16 Red Lipstick Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Ah, red lipstick. It is one of those rare things that manages to be iconic yet also very intimidating. I might sound like I’m being dramatic, but how many times have you wistfully looked at a bright red lippy then thought “Nah, I can’t pull it off” before going for your regular neutral color? Exactly.

Red lipstick is one of those things that many of us love on other people, but we have it in our heads that we cannot pull it off for whatever reason. If you’ve ever attempted to wear red lipstick and ended up with the wrong shade or a messy lipstick incident involving a shirt, it’s enough to put you off the stuff for good.

I’ve had my share of bad red lipstick experiences, but I’m here today to say that you should not give up an entire beauty product just because the lipstick you bought was too brown or it had zero staying power. There are so many options to choose from. And when you find the right one (or ones), you will realize why people are so obsessed with red lipstick.

To make finding your perfect shade easier, I have 16 common red lipstick mistakes that people make. Read ’em and avoid ’em.

1. Not buying a lipstick based on your coloring.



When it comes to red lipstick, it’s not necessarily about the shade you like the most in the bullet. It’s about what works the best when you’re wearing it.


2. Not realizing there are different tones.



There isn’t only one shade of red. There are countless ones. To make it easier, this is where you need to know whether you have a warm, cool, or neutral undertone. That way you can decide whether you should go with a blue-based red or an orange-based one.


3. Only focusing on one type of finish.



Matte lipsticks may be the thing of the moment, but they’re not your only option. There are cream finishes, glossy ones, metallics, and glitter ones for when you’re feeling fancy. Play around to decide what one works best for you.


4. Not prepping your lips properly.



The key to any lipstick look starts with the right base. Applying lipstick on top of dry, flaky lips will just make them look even drier so make sure you’re exfoliating beforehand.


5. Not doing the teeth check.



Some people suck on their fingers while others gently dab a tissue on their lips to prevent freshly applied lipstick transferring onto their teeth. You can do whatever method works for you. Just remember that the key thing is to do it.


6. Forgoing lip liner.



Lip liner isn’t just for days when you want to channel your inner Kylie Jenner. It helps your lipstick last longer and it helps it stay in place. A feathered lipstick look is never a good thing.


7. Not considering your entire makeup look.



Your red lipstick is part of your entire makeup look so it’s important to make sure everything works. The classic thing is to go for paired-back eyes with your bold lipstick, but you can actually try a bold eye with your bold lip as long as your colors don’t clash.


8. Not thinking about the rest of your look.



Red lipstick is a statement so it’s a good idea to make sure the rest of your look isn’t competing with it. That includes your hair and your outfit.


9. Using the wrong color lip liner.



It’s great you’re using lip liner, but the wrong shade can ruin your look. Make sure you have a lipstick that matches your lip liner, unless you’re doing an ombre lip. In that case, make sure your lip liner is different enough so it clearly looks intentional. If you’re sticking with a traditional matching look, but you cannot get the perfect color lip liner, you can always try a clear one.


10. Not blotting your lipstick during your application.



I know blotting might seem wasteful, but it actually helps make your lipstick last longer. And that’s something we all want, right? Apply the color, blot it with a tissue then apply a final coat.


11. Over-exaggerating the outline of your lipstick.



You can exaggerate your lip line a bit, but if you take things too far, you will just look like a clown. And it will be really obvious that you’re faking it.


12. Not bothering to correct your mistakes.


When you go outside of the lines with your red lipstick, it really shows because of the bold shade. So, if you make a boo boo, make sure you have a Q-tip and makeup remover handy so you can correct it.


13. Applying too many layers on top of each other.



If you’re someone who is constantly applying lip balm, you will probably want to do the same thing with your red lipstick. Applying a few layers initially is actually good, but you don’t want to overdo it. It will just become messy and the chances of it transferring to your teeth will be a lot higher.


14. Not using a primer.



If you prime your skin before applying foundation, you will know how essential it is. The same deal applies with your lipstick. Use a primer and your red lipstick will stay on longer.


15. Forgetting your lipstick sealant.



If you want your color to last, using a primer and a lipstick sealant is the way to go. Yes, it’s more steps and more products, but it’s worth it if you want a flawless red lipstick.


16. Applying the color straight from the bullet.



Yes, they make lipsticks designed so you can apply them directly to your lips, but you will probably find that doesn’t give you the most precise application. The best way to apply your red lipstick is actually using a thin brush.

What red lipstick mistakes have you made? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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