Lady in Red: How to wear red lipstick

Red lips are everywhere on the recent catwalk collections. Georgina Heffernan shows you how to wear them.

Whether its glamour, sex appeal or street cred you are looking for, only one lipstick will do this season: red. The most daring of lipstick shades often pops up in the winter collections but this year it’s been hit all year around, probably because it’s an instant pop of glamour that doesn’t cost a fortune.

The recession might be one explanation why red lipstick is this years’ biggest trend - but this look is nothing new – red lipstick has been making a bold style statement for centuries.

In the Elizabethan era, the in-look was white skin but Elizabeth I liked vibrant colours on the lips, eyes and cheeks. By the forties and fifties, the red-lipped look also represented power, and the strongest, feistiest women on the big screen were the ones best known for their full, red lips. Marilyn Monroe’s famous pout wouldn't have been the same without it. And Elizabeth Taylor's beautiful smile would have lost much of its sex appeal.

Today fashionistas Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, Dita Von Teese and young Georgia Jagger have brought the look back and are rarely seen without that carmine slash. So, just how easy is it to get the look right? I’m going to show you, in five easy steps, how to wear next season’s most alluring shade.

Step one: I started off by using my favourite base, applying it carefully over my face, making sure to blend, blend, and blend. I applied L’Oreal Infallible foundation, in golden beige €16.50, working the product in with a Mac foundation brush. I also defined my brows, using eyebrow pencil (blonde by Christian Dior, €24,) and powder, to achieve an arched shaped brow.

Step two: Having got the basics right, it’s now time to add a dewy look to my skin. I use Benefit Highbeam, €26.50, to highlight my cheekbones and my cupids bow. I also dab a tiny bit just across the length of my nose to help slim it. Next, I add just a little blush on the apples of my cheeks to bring a youthful glow to my complexion. My current fave is Silky Blush in suede by W7 – a total bargain at only €3.99 – and just as good as any of the high end brands.

Step three: There’s nothing better than a slick of liquid liner across the lash line for a little added glamour. I love Benefit’s Magic Ink, €21.50, because it’s sexy, stunning & sinfully black - the perfectly precise eyeliner for drama that lasts.

Step four: I line my lips with a liner, as this will help my lipstick to stay in place and prevent it lipstick from feathering; lining is very important to prevent the colour bleeding from the lips. I used Lasting Finish 100 Kisses liner in Red Dynamite by Rimmel, €5.90. The definite and not always followed rule is: If you are going for a bold red lip, the rest of your make up should remain simple, sleek thin liner, or blank lids with layers of mascara, natural blush.

Step five: I fill in the lips using Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick Shade 1, €6.90, and another brighter shade from my make-up palette; I love to mix different formulations together, so that I can get just the colour I’m looking for. Finally, I filled in my lips using a lip brush for added precision. Within seconds the look was complete.

Red lips are so easy to wear and there’s a shade to suits everyone - so what are you waiting for? It’s never been easier to get glam in an instant!

Georgina Heffernan