Colour me red

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MINNAL KHONA on how to do red lips

Wearing red lipstick or a red dress is not something every girl can carry off with panache. Red is a sexy, glamorous colour and not all of us have the ability to sizzle in it. But red is a great colour to wear, especially if you want to look and feel like a million dollars. And you can, but all you need to do is follow a few simple guidelines to up your sizzle quotient.


Red letter lips

Let’s start with make-up. Red lipstick is only for the brave or the confident. Or so the myth goes. Agreed, not everyone can wear red lipstick and not be self-conscious, but you can use it to your advantage if:

  • You wear red lipstick when going to a pub or a party
  • You wear a shade of red that complements your skin.
  • You apply it correctly so that it highlights your features and doesn’t look like a red slash across your face.
  • You coordinate the right shade of red lipstick with little black dresses, glamorous black sarees with bling. and evening gowns.
  • You don’t wear red lipstick to work or in the daytime.

A lot depends on how you wear red lipstick. For a classy look, opt for deep reds that have a touch of burgundy in them. Matte shades of red that don’t look dry and are moisture-rich work better than glossy shades which can make you look tarty.

Tomato and fire engine reds are a strict no-no. Unless of course, you are extremely fair skinned. A deeper shade of red works best with Indian complexions.

Nowadays the trend of wearing a lip-liner is thankfully on the wane. I have seen countless examples of lip-liners in shades way different from the lipstick applied with great pride. What these poor women don’t realize is that the lip-liner needs to blend into the lipstick so it has to be a similar shade. It is essentially used to prevent the lipstick from bleeding.

So if you must use a lip-liner while applying red lipstick, use a red one. Not shades of maroon or brown.


Subtle face

What about the rest of the face when your lipstick is red? The colour being what it is, red lips will overshadow every other feature. The best thing to do is to be subtle with the rest of your make-up. A thin line of eyeliner or just a coat of mascara would work to highlight the eyes.  I personally don’t like to wear eye shadow if the lipstick is red, but there are some bold ones who can carry it off. If you must experiment, go with dull gold or bronze shades for your eye shadow.

For the blusher, use a shade of nude and avoid pink blusher. The nude shade will give your cheeks a slight colour and glow, and will not clash with the red lipstick.

If you are one of those lucky ones with big eyes, high cheekbones and a glowing skin, I suggest you don’t wear any other makeup. Just translucent powder should do the trick.


Accessorise avidly

When it comes to jewellery, try and pair it with your outfit and not your make-up. If you are wearing black, you can wear diamond jewellery or oxidized silver. Both would look good and offset the red lipstick.

If you are wearing a red dress, the obvious thing to do is wear nude coloured make-up and let the dress do the talking.

Keep your hairstyle as simple as possible. An elaborate hairdo with blingy accessories will make you look like an over-dressed Christmas tree.  A simple ponytail or your hair left loose works best. If you are wearing a nice black saree, a low bun at the nape of your neck will highlight the lipstick.


Wearing red lipstick is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you work within certain parameters and don’t make any fashion faux pas, you can carry off a strong shade of red with style.

Minnal Khona
Minnal Khona
Minnal is a senior writer and editor. Her forte is lifestyle journalism, art, food, beauty and travel writing

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