How To Make Red Lipstick Stay Through Drinking, Dancing & Doing It, Step-By-Step

Using these special tips and tricks, learn how to make your red lipstick last through drinks, dancing, and doing it (well, kind of) for a fresh, bold look.

I love red lipstick. Love it. It’s my go-to makeup because when I wear it, I can just put it on with a bit of mascara and pretend I’m going for a “fresh, modern” look when in reality, I am just so very lazy.

Knowing how to make red lipstick stay on during your day and night is important; otherwise, the ease factor gets removed and you have to take it off or touch it up or clean the lines over and over. What’s the point of that? It only gets you some red-stained fingertips and a lot of people wondering why you keep running to the bathroom (unless you fix it at the table/bar, which is weirder, don’t do that). And if you don’t fix them when they look funny, it can throw off your entire look.

Fortunately, since I’ve been wearing red lips for over a decade — i.e. I’ve been incredibly lazy since I was a preteen — I’ve managed to pick up a few tips and tricks from others on how to keep bright, dark, and intense colors on your lips all evening. These tips are especially helpful to smokers (unfortunately, I was/occasionally still am one for a long time).

Finding the perfect shade of red, a topic I plan on covering in the near future is integral to falling in love with doing a great bold lip look. For now, just grab the nearest one and put it on to go to grocery shopping, coffee drinking, on a date, or even just in your home. Practice makes perfect, after all.

P.S. This will only stay on through “doing it” if you don’t kiss all that much. You won’t sweat off the lipstick and the color will last on your lips, but if you furiously make out with your partner, chances are that it’ll get wild fast. These measures are primarily to prevent movement and body heat from causing color bleed; they probably can’t keep it on perfectly if the friction factor is, um, too high.

Step One: Exfoliate

I wish I had perfectly soft lips at all times, but I do not. The easiest way to achieve smooth lips is to drink tons of water, not smoke and never go outdoors, but for dehydrated agoraphobic smokers, exfoliation is integral.

For this step, I either rub my lips lightly with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush in the shower or I use an actual lip exfoliator like this one by Lush (it smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream). I also love Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish and use that quite a bit, as well.

Step Two: Moisturize

I used a simple drugstore-bought lip balm by Nivea for this. It helps keep your lips soft and smooth so the lipstick and lip liner won’t look crackly or dry. I was pretty sure nobody needed a picture for this, so I skipped it.

Step Three: Primer

I love primer because it evens out the texture, gives your skin a velvety finish, and keeps makeup on longer, but I’ve noticed most people don’t use it around their mouths. I never really do, either, unless I’m going to wear a bright color and want it to stay extra-well put and go on really smoothly. I used DeVita Prime Corrective along my lipline, though you could certainly use a BB cream instead if you prefer. This is especially important for smokers, as it fills in any lines you may have.

Again, since it’s pretty much invisible, I didn’t think it was necessary to take a photo. You guys see awkward closeups of my face too much as it is; I’ll give you a break today.

Note: If you choose to use BB cream here, you can skip the next step.

Step Four: Foundation & Powder

Pat a bit of liquid foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer along your lip line. This will give your lipliner a crisper, more defined look.

Red Lipstick Makeup Tutorial: Foundation & Powder

Step Five: Lipliner

Trace your lips with lip liner, whether it’s nude or bright red. I prefer a slightly darker than a flesh-toned liner, but many people like using the same color as their lipstick. Go along your exact lip line.

Red Lipstick Makeup Tutorial: Lipliner

Step Six: Lipstick

Apply the red lipstick slowly and carefully, making sure to use your lip shape as a reference (i.e. don’t attempt to create a different shape unless you are 100% confident you can do it without looking like Amanda Lepore unless that is your intent). Some people prefer to use brushes for their lipstick; I rarely do, as I just think washing brushes is kind of tedious so I avoid doing it more than I have to. But if you so choose to use one, just make sure it’s clean and dry.

Step Seven: Blot (x2)

Split a piece of toilet paper or tissue so it’s just one-ply, then blot your lips on it. Apply lipstick one more time and blot again. Add some gold shadow and black mascara and voila! You are good to go.

Also, if you need to reapply and blot while you’re out later, I strongly recommend slipping the object of your affection a little preview of what he or she may have in store for you later. Yes, it’s corny, but it’s also adorable.

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