How To Apply (And Prolong) The Perfect Red Lip This Christmas

rosie hw red lip

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Nothing makes a statement quite like a red lip. And there’s no better time for this classic makeup look to shine than December, so why not learn how to apply it perfectly?

While we’re usually advocates for nude lipsticks when planning on eating and drinking (it is Christmas after all), you can still get away with a fade and flake-resistant bold colour with the right tips and tricks behind you. And the help of an excellent red lipstick formula, of course.

Watch the video above to see Lara Srokowski, Director of Artistry for Lancôme Australia, share her best tips or follow our easy how-to below…

Prep your lips

Ensuring your lips are smooth and hydrated is a crucial step for lip colour that lasts. If you’re experiencing any flakiness, try a scrub like LipMD® 3-in-1 Invigorating Lip Scrub ($24 at, or even just some gentle buffing with a toothbrush will do the trick. Follow with a hydrating balm or lip priming product, such as Weleda Skin Food Lip Balm ($12.95 at Adore Beauty).

Line lips with a red lip liner

For a crisp edge that also acts as a barrier for bleeding, apply a lip liner in a similar shade or slightly darker than the lipstick you’re using. Keep your mouth relaxed to ensure an accurate outline. 

bh loves: Mavala Switzerland Lip Liner Pencil in ‘Mystique Red’ ($14.95 at and ulta3 Longwear Lip Liner in ‘Ruby’ ($4.95 at

Fill in your lips with the same red lip liner

Once you’re finished with the outline, use the same liner to fill in the lips too. This will help to increase the longevity of your overall lip colour.

Apply red lipstick

And now you’re finally ready for lipstick. For an extra polished finish, apply with a lip brush. To ensure you don’t get any on your teeth, pop your pointer finger inside pursed lips, and then pull out to catch any unnecessary colour. 

Blot and reapply

For extra longevity, blot your lipstick gently with a tissue. Then, reapply a second coat.

Use a concealer brush and concealer to tidy up around your lips for a flawless finish

This step can also help to define the cupid’s bow. And if you don’t want to stop there, add a dusting of highlighter too. 

bh loves: Real Techniques Ultimate Base Set ($45 at, jane iredale Disappear Concealer ($60 at and Max Factor Facefinity Highlighter ($14.97 at Big W).

Here are a few of our members favourite red lipsticks:

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in ‘111’

“I brought the Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in the shade #111 which is a classic true matte red shade – one that I think every woman should have in her collection. The formula of this lipstick is creamy and smooth, it glides over my lips with ease without any tugging or difficulty.” – aleksandra

$14.95 at Amazon AU

Read more Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick reviews

M.A.C Lipstick in ‘Russian Red’

“I’ve used the matte lipsticks in MAC’s collection, and I love how pigmented they are. They can be a little drying – so if you have dry lips you’ll need to exfoliate/apply lip balm first. One swipe is all I need with these lipsticks, and if you blot them, they’ll last ages. I can wear them for hours and even though the colour may fade a little – it’s still there! They have a lovely range of colours and one of my favourites would have to be Russian Red.” – jennkitty

$30 at Myer

Read more M.A.C Lipstick reviews

Revlon Super Lustrous™ The Luscious Mattes in ‘Cherries In The Snow’ 

“Cherries in the Snow is a bold shade! It has a creamy matte finish with a very mild sheen, but not enough to call a satin: I dislike flat, two-dimensional mattes. After eating, it leaves a stain of colour behind. As a bold lippy lover, I hate having patchy lips after a meal. If you’re prone to dry lips from matte lipsticks, this one feels creamy & moisturising.” – Misfortune8

$12.47 at Chemist Warehouse

Read more Revlon Super Lustrous™ The Luscious Mattes reviews 

L’Oréal Paris Infallible 2-Step Longwear Lipstick in ‘Red Infallible’

“This lippy is unstoppable! It’s very easy to use. One end features the lippy and the other holds a lip balm. I simply use the sponge applicator to dot on and smooth out the colour and then I allow it to dry before adding the balm. What I gain is unbelievably long lasting results. I get hours upon hours of use out a single application. I adore this lippy!” – MoonStone

$29.95 at Priceline

Read more L’Oréal Paris Infallible 2-Step Longwear Lipstick reviews

*This article has been updated since its original publication.

Main image: @nikki_makeup

Did you find the tips in this video helpful? What’s your favourite red lipstick?

Share your thoughts

Comments 57

  1. My current favourite reds and BH brands are RAWW Coconut Kiss Lipstick in Cool Cherry, The Organic Skin Co Lip Service in Ruby Red and their Cheeky Lips Pod in Lush. All fantastic true/ blue reds.

  2. Don’t mind wearing a red lip occasionally but I also know that it takes work, hence “occasionally” being the operative word. I did just buy another red lipstick + a matching liner from Eye of Horus that I’m determined I’ll wear on NYE (will be going somewhere special), so I’m willing to put in the effort where required & when I feel like it.

  3. The model is beautiful and has great lips! Really great colour for her – a very polynesian pretty look. Love it! I love also the sounds of the lipstick being matte and would like to try that Lancome one out next time I’m in the shops.

  4. I would add a couple more steps, which I find helps with longevity without using a very matte lipcolour. I blot with a tissue, reapply a layer of lippy and blot again. I find it works well with my creamier more moisturising red lippies.

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