Well-conditioned, smooth lips are vital, so buff them before you start, just to remove any dry, flaky bits. Apply lip balm afterwards and allow it to sink in. Blot off before you put on the lipstick; otherwise, all your hard work will slide off in a matter of minutes.
Get the shape as accurate as you can by lining and filling your lips with a nude lip liner. This will also give your lipstick staying power and prevent bleeding over the lip line. Apply your lipstick with a small lip brush. Carefully blot your lips with a tissue after the first application of lipstick and then apply another layer. This will help to increase the pigment on your lips, so the colour stays put for longer.
Follow our lip tips and get perfect red lips every time
Tip: Don’t test shades on the back of your hand — use the pads of your fingers: this will give you a better idea of how the lipstick will look on your lips. Make sure the shade and tone of red complement your skin and hair colour.
A sheer alternative
Nervous about full-on red? Try a gloss for a hint of colour without the depth of a lipstick.
‘When using a tube of lip colour, blot it on with a finger rather than using it straight from the tube,’ says make-up artist Lee Pycroft.
Tip: Make stained or yellow teeth look whiter by choosing red colours with a blue undertone. Browny reds make teeth appear more yellow.