How to: Apply a Bold Red Lip

I’ve mentioned a few times how I was just not a girlie-girl growing up. With three older brothers, all I wanted to do was play sports (I know, it’s hilarious if you know me know), wear my hair in a ponytail, and never put on makeup EVER.

Suffice to say, times have changed.

Nowadays, I think you could say that I’m downright girlie. I mean, sure, I still love hanging out in sweatpants, I actually enjoy watching hockey and football, and I have no qualms about getting dirty when the occasion arises. But I also have no problem glamming it up now again. (And we all know I spend too much time wondering if what I’m doing with my hair is a good decision or not.)

The point is, over the last few months, I’ve been intrigued by a girlie trend (that probably isn’t really a trend because it has been around since makeup was invented): the bold red lip.

It has to be said that I have attempted this look a few times in the past, but I always ended up chickening out of wearing it anywhere besides my bathroom. It always felt too stark. Too bold for my poor little tomboy self.

But, for whatever reason, this week I decided to be demure no more. (At least in terms of my lip color.)

Of course, confidence is only part of carrying off a red lip. Here are my steps for applying the perfect bold lip color without looking like a clown. (Or crazy person.)

How to Apply the Perfect Bold Red Lip

1. You’ve probably heard the advice that you should only highlight one part of your face at a time. If you love a dramatic eye, go neutral on the lip. In the same vein, if you’re going for a bold red lip, a simple black cat eye is all you really need to dress up the rest of your face. I also incorporated my favorite top knot (using my new favorite hair tools).

2. Using a soft toothbrush, I buffed my lips to remove any dry, flaking skin (thanks, cold air) and applied a very light layer of lip balm.

3. Next, liner. I never line my lips normally, but for such a bright color, I figured better safe than sorry. I used a color the exact same shade as my lips to outline my mouth, then filled in my lips a bit for good measure.

4. Color time! I used NARS Pure Matte Lip Color in Vesuvio. I like it because it’s not a pinky red and doesn’t look cheap. Instead of just smearing on the lipstick (especially because I was using a matte shade), I instead dabbed it on a bit at a time until my whole mouth was covered. (Color outside the lines? A quick swipe with a Q-tip can clean up and uneven edges.)

5. To make the color last, next I’ll swipe my finger in some powder and tap it on over the color. Then I’ll reapply the lip color using the same dabbing technique as before.

6. Another light layer of lip balm to keep my lips from feeling tight, and you’re good to go!

And just because gifs are fun, here’s one so you can see the above images in action:

I know, I’m just too much fun.

So there you have it! I’m not sure if this is a look I would wear all the time, but it could be fun for a special occasion now and then.

Do you ever wear red lipstick? Does it freak you out a little? What shade is your favorite?