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Red lips are a statement piece in the fashion industry, not because it is one of the ancient colors women use to beautify themselves, but because it represents elegance and confidence. You can quickly wear a bold red lip with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or with a glamorous evening gown. Marilyn Monroe was one of the red-lip icons, and she wore it with almost every outfit, regardless of a movie character or a movie premiere.
For red lip makeup looks, there is a thumb rule. For example, if you choose a red lip, choose light makeup on your eyes or just a simple wing. But this is not always true. There is more than one look that you can pull off with a red lip. And later in this article, we’ll explore different red lip makeup looks, which are always effortlessly graceful.
Why a red lip?
Before exploring anything further down the line, let us explain why red lip makeup looks are a statement. And why do women try to pull off a red lip yearly? The main reason is that the history of the red lip look goes back to Mesopotamia and the ancient Egyptians, who used red lips to color their lips as a symbol of class and royalty. In 3500 BC, red rocks were used in Mesopotamian culture to get a red hue.
And there was Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, who was known for her beauty and lovers, who wore red lips. So, almost every ancient elite is known for wearing a red lip. The origins of red lipstick are debatable, but it can be associated with seduction, statement-making, social status, wealth and power, and, most importantly, elegance. The most famous women in history have used red lip makeup to make a statement.
If you’re still unsure about red lipstick, understand that a red lip can terrorize men. Adolf Hitler hated red lipstick and declared it was against his fascist terms. But later, red lipstick was considered a precious term used for feminism and a sign of patriotism.
Red lips are a feminine color, yet they never fail to make their mark. In 1912, when women demanded equal rights and the right to vote, they marched wearing red lipstick. Even in World War II, women directly involved with health care or other services wore red lips to show that not all hope was lost.
Red lip makeup looks are a symbol of freedom. Elizabeth Cady Staton, the leader of the suffragette movement, loved her red lipstick and wore it to almost all formal occasions. Red lipstick was considered a sign of defiance, which gave birth to the term feminism. Elizabeth Arden, a leading beauty brand, will give out free tubes of red lipstick on Fifth Avenue in New York during Suffragette time for women to march out and claim what is rightfully theirs.
And then red lips were known as the sign of freedom and rebellion. Once it found its ground of confidence in women, red lip makeup looks became apparent in many international countries. Being one of them, France wore their red lips differently than the US. When the British Suffragette movement started, Emmeline Pankhurst also embodied a red lip to spread the word to her followers.
Even today, red lips symbolize protest against the government, system, and overall patriarchy. Ten thousand women wore red lipstick and a blindfold to protest against the ongoing sexual violence against women in Chile in 2019. In Nicaragua, the government faced a protest against its policies when thousands of men and women protested, wearing red lip makeup.
Margaret Thatcher and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, ladies who lead the country and ladies who are trying to make a change, made their debut with a bold red lip makeup look.
Red lip makeup looks that are iconic
We all might get a bit nervous while thinking about wearing a red lip makeup look. Not only celebrities but people and women worldwide wore red lipstick to make a bold statement and show how they have remained timeless throughout history.
Vogue and several other fashion magazines feature new red lip makeup looks now and then. This trend will stay put, like a high heel for the lips. Everyone from Madonna to Angelina Jolie slew the red lip makeup look, whether on the red carpet or in the movies. And some even made a statement with their new looks.
Here we are including some of the most iconic red lip makeup looks that stay in our heads, rent-free.
She’s an icon and a legend who left the world dazzled by her beauty and statements. She was the true sight of a “blond beauty with a red lip.” She was the ultimate sex icon and trademarked her iconic red lips. For decades of being a film star, she wore red lips in most of her appearances.
It was said that Marilyn used Guerlains No. 5 Satin from the Rouge G collection. She put five coats of lipstick on to get the glossy and bold red lips.
Grace Kelly was once a renowned star of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies and one of Hollywood’s most accomplished actresses. She was later known as the Princess of Monaco. She was an actor who paved her way from the Hollywood red carpet to Hollywood royalty. In 2019, at the Dior Granville Museum, a display of Grace Kelly’s famous red lip makeup looks was displayed. And she was in love with the Dior lipsticks and treasured them throughout her life.
Grace Kelly wore the Rouge Dior Lipstick from its launch until 1950. In most of her iconic portraits, even at the Academy Awards, Grace wore a red lip makeup look.
Madonna wore a red lip makeup look for her Blond Ambition tour, and her makeup artist created a new collection of red lipstick just for the pop star. Madonna had several iconic hits and shows in the 90s, and MAC approached Madonna and asked about her ideas for a perfect red lip. And for the tour on the 13th of April, 1990, Madonna wore a brand new lip makeup look that remains an icon.
Madonna used MAC’s Russian Red Lipstick, which was made specifically for her, and it is still one of the most legendary red lipsticks. The perfectly matte lip with long-lasting effects
Jolie is known for her luscious lips and was always considered the woman with the perfect red pout. Angelina wore a red lip makeup look for the Academy Awards of 2012, and she wore it with a black velvet red dress. The dress and the makeup look made their marks, and thus we are including the look in our list. The black velvet Versace dress was everything, and thus there was the red lip.
