How to: Red Lips for Dark Skin

I love a red lip, usually the brighter the better! So to celebrate my love for red lippies, I thought I would talk through some great ways to sport a red lip if you have darker skin.

Starting out a little cautiously, the first of my fav red shades is this Cover Girl lip slick in “daring”. In contrast to it’s name, Daring is subtle but offers a sheer plum wash of colour with little flecks of silver shimmer. I think this is a great place to start if you are unsure, and the deeper shade makes it very wearable for dark skin. The shimmer also makes this lip slick very easy to apply and forgiving of mistakes. The greatest thing about this lip product though is the extremely smooth and moisturising texture. It glides on like a dream keeping the lips soft and moisturised. It is low maintenance meaning it can easily be reapplied without a mirror.

Cover Girl Lipslick in “daring” – Plum with fine silver shimmer

“Hold It” by Benefit is a little bolder and more opaque in colour than the last. I would describe the shade as a brown with a deep red undertone. Hold It is probably the smoothest lipstick I have ever tried. It has amazing saturation of colour, so a little goes a long way. I really love how rich and dense the formula is which means, if you have pigmented lips like me, you will get a true-to-colour finish.

A great tip for those with deep skin is to choose a lip liner that matches your skin tone and use this to line your lips before applying your lip colour of choice. Just remember to blend the liner into the lip colour with a lip brush. This creates a more natural gradient from your skin colour to the lipstick colour. I used a lipliner from NYX in combination with Benefit’s “Hold It” :

NYX Lipliner Pencil in “Rose Brown”

Illamasqua’s Mistress is not for the faint hearted! It is a gloriously bold tomato red with an orangey undertone. I wont lie, a lip product like this is seriously high maintenance, but it’s just so gorgeous and totally worth it! The gloss is slightly tacky in texture – thicker than your average gloss, which I think is necessary to add staying power to such an intense colour. The product has a slanted tip applicator, which I suggest you completely ignore in favour of a lip brush!

I would suggest prepping the lips before applying an intense, highly pigmented gloss or lipstick. Here’s how:

1. Start by exfoliating the lips – I used my Lush lip scrub. If you don’t have a scrub, you can use a soft toothbrush. Gently massage your lips with the toothbrush in circular motions.

2. Once your lips are exfoliated, clean and dry, moisturise with an effective lip balm and leave to soak in for 5 minutes.

3. Next remove any excess lip balm by gently blotting with a tissue.

4. If you have one, apply a smoothing lip primer or primer suitable for the lip area – I used the L’Oreal Base Magique Primer

5. Line and completely fill in your lips with a lip liner that closely matches your lipstick/gloss. I used a Rimmel lipliner (below)

6. Apply your lip colour with a lip brush for control and precision

Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in “024 Red Diva”

My final red of choice is Sleek MakeUP’s True Colour Lipstick in “Cherry”. Cherry is a medium to deep red with a berry tone. I find this to be the most flattering of the shades on me and find that I can apply it straight from the tube without a lip brush. Although a bit dark and menacing in the tube, it applies brighter. I would describe Cherry as a matte/velvet finish. It has absolutely no sparkle or shimmer, however is not as drying as a true matte lipstick, making it very comfortable to wear and reapply. I used a primer underneath this lipstick, however because of it’s moisturising properties, I think it would still work great without one.

I hope this has been helpful, as usual I would love to hear what your favourite red lip colours are. How do you apply them and what do you find is the most flattering tone of red for your skintone? Let me know if you have any questions, or comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Channel x


One thought on “How to: Red Lips for Dark Skin

  1. Awesome! Love the tips on application! Will definitely follow and let you know how it works for me. Cherry is my fav as well and it looks great on you! x

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