Tempt: The Red Lip

Rita Ora CC- By Neon Tommy My favorite red lip right now belongs to Rita Ora. With her short blonde waves, dark brows, light eye makeup, a bright red lip really pulls Ora's look together.

I recently added Russian Red by MAC to my collection. It was an early birthday gift from my housemate, Ellen, who knows me oh-too-well.

I've been experimenting with the classic red and I've decided it's a must have for any beauty collector. I've worn it to the bar and to class. I can wear it at work and it works. It all depends on what I do with my eyes. Using a bold color like Russian Red by MAC is a quick way to look put together when you're low on time.

To get the look. let's start with the basics of lipstick:

Start with a clean slate

If your lips are  dry, you'll need to buff your lips. Dry flakes will not take on color the same way the rest of your lips will. An easy way to buff your lips is to mix  olive oil and granulated sugar to create a scrub. Add a couple drops of olive oil to about a tablespoon of sugar and just rub the mixture on your lips with clean fingers.

If making a DIY lip polish sounds like a hassle, fresh makes a product called "Sugar Lip Polish" that works pretty well.

Moisturize your lips

If you use a mixture of olive oil and granulated sugar to polish your lips, the olive oil acts like a balm and you will not need to apply a light layer of lip balm. If you use a product like the fresh polish, apply a VERY light layer of balm. It will help color go on more evenly and it's good for your lips. I recommend Dr. Lipp's Nipple Balm for Lips, it came in my September 2013 Birchbox (A Birchbox subscription was another gift, this time from my housemate Liz) but remember use sparsely.

Prime your lips

There are 3 good ways to do this:

Option 1. Line your lips with a lip pencil that matches your lipstick. If you're using Russian Red by MAC I recommend lining your lips with the "Hot Red" Slim Lip Pencil by NYX Cosmetics, it's a thrifty but quality lip pencil. Make sure to stay within your actual lip line, because coloring outside the lines is for kindergarten. This prevents your lipstick from bleeding around the edge.

Option 2. Color in your lips in completely with a lip pencil that matches your lipstick. This primes your lips in an inexpensive fashion. Coloring in your lips with a lip pencil prevents bleeding of the lipstick and fading in center part of your lips.

Option 3. This is the best plan if you plan on wearing your make up for a long time without being able to touch it up. Use a lip primer like Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer, then line your lips with a lip pencil that matches your lipstick. This method prevents bleeding, fading, feathering and basically all other potential lipstick issues.

Photo CC by Leah Marie Walkiewicz

Apply your Lipstick

Apply your lipstick! Everyone has a different method for applying lipstick and you'll have to figure out what works for your lips. Just remember, stay within your natural lip line. To prevent lipstick from getting on your teeth, stick your index finger inside of your mouth, wrap your lips tightly around your index finger, and pull your finger out of your mouth. All the excess lipstick that would be on your teeth is now on your finger. Do this twice if you're unsure you got all the excess off.

 

Now, to get Ora's look; color in your brows giving yourself a defined arch. Highlight just the inner corner of your eyelid with a soft bronze shadow. Lightly line your upper and lower lash-line with brown eyeliner and you're ready to go! Remember to keep the eyes looking soft. This look is all about the lips.