Angelina Jolie used MAC’s Ruby Woo and Russian Red to create the red lip makeup look, which has stayed with Jolie ever since.
Taylor has an album dedicated to red, and she even recorded the red album, and I can still hear the song “all too well” as I’m depicting her love for red lipstick. She never fails to slay her red carpet looks with red lip makeup looks, and most of her videos also feature her wearing a red and bold lips. We must admit that a red lip with Taylor’s skin is a perfect way to represent her individuality.
She is dedicated to Nar’s Dragon Girl Lip Pencil. This is one of the timeless shades of red lipstick, and Swift wore it most elegantly.
For the Oscars of 2020, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star wore a deep navy Chanel blue gown with a red lip makeup look to go along. The dress was from the 90s, and thus it gave us supermodel vibes. And what’s better than saluting a 90s dress with a bold red lip? And that’s what Robbie did with her matte and deep glossy red.
Margot Robbie used the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme-Idéal. The lipstick was a bright red with depth and richness.
Jennifer Lopez wore a glamorous Gucci dress for the 2011 Met Gala, and she did a red lip makeup look with her updo hair and flawless makeup. The rep’s lip makeup look was supposed to compliment her gown, and everything worked out perfectly. The dress was an ultra-feminine trademark, and so was the red lip.
Jennifer used the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge-Bold Bordeaux for the look.
The 2021 Met Gala was Valentina’s debut, and she wore a glamorous red lip look with her gorgeous outfit. The Met Gala is a zoo for ultra-rich people, but Valentina made her mark with a beautifully put-together look and a red lip. Her gaze was warm, rich, and perfect for a young woman.
Valentina Sampaio wore the Georgio Armani Beauty Lip Power Lipstick-200 for the 2021 Met Gala.
How to get the perfect red lip makeup looks?
The question we all long to ask is how you get a flawless red lip makeup look. Please do not look for inspos on Instagram or Pinterest. The pictures are mostly edited, and every flaw is hidden with photoshop. Use a red lipstick that you think will suit you.
I had to try four red lipsticks to get the shade I love currently. If you mix one or two shades, you might also like it. Or just mix brown and red.
What color suits you depends on what look you’re putting on and what time and environment it is. Red lips will indeed suit every occasion and time, but they’re too needs consideration. But what lipstick should you choose, and what type of red lip should you go for?
We’ll revisit this later in the article. But first, let us establish some ground rules for red lip makeup looks, which may differ from person to person but are generally the same.
Here we include a step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect red lip makeup look effective.
- Exfoliate and Moisturize
- Apply a base
- Apply a liner
- Apply the lipstick
Here we are giving an elaborated version of the steps mentioned above. This 6-step routine can be altered, and you can follow step four for the perfect red lip.
Step 1: Exfoliate and Moisturize
Red lipstick is not great on parched lips. What if you go on an outing and see chunks of lip skin coming off? The site is very uncomfortable, and it’ll not look good. Prep your skin, and you can use a hydrating lip mask overnight to eliminate chapped lips. Or just use a lip scrub. Mix sugar and lip oil to make a scrub mixture at home. Or just put on some chapsticks before you start your makeup and remove them gently.
Step 2: Apply a Base
We recommend using base makeup to hide the unevenness if you have uneven lip color. You can just use a foundation or a concealer for the perfect base. If the base feels too much, you can just use a highly pigmented matte lipstick to get the perfect matte red lip makeup look.
Step 3: Use a Liner
I know people like to just dig in with lipstick at first. But we highly recommend using a lip liner first. You can use two types of lip liners. A darker red to line the outlines to give a more contoured lip. Or you can choose a lip liner exactly the same color as your red lipstick and line it completely. If you’re using velvet or satin lipstick, we recommend using the red lip liner all over the lid to give the lipstick a lasting effect.
Step 4: Apply Red Lipstick
You can choose any red lipstick with different sorts and finishes to go with your red lip makeup looks. When you’re applying lipstick, there are several factors to consider. But do not try to overline your lips with lipstick; and use a liner for that. If you’re using a satin or velvet tube of red lipstick, you should blot the lipstick after use.
Step 5: Blotting
First, apply one coat of lipstick and blot it with tissue paper or translucent powder. Then apply another coat of lipstick and blot again. Apply as many coats as possible to get a more durable and pigmented red lip look.
Step 6: Clean up
The last step will be to clean up the excess red lipstick from overlining the lips. For regular red lipstick, you can just use tissue paper to remove the products. You might have to use makeup wipes or concealer if it’s matte lipstick. Using a concealer or foundation might feel a bit heavy, but they prevent the lipstick from bleeding. Alternatively, you can gently remove the access red color with micellar water and a cue tip.
How to choose the right shade of red?
If you’re trying out red lip makeup looks on yourself for the first time, welcome to the club, bro! There are a lot of reds with thousands of different finishes and bottles. Red is one of the three primary colors. And all of the other colors are derived from red. So, it is not easy to choose the perfect shade of red for oneself.
