could try a deep plum or something – maybe the hubs wouldn't mind that as much. πŸ™‚

  10. 10.16.14

    Girl, you totally should give it a shot! I used to be so anti-lipstick, too a few years ago, and now I literally can't live without lipstick on a daily basis.

  11. 10.16.14

    Yes! So glad to hear I'm not the only one that does the powder trick – it really makes all the difference.

  12. 10.16.14

    So glad you found them helpful! You would look awesome with a bold lip. πŸ™‚

  13. 10.16.14

    Thanks, girl – glad I could help!

  14. 10.16.14

    Yes, I really think prepping your lips is key. I'd love to know the recipe for your DIY lip scrub!

  15. 10.16.14
    Emily said:

    Love me some fabulous red lips! It's so beautiful and feminine.

    Isn’t That Charming.

  16. 10.15.14
    Mia- MakeMeUpMia said:

    I am a fan on other people, but have yet to rock it myself. I am determined to though πŸ™‚

  17. 10.15.14

    I love a good red lip! My favorite is that YSL lip stain it really makes it so easy to apply and it stays so well!

  18. 10.15.14
    Debra Stachelski said:

    Good tips today! I like a red lip in the colder months, too. A little trick I use is to apply a little bit of glass in the center of the bottom lip after applying the lipstick – I think it just gives the look a little pop!

  19. 10.15.14

    Love all of these lips! I've been saying for months I need to get, or make, a good lip scrub- especially with winter right around the corner!

  20. 10.15.14

    Great tips, especially with the lip brush! I still can't get over feeling like I look like a clown with bold lips, but they look so great on everyone else, slowly but surely I'll get there!

  21. 10.15.14
    Caroline said:

    Red lips look good with blonde hair. πŸ˜‰ Applying it definitely requires some precision though! Thanks for sharing these tips. I hope that you are having a good day so far too! πŸ™‚

  22. 10.15.14

    I think not using a lip brush is where I always go wrong! Love the red lip look but can never seem to pull it off so thank you for this! And I agree — so perfect for the holidays… which will be here before we know it!

  23. 10.15.14

    Great tips! I tried red lips once and the hubs hated it! I'll have to try again with your tips though.

  24. 10.15.14

    #4!! I never would have thought to do that! I'm not brave enough to wear lipstick, like at all! I wish I could because I adore soooo many shades of lipstick! I'll have to try these tips and see if it helps me feel better about the color on my lips πŸ™‚

  25. 10.15.14
    Pamela said:

    Great post girl! I love wearing a bold lip but I never do it to work because I need time to prep the lips and that just isn't happening early in the morning! πŸ™‚ And I always set my lipstick with powder! Or toilet paper if I don't have any powder with me!

    <3, Pamela

  26. 10.15.14
    Ashley T said:

    I need to get better about wearing a bold lip. I want to wear red, but haven't yet… these tips are just what I needed. Thanks lady!

  27. 10.15.14
    Becky M said:

    This is so incredibly helpful! Awesome advice!

  28. 10.15.14
    Biana Perez said:

    My biggest thing is forgetting to prep my lips – I made an at home exfoliator before my wedding and it was the best thing ever – now I need to start doing it again because I have so many dark and red lipsticks I want to wear!! Great post!