Pick your perfect shade
Clockwise from top left: iStock/Lorado, iStock/Makidotvn, iStock/mapodile, iStock/AIMSTOCK
“People hear ‘red’ and think ‘fire-engine red.’ But red is for everybody,” says makeup artist Katrina Hess. Bright cherry red might not be your thing, but you can go for a darker or sheerer shade. She recommends using your fingertips, which are the same shade as your lips, to test a color, then holding your hand next to your lips to get a sense of how it’ll look. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the undertones of your skin, says Jessica Mae, founder, creative director, and makeup artist of WarPaint International Beauty Agency. Warmer undertones pair well with warm reds with a coral or orange base, while cooler undertones look nice with blue-based shades like a classic Hollywood glam red, she says. (Now that you know how to apply lipstick, these are the different lipstick shades every woman needs in her life.)
Smooth the surface
With a bold lip, you want the attention to be on your daring color choice, not how dry and flaky your lips are. “With a sophisticated matte lipstick, you need smooth, hydrated lips,” Hess says. She likes to exfoliate with a store-bought sugar scrub but says you can make your own by mixing raw sugar and honey into a paste. Don’t miss these makeup mistakes that make your skin look dry.