I’ve loved a deep, dark red lip ever since I can remember. Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, various vamps and vampires -- I'll take red, scarlet, and wine-stained lips any way they come. But at some point, all the reds start to look the same. I want something that’s signature, just mine.
And that was when I discovered mixing my eyeliner and lipstick together could give me a signature red that not only doesn’t exist in nature, but that no one makes. If you want your own signature lip color, blend it yourself.
I cannot take credit for this idea. World-renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath taught me about a look that she used on the runway well over a year ago when she lined the models' lips with CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner in Blackfire and topped them with CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipstick in Hot (a gorgeous scarlet red), then blended the liner toward the center using a lip brush.
It’s one of my go-to looks to this day and I’d advise prepping your lips with either a lip primer or concealer so the colors don’t run or bleed.
If you think about it, the way most makeup artists and brands get those insanely cool colors is by adding black, blue, plum, brown and gray to lip color to make them moody or to add depth and/or definition. The possibilities are endless. Plus, it's fun. Again, blend the liner toward the center after you apply the lipstick or it’s a whole new look, one that might look really, REALLY wrong.
The only color combination I avoid is a nude lipstick with anything other than nude liner or maybe a brown. If you use a nude, I’d mix the hell out of it quickly and blend away before you get that crazy nude lip with the dark liner from the late 90s/early 00s. That look is dead and buried and it needs to stay that way.
Also be sure that you’re using a relatively new lip liner and a creamy lip color. Matte colors can look too flat. And since you want these two shades to blend, creamy is better than matte, which can be stiff and hard to mix. Also, whatever the look may be, dab clear gloss in the center of your mouth so the color has some dimension.
A final note of caution: I’m assuming you’re starting with a clean mouth (!!) but make sure that you’re only applying your eyeliner to the outside of your lips and then blending inward. Afterwards, I wipe my liners down with makeup remover pads if I'm going to use them at any point on my eyes again.
So what weird makeup combinations have worked for you? Are you skillful at blending or would you rather just find a shade at the store?