Red Lips in the Workplace? (Gasp!) Why I never...

While I think it's important to reign in bold makeup for daytime looks (unless, of course, you work at MAC...in which case, hook a sister up!), I am absolutely loving a bright red lip with my work ensembles. But there are a few simple guidelines to keep it fresh and flirty, versus looking like you have another occupation in the evening...


1. Go for a brighter shade that is almost in the orange family (versus a dark red with purple or blue undertones). Think Sienna Miller. (Heart her!) I'm loving MAC's lip pencil in Brick. It's so flattering and gives a lot of control in the application because it's a pencil.

2. Don't forget the corners. When you open your mouth, you don't want to look like a painted up clown. Your whole mouth should look cherry stained, so don't skimp on the coverage. (If you're worried about getting it on your teeth, you can execute the ol' finger pull. But using a lip liner to cover these areas should take care of business.) 

3. Once you've applied, kiss a tissue. This will keep you from getting lipstick all over the place, as well as subdue it a bit. (I also swear by holding a tissue over my lips and dabbing over it with some face powder or blush on a brush if I'm worried about it smearing.) This color tends to tint lips for a while, so embrace the various stages of wear with red. It's more low-fuss than most think.

4. If your outfit or occasion calls for a darker eye, forgo the red lips with that look. Don't overdo it. IMO, the best pairing with red lips is soft pink cheeks and a neutral eye with a few coats of mascara. Keep everything matte and clean. In the words of Paul "Koonu" Rudd in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, "Do less."

5. Make sure your lips are hydrated. This look goes from hot to hot mess really quickly if you've got parched mouth. After you brush your teeth in the morning, immediately apply some lip balm. By the time you're ready to go for the red, they'll be softer and look lovely.

6. Own it! If you don't feel confident in this look, don't do it. That goes for everything, really. Be you!


  1. Great post - you are so right about the lip balm in the morning!

  2. Great tips!!! I love red lips but you are right about the shade. I have had to work my way to a red in steps because of how dramatic it looked at first. Now I feel like I need an even darker shade. Btw... I'm sad I missed your posts about the necklace/give away contest. That Shabby Apple website has the most fantastic dresses. I just need an occasion to give me a reason to buy one or a few. :)

  3. Thank you! I learned that tip the hard way. Hehe. ;)

  4. Thank you so much! Yes, it is definitely a progression. I have a darker shade that I wear with gloss for evenings/special ocassions.

    I'm so sorry that you missed the giveaway. That site is awesome...and very dangerous. Haha.

  5. I've been dying to try out a darker lipstick but somehow my courage leaves me the minute I thought about wearing it out of the house. I should really give it a go because I've been gifted a few dark red lipsticks.

  6. Natalie, these are some excellent points. It's very important to pick out the right shade of red for YOU. There are so many out there. I think also with age, your shade may change. Some reds you just can't pull off. Moisturize and chapstick PLEASE!!! There's nothing worse than cracked looking lips. Have a great evening my friend. :D

  7. The holidays are a great time to try out this look given that red lips are so festive. You can get away with it, even if you're feeling a little unsure. It may take a while to working up to it on a regular basis (if that's even a look you want to pull off); but it sure does make you feel fancy in your party dress! ;)

  8. That's such a great point! Age is definitely a factor in chosing a shade. It's all about what works for your own pretty mug. Hope you have a great day today, Kim! :) (And thank you, as always for your great comments. I love reading them!)