The red lipstick that’ll suit you will depend on your skin tone and undertones. There is a variation of red in every shade, and magenta and brown both have red undertones, and you can choose from these criteria.
Reds with orange or yellow are more like cherry red, and if the red is more vibrant, they are on the bluer side. Just make sure that the red you choose compliments your complexion.
But this is not completely true. You can try different types and tones of red with different makeup looks. And they do not have to be in your comfort zone; they can be bright red or deep scarlet. So, choose a red that suits your mood. But here we are laying down a thumb rule for selecting the perfect red lips for you. We have mentioned it with the undertones of a person.
- Neutral Red: Every Complexion
- Blue Red: Cool Undertones
- Orange Red: Deep, warm undertones
- Brownish Red: Warm skin tones
- Cherry Red: Cool Undertones, Neutral Undertones
Different types of red lip makeup looks
Now that we’ve covered various shades of red and what might work best for you. Here we are including different sorts of makeup looks you can use with a red lip. Remember that the red-headed lady is the hero of the movie. All of the other expenses are just there to compliment the lips.
- Matte, Neutral Makeup-Old Hollywood Look
- Brown Eye Makeup
- Winged Liner
- Fresh Look
- Bronzed Look
- Gold Eyeshadow Look
- Smokey Eyeshadow
- Shimmery Eye Makeup
- Graphic Liner
- Rosy Cheeks
1. Matte, neutral makeup-old Hollywood look
Here, reach for only your matte, neutral, and skin-finish products. Beige, sand, and brown are the ideal complements to the red lips, and these looks are perfect for day or evening.
2. Brown eye makeup
Glossy red lip makeup looks are perfect with a hint of brown shadows. Use black and brick brown on the eyes to complement the look. This look is perfect for the green-eyed and brown-eyed beauties. Keep the base makeup neutral in this case. A perfect evening looks
3. Winged liner
A classic winged liner is one of the oldest tricks to pull off red lip makeup looks. Almost all old heroines will do the trick. This makeup look makes a face sharp and accentuates the natural eye shape. With a red lip, a winged eyeliner with a dark matte liner is a must.
4. Fresh look
Start with this look if you’re just starting on your red lipstick journey. First, do a fresh and clear base with foundation and concealer. Use a touch of bronzer and blush. Do not overdo anything. And then put on the classic red lip, and you’re on your A game.
5. Bronzed look
The next step is to get a gorgeous sun-kissed look with a warm-toned bronzer. For this look, stay clear of heavy eye makeup. Use a contour and bronzer to achieve very sharp cheeks and a jawline. A red matte lip is perfect for the look.
6. Gold eyeshadow look
This is a 2010 trend. Rose gold eyeshadow and shimmer on the chicks perfectly complement the red brick matte lips. You can also add glitter to the look. This is an over-the-top look. But it pays off pretty well on a night out or a date.
7. Smokey eyeshadow
Depending on your dress, you can make any smokey shadow look green, brown, blue, or black. Use a light sparkling shade on the inner corners of the eye. A bright and glossy red is the perfect complement to the look instead of going for a nude lip.
8. Shimmery eye makeup
You can use the cut crease technique with this look. Go for a pigment eyeshadow or a liquid eyeshadow to complement the matte red lips. Our bet is on the neutral reds in this case. And for special occasions, the red lip makeup looks require extra lashes.
9. Graphic liner
You don’t really have to be a pro to create a graphic liner effect; all you need is eyeliner in various shades. For example, you can choose white, blue, green, or red with high pigmentation for the look. And use the liner like you would use your black liner. Glossy red lips are perfect for this occasion.
10. Rosy cheeks
This is a very definitive use of the red lip. After light base makeup, you can choose a blush that is the same color as your lips or just use your red lipstick as your blush. A bold lip with rosy cheeks is a look worth every penny.
Red lip makeup looks will suit everyone regardless of their color tones and undertones. You just have to go on the hunt to find your perfect red lips.
Here we are including some of our best red lipstick to use:
Maybelline New York Color Sensational- Ruby for Me
Revlon- Fire and Ice
Fenty Beauty- Uncensored
Christian Louboutin Velvette Matte- Rouge Louboutin
Elizabeth Arden- Red Door Red
YSL Rouge Pur Coture- Le Rouge
MAC- Ruby Woo
Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense- Pirate
Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Trasferproof lipstick
Red lipstick represents a confident and unique character ready to take on the world on her terms. And thus, red lip makeup looks remained an evergreen prospect and charm in the beauty world.
Red lipstick makes you look younger as it enhances your natural complexion and features. Red gives a fresh and modern style no matter the situation and is a timeless trend.
Personally, a red lip on my vanity is compared to the white shirt in my closet. Finding the perfect red lipstick took me a long time, but I always wear at least three at once. Red lips are indeed an inspiration. Even on your worst days, just wear red lipstick, and it’ll work fine. Things might not improve, but it won’t show on your face. Another certainty is that red lipstick can transform any morning makeup look into an evening look.