Mastering Fall’s Most Beautiful Trend: Red Lips

Model: Sarah Voigt. Hair, Makeup and Styling: Kristen Arnett. Photos: Evi Abeler.

Model: Sarah Voigt. Hair, Makeup and Styling: Kristen Arnett. Photos: Evi Abeler.

Model: Sarah Voigt. Hair, Makeup and Styling: Kristen Arnett. Photos: Evi Abeler.

As a makeup artist who travels the world for fashion week and beyond, I pick up on lots of trends for the upcoming seasons. Believe me when I tell you, Fall 2013 calls for red lips!

Why We Love It

Autumn traditionally means we transition to more earthy tones in our clothes. So it makes sense to add in a bit of color on the face to add a dash of color and another interesting layer to our ensemble.

There’s a strong slant towards deeper crimson hues on the mouth this season. Bordeaux and blood red in velvety textures are the “currant” rage. Complementary to clothing in brown, olive, gray, eggplant, navy and of course black, what traditional fall tone won’t these red lips go with?

Paired with matte skin, a subtle wash of brown over the eyes and soft definition on the cheeks, this look is strong, yet casual enough for the daytime and plenty sexy for an evening out. It’s a versatile, wearable trend you’ve got to try.

How to Do It

Model: Sarah Voigt. Hair, Makeup and Styling: Kristen Arnett. Photos: Evi Abeler.

To those of you who think you can’t pull off red – you can! Even our model was dubious before the shoot and expressed some concern that a deep red wouldn’t look particularly flattering on her. We beg to differ. She looks gorgeous! Just follow these instructions to get the look:Foundation: Red lipstick requires an even canvas. Prepare your face by evening out any discoloration (particularly redness) from your skin. Remember, we’re aiming for a matte finish. In this case, I used a liquid foundation topped with a matching tone of mineral powder.

Eyes: The goal here is to balance out the strength of the lips with some subtle color on the eyes, so they aren’t totally bare. Start by curling the eyelashes. Then, use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to sweep a warm brown shadow from your lashes to just above your crease. Keep the layers very light with no harsh edges. Take a deeper shade, like a rich espresso, and place it concentrated (no blending) directly on top of the lash line with a small angled brush. Use the remainder of what’s on the brush and drag the color under the lower lashes for soft definition. Follow with two coats of mascara.

And Now for the Lips! Better Off Red

Model: Sarah Voigt. Hair, Makeup and Styling: Kristen Arnett. Photos: Evi Abeler.

Lips: Red lips go best on to a mouth that isn’t too dry or too greasy. Prep your lips during your skincare routine so they’re soft and flake-free.

Creating a lip shape is best done with a lip liner. Start in the center of your upper lip, known as the bow, and create a flattering rounded shape that’s not too pointy. Follow your natural lip lines, but don’t drag the color too far downward as you get to the corners of the mouth. The same goes for the bottom lip. Make a rounder and fuller shape in the center and taper upward towards the corners, rather than flattening out. Fill in the lips with the liner, and follow with a shade of a deep red lipstick on top.

As a makeup artist, I’m a huge fan of mixing colors. I love to experiment on each person; putting on more of something or taking it away until I get the shade I most like. Don’t get hung up on finding one perfect color from a single tube. Feel free to blend different shades of red here until you find a combo that you love.

If your lips are thin, or have a tendency to feather: A slender, square brush (as shown in the photo) is a great way to put lip color on precisely. Use the edge to get the lipstick just up to the border of the lip liner.

Note that this season’s trend calls for a very matte lip. I find that a dark, matte mouth looks good in pictures on young models, but in real life it can look dry and turn crackly quickly, which can gives a very aging effect to the face. Instead, I suggest you find something that has just a touch of moisture to it.

Last, But Not Least

Cheeks: It surprises people that this is the last step before a final dust of powder. The reason is that once red is on the face, only then can you truly judge just how much color you will want on your cheeks. To keep it from looking too costume-y, I used a slightly darker contouring shade to define our model’s cheekbones and followed with an apricot blush just on the apples of her cheeks. It’s barely perceptible, but enough to add some interest to the face.

Once everything is in place, give yourself one final and light dusting of powder (don’t overdo it) and you’re ready to go.

I look forward to hearing about your daring adventures with red. Please leave your comments below!

Be sure to check out more makeup tips opens in a new tab, like how to apply mineral makeup and mastering a natural look. Interested in more blogs by Kristen Arnett? Check 'em out here opens in a new tab.


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