3 Ways To Wear Red Lipstick

A girl's gotta have options.

Once upon a time, I fell in love with a limited edition lipstick. It was perfect: my ideal dark--but not brown--red. Of course, it’s not made anymore and I’ve spent the last few years trying frantically to find a deep red shade that I love as much.

Readers, I HAVE FOUND IT. Introducing Lipstick Queen’s Velvet Rope Lipstick in Entourage.

This lipstick is my everything. It’s long-wearing, dreamily smooth, with an amazing, almost-matte finish and fresh minty smell. Most importantly, it feels awesome on my lips--lips that don’t always LOVE wearing matte products in the winter.

Now I love dark lipstick, but it's a strong look and that can be a wee bit limiting. I want to have OPTIONS! Plus, when you buy an expensive lipstick, you naturally want to get as much wear out of it as possible. So here are the three ways I’m wearing this dark, gorgeous lip color.

1. As A Slightly Glossy Stain

This is a pretty basic technique, but a lot of people (me included!) sometimes forget to try it with darker mattes. But don’t forget: this isn’t just for super-bright shades you want to tone down. Dark colors can be really pretty worn lightly!

All you have to do for this is swipe on some clear lip balm, apply a little of the dark lip color with your finger or a lip brush, and blend the two together.

You end up with a beautiful sheer lip color; in Entourage’s case, I look like I’ve been drinking red wine or eating berries. Or maybe both!

This is also a great way to build up to wearing a dark lip color, if you’re a little intimidated by jumping straight into ALL MATTE SUPER DARK EVERYTHING. Just make it a little darker every time you wear it!

2. Glossy + Glittery

It doesn’t have to be glitter--any shimmery gloss worn overtop will give movement, sparkle, and shine to your lip color. I just happen to really like glitter, OK?

The trick is picking the right glitter gloss. I prefer one that is sparkle only, rather than sparkle + color, which would affect my lipstick shade. For this deep red, I also don’t want anything with pink or blue glitter to avoid giving it a purple cast.

I settled on Dior Addict Gloss in Etoilee, a magical mixture of gold-orange and green sparkle in a clear base. This formula is one of my favorites because it’s not sticky or gloppy-feeling, something I can’t STAND.

I used my finger to apply the gloss overtop the lipstick so as not to stain the applicator brush. Tapping it gently on my mouth, then pressing my lips together to blend, worked well for me.

The dark color still shines through, but the gloss gives shine and the glitter SPARKLES LIKE CRAZY. It’s like something someone would wear in Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby, if they weren’t all totally horrible people.

3. Gold Ombré

Because I KNOW some of you are like “Glitter? Groundbreaking,” here’s a more advanced look you can try out. This is a lot for everyday life, but we make our own beauty rules ‘round these parts!

First, make sure your lip line is sharp. Trace around it with coordinating liner, make it super neat with an angled brush--whatever you have to do. Big lip looks demand perfect execution.

Next, grab a loose pigment or eye shadow. I find that these blend better than pressed shadows do. This is True Gold from bareMinerals.

Using a small, flat brush, press the pigment into the center of your lips and blend it out. It should be more concentrated in the center and lighter as it spreads away.

The finished look is pretty awesome, and if any of the makeup people want to use this on Reign (Queen Mary is crying out for two-toned lips!), I would be delighted.

So, which of these three looks do you like the best?

I like the stain for running errands, glitter for everyday, and golden ombré for when I feel like freaking out my family and looking like Fabulous C3PO while doing it.

  • OK, everyone, what's your favorite dark lip color?
  • What's your favorite way to wear it (other than just on your lips, duh)?
  • Have you ever looked high and low for a dupe of a beloved and discontinued shade?
  • Anyone want to talk about Reign with me?