Style Spy: How to Achieve the Perfect Red Lip

Get red-y for those holiday parties.


Is there anything more festive than a swipe of crisp red lipstick? Not all shades of crimson are created equal, however, and a color you covet could look great on your best friend but totally wash you out. We turned to Elizabeth Johnson, owner of Houppette in Greenville, for some answers. Here, she provides red lip preparation tips, as well as advice on how to make your color last.


Johnson recommends exfoliating the lips. “Start with a good lip scrub. I like Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish.” Then choose a liner that matches your lipstick. Start lining on the natural lip line, then shade in a bit of the lip using the fat side of the pencil.

- Advertisement -


“Apply your red lip color with a brush for precise application. I use bareMinerals double-ended perfect fill lip brush,” says Johnson. You may only need one coat, depending on the texture and the degree of drama you want to create, she says.




With foundation powder, trace outside around the lip line, says Johnson. Keep the rest of your face clean and simple. 

Complexion is important when choosing your shade, but so is texture. “Experiment with different shades and textures that suit your personality,” she says. Confidence is key, so don’t feel like you have to commit to a heavy, dark shade if you’re not ready. After you determine your complexion and your style, Johnson can help with the rest.

- Partner Content -

(All products are sold at Houppette, Greenville and Kennett Square locations,


1. Quirky-casual

Choose: A balm. Cool complexions call for bareMinerals Pop of Passion in Rose Passion, $16. Warm complexions demand Fresh’s Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Cherry, $24.


2. Fun-Flirty

Choose: A gloss. Cool complexions will sparkle in Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Pasiflora, $30. Warm tones will love Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Garnet, $24.

3. Exotic-Glamorous

Choose: A matte. Laura Mercier Lip Velour in Temptation, $28, is striking on cool tones. Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Lip Satin in Velvet, $48, is dazzling on warm skin. 

- Advertisement -

4. Classic-Elegant

Choose: A lipstick. Cool tones will shine in By Terry Hyaluronic Rouge in #12 Be Red, $38; Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Lip Colour in Carliana, $35, looks timeless on warm complexions.

5. Modern-Cool

Choose: A lip stain. Cool complexions can’t go wrong with By Terry Terrybly Velvet Rouge in #9, $47. Warm complexions will look dynamite in By Terry Rouge Expert Lip Click in #19 Crimson Click, $32.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.