The Red Stain On Everyone’s Lips

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Struggle to get that insanely precise red lip? Thankfully this party season, it’s all about the red stained lip for a much more lived-in look which is far easier to apply and keep on top of. We hear from the Space NK Pro Team about why you should consider applying your lip colour before your base as well as other top tips for balancing your overall look. There’ll be no need to decline the canapes or rush to the bathroom in between courses with this fool-proof favourite…

Applying The Perfect Red Stain

“Like any good makeup look, it all begins with the prep,” says Tiniquka Fletcher, Space NK’s pro artist. “Start by using a lip scrub (like Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish) to gently buff away dry skin on the lips and then wash off using warm water or a soaked cotton pad. This will help to soften and prep the lips for a smooth application. Next, apply a lip balm to hydrate and smooth the lips. I love By Terry’s Baume de Rose. Then apply a lip pencil (Laura Mercier’s Longwear Lip Liner in Crimson) to create a soft edge around the lip line and into the main body of the lips to create a light wash of colour. This will help to boost the longevity of the look.

Use Laura Mercier’s Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick in Electrique all over the lips and use your finger to then lightly press the colour for a soft-focus and stained illusion. If the colour is too intense, use a tissue to blot off any excess. Finally, use NARS’ Creamy Radiant Concealer to clean up around the lip area and blend in to your base. The also helps to create a blurred edge and keep the stain in place.”

Perfecting Your Base

“Sometimes I like to apply a red lip before doing the base as it is easier to correct if you then make a mistake,” explains senior pro artist, Arif Khan. “I recommend applying a light to medium coverage foundation or tinted moisturiser as this will help to even out your skin tone. My top tip for a natural-looking complexion is to use a creamy, liquid concealer to cover any remaining areas of redness or blemishes. If you are prone to shine, try an oil-free concealer like NARS’ Soft Matte or Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer and if you have dry skin, try a more hydrating one like Ilia’s True Skin Serum Concealer.”

“If you want to apply a blusher but worried it might be too much against the red lip stain, be sure to properly conceal the cheeks from any redness first. My next tip would be to make sure you are applying blusher to the apples of your cheeks to the top of your ear and to properly blend it. It is best to build up a few layers of blusher instead of going in too heavy. Opt for brown or peach colours as this will add colour without adding redness.”

Finishing Touches To Balance The Look

“Always bear in mind that with this look, you are aiming to keep the focus on the lips so do not over emphasise the eyes,” says pro artist, Renee Efthymiou. “I like to use a warm brown or black eye liner and place it right into the roof of your top lashes. Add a coat of jet-black mascara too and this will enhance the eyes by creating the illusion of a fuller, darker and wider eyes.”

“For brows, gently fill in any gaps with light hair strokes to frame and lift the face. This will also help to balance out the entire look. Once you are happy with the shape, set the brows with a brow gel. A coloured gel with fibres will add volume and texture, whereas a clear gel will add shine and give a more natural finish.”

“If you are used to wearing eyeshadow, you can add a light wash of a creamy, champagne colour to brighten the eyes and make them appear bigger. I tend to blend this into the crease and then lightly wash over the lid.”