Top Tips for Perfectly Applying Red Lipstick

5 Red Lipstick Hacks to Master Now

  Reading time 7 minutes

Red lipstick is more than just a beauty staple—it’s a fashion statement that can elevate any look. However, perfecting the application of red lipstick and ensuring it lasts can be a daunting task. This article reveals indispensable hacks for mastering this classic look. From preparation to precision application, and from ensuring longevity to perfecting the perfect shade for your skin tone, these five red lipstick hacks will empower you to wear this bold color with total confidence.

1. The Perfect Base: Prepping Your Lips

Before you even think about applying red lipstick, you’ll want to make sure your lips are well-prepped. A smooth base is essential for even, long-lasting color. Start with a gentle lip scrub to exfoliate and remove any flaky skin, then hydrate with a nourishing lip balm. Let the balm sink in for a few minutes, then blot any excess with a tissue. This ensures your lips aren’t too slippery, which could cause the lipstick to slide around or wear off more quickly. You can also apply a lip primer specifically formulated to create a smooth canvas and help with adhesion.

2. Outlining for Perfection: The Lip Liner Trick

Next up, lip liner is your best friend for creating the perfect pout. Not only does it provide a guideline for your lipstick, but it also acts as a barrier to prevent color from bleeding. Choose a lip liner that matches your red lipstick or go for a neutral shade that closely matches your natural lip color. Start by outlining the cupid’s bow with an ‘X’ shape, which helps in defining the peaks of your lips. Then, continue to line the rest of your lips, slightly over-drawing them if you wish for a fuller look. Finally, fill in the entire lip with liner to create a color base that will help the lipstick last longer.

3. Application Precision: Techniques for Bold Color

When it’s time to apply your red lipstick, precision is key. Use a lip brush to carefully apply your red lipstick, starting from the center of your lips and working your way outwards. A brush allows for more control and accuracy, especially around the tricky lip edges. If you’re using a bullet lipstick, you can also try this hack: instead of applying it straight from the tube, use the edge of the lipstick (like a lip liner) for better precision. To ensure the first layer is thin, blot with a tissue after applying, and then add a second layer. This layering technique contributes to the intensity and longevity of the color.

4. Ensuring Longevity: Set It and Forget It

To make your red lipstick last all day (or night), setting it properly is crucial. Here’s a method that makeup artists swear by: after applying your red lipstick, lay a thin tissue over your lips. Then, using a fluffy brush, gently dust translucent powder over the tissue. This technique sets the lipstick without altering the color or texture. Additionally, after eating or drinking, rather than layering more lipstick on top, blot and reapply a fresh layer to avoid any caking or unevenness. Ensuring your lipstick is always fresh contributes significantly to its appearance and durability.

  1. Prep your lips with scrub and balm.
  2. Outline and fill with a matching lip liner.
  3. Use a lip brush for precision when applying lipstick.
  4. Blot and apply a second layer for boldness and longevity.
  5. Set with translucent powder over a tissue.
Essential Red Lipstick Tricks Every Woman Should Know

5. Choosing the Right Red: A Shade for Every Skin Tone

Finally, selecting the right shade of red is just as important as the application. The perfect red varies from person to person, depending on skin tone. Cooler skin tones tend to look best with blue-based reds, which also have the bonus effect of making teeth appear whiter. Warmer skin tones are complemented by orange-based reds or brick reds. And for those with a neutral skin tone, a true red will most likely be your holy grail. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades to discover your ideal match. Remember to consider the finish as well—matte reds will give a classic, velvet look while glossier finishes offer a modern, luscious sheen.


Red lipstick doesn’t have to be intimidating. With these hacks, you can effortlessly nail a glamorous, enduring red lip that complements your skin tone and style. Remember to prepare your lips, use liner, apply with precision, set your look, and choose the right shade. Incorporate these techniques into your beauty routine and watch as you master the art of the perfect red lip, one bold swipe at a time. Red lipstick commands attention, so with these tips, you’ll be ready to take on the world knowing your pout is flawless.


Q1: How can I prevent my red lipstick from bleeding?

A1: To prevent red lipstick from bleeding, always use a good quality lip liner to outline your lips before applying lipstick. Setting the lipstick with translucent powder can also help to seal the edges.

Q2: Can I wear red lipstick if I have thin lips?

A2: Absolutely! Red lipstick can be worn by anyone. Use a lip liner to subtly overdraw your natural lip line for a fuller appearance, and choose a brighter shade of red to bring more attention to your lips.

Q3: Should I apply lipstick directly from the tube or use a brush?

A3: While you can apply directly from the tube, using a brush can offer more precise application, especially for bold colors like red. A brush also helps to layer the color more evenly.

Q4: How do I choose the right red lipstick for my skin tone?

A4: If you have cool skin tones, opt for blue-based reds. Warm skin tones are flattered by orange-based or brick reds. Neutral skin tones can usually pull off a true red. Always test shades in natural light before making a decision.

Q5: How can I make my red lipstick matte if it’s glossy?

A5: After applying your glossy red lipstick, blot it with a tissue to remove excess shine. Then, dust a light layer of translucent powder over your lips through a tissue to mattify the finish.