I was kind of a tomboy growing up. Didn’t really do makeup, didn’t bother much with my hair, and almost always wore jeans and t-shirts. I was more into music and books, and trying to look pretty usually just made me feel awkward.
Flash forward 10 years. I still think of myself as pretty low-maintenance, but at 26 (WOW), decided I can’t keep going through life looking like a high schooler. I decided it was time to learn some of the basic how-to-look-good skills I never bothered picking up as a teenager.
Starting with red lips, because they’re super glamorous, and my eyes light up whenever I see someone wearing them. I asked my sister, Georgie, for help with this one because she knows more about beauty and makeup than anyone else I know. She was even a beauty intern for Vogue! Here’s her advice.
Pick the most flattering shade
Whether you choose a red with warm or cool undertones depends on your complexion. “Skin color is the most important, followed by hair color and eye color,” she says.
Orange reds look best on fair skin with pink undertones and light hair (think Kate Bosworth), or on cocoa skin (think Zoe Saldana).
Coral reds look best on naturally bronze or olive skin (think Kim Kardashian), or on beige skin with light hair and light eyes (think Uma Thurman).
Brick reds look best on beige skin with green eyes (think Sophia Bush) or fair skin with yellow undertones (think Devon Aoki).
Deep reds look best on golden skin with dark blonde hair (think Lauren Conrad).
Plum reds look best on darker skin (think Iman).
Apply it right
Once you get the right color, here’s how to keep it from bleeding all over the place or fading away in five minutes.
1. Use a nude lip liner to line your lips and fill them in completely.
2. Swipe on the lipstick. Use a Q-tip to erase any mistakes around the edges.
3. Pop your index finger in your mouth and make an “O” shape while pulling it out. That’ll get rid of any excess red inside your lips so you don’t end up with lipstick on your teeth.
Keep everything else simple
Remember, your red lips should steal the show. So keep your blush light, use a beige or nude eyeshadow, and if you want eyeliner, just do a thin line at the top. (Mascara’s fine, but don’t overdo it). Clothes-wise, Georgie says she likes sticking to neutral colors—and I agree, this looks amazing, right?--but you certainly don’t have to.
Here's my first attempt from Friday night. I love it! Even with a crappy iPhone picture, I still look pretty good.