If we had to name a single makeup look that absolutely screams “Valentine’s Day,” red lips would be a no-brainer. Come February 14, lips everywhere will be coated in vibrant crimson color. Whether you’re getting ready for a hot date or having a night in with your fellow single friends, swiping on a red lipstick is the obvious choice.
Of course, that does put you at risk of rocking the same makeup as everyone else in the room, but that doesn’t mean you have to shy away from this beauty trend entirely — just put your own twist on it. Don’t worry, we’ve already done the work for you and found six (easy!) ways you can update your red lip so you can stand out in a crowd.
1. Overline Your Lips
With the help of a lip liner and your favorite red lipstick, it’s completely possible to create the appearance of fuller lips. First, pick up a matte lip liner — like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner in Matte in Manhattan — and line slightly outside your natural lip line. Just remember: Subtlety is key in being successful when overlining your lips.
Then, fill in your lips using the lip liner to prevent any awkward fading throughout the night. When you’re finished wielding your lip liner, all you have to do is go over your work with a coordinating matte lipstick, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Matte-ly in Love, and your lip look is complete.
2. Create An Ombré Lip
Just as we have no plans to stop our support of ombré hair, we’re pretty sure we’re forever fans of ombré lips. For a look that’s guaranteed to get a lot of love, pair a classic red lipstick, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in British Red, with a pretty pink, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Ballerina Shoes.
Start by lining the perimeter of your lips, shading in the corners for dimension, with a color that matches your red lipstick. Next, use a flat lip brush to apply the pink lipstick to the center of your lips. Then, apply the red on top where you lined your lips. To finish, blend any harsh edges with the brush and blot for a seamless ombré effect.
3. Deepen Your Hue
When you think of red lips, your mind likely goes straight to shades that resemble fire trucks and candy apples, but those aren’t your only options. To mix things up, opt for a darker, burgundy hue. You’ll fit in with everyone else wearing red lips, without looking like a complete copycat. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Stirred or the L'Oréal Paris Les Nus by Colour Riche Intense Nude Lipstick in Nu Extreme. Both hues will instantly remind you of all your favorite ’90s starlets once you put them on.
4. Shine Bright With A Glossy Lip
Matte red lips have been a longtime Valentine’s Day classic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try out other finishes. Switch up your look this year with lots of sheen. A glossy red lip, courtesy of the L'Oréal Paris Brilliant Signature Shiny Lip Stain Lipstick in Be Brilliant, pairs perfectly with dewy skin and a dramatic highlight. The L'Oréal Paris Infallible 8 Hour Pro Lip Gloss, Hydrating Finish in Red Fatale is another great option since it also nourishes your pout with a vivid pigment and lustrous shine.
5. Keep It Subtle With Lip Balm
Who said a red lip had to be bold and loud? Switch things up by rocking a subtle red lip balm and allowing your eye makeup to be the star of your Valentine’s Day makeup. They say a little goes a long way, and that’s certainly the case when wearing a sheer coat of red on your pout. The L'Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip Balm-in-Gloss Pomegranate Extract in Angelic Daydream adds just the right amount of red and leaves your pout feeling kissably smooth thanks to hyaluronic acid. The bonus: It won’t be all over your face (and your beloved) if you have yourselves a Valentine’s Day smooch fest.
5. Kiss-Proof Your Pout
To ensure your red lipstick stays in place all night — even if you want to steal a kiss or two — the work begins before your lip color ever comes into play. Upgrade your simple red lipstick by making it as budge-proof as possible. To prep for a vivid red, use a lip primer before proceeding. Then, you can follow with your lipstick as per usual. Opt for one with a long-wearing formula, like the L'Oréal Paris Reds of Worth Satin Lipstick With Saturated Color in Prosperous Red.
Once you’re all finished carefully applying your lipstick, it’s time to set your lip look. First, place a tissue over your lips. Then, dip a fluffy makeup brush into a loose translucent face powder, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder. Through the tissue, press the powder onto your lips. After that, you’re free to pucker up.
Edited by: Sophie Dweck, Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Associate Creative Director: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Associate Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Digital Tech: Erik Dalzen, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Model: London Knight
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