Beauty 101: The Red Lip

Nothing says confidence like rocking red lips! Bright or bold lipstick is the perfect accent to a little black dress or a neutral fall outfit. 

But if you are going to wear a bold lip color, you must take the proper steps to make sure it stays in place and lasts all day/night.

I’m going to use Chili Flake by Face Stockholm, my Mac Prep+Prime lip primer (love this stuff, been using it for years), and a Sonia Kashuk lip brush.
**exfoliate your lips before you begin! Click here for my Beauty 101 homemade lip exfoliator.

click here for tips on find the right lip color for you! 


  1. says

    Thanks, I so needed this info. Just yesterday I picked up my first really red lipstick. After getting it home & trying it on I was painfully aware that I needed some help in the application process. And here you are to the rescue :)

    • says

      I would wipe off as much of the lipstick as possible by swiping back and forth on a tissue or washcloth, then clean with mostly water and a tiny bit of shampoo!

  2. says

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m always afraid to wear bright/bold lip color, I usually just wear gloss. These tips are helpful and make me more confident to try out a bold color, thanks!

  3. says

    Kate, love this color on you! I love red lipstick; it’s my favorite. I love both pairs of earrings you’re wearing in these pictures. Are they available in your shop?

  4. says

    I very very rarely wear lipstick, but I want to start! What’s the difference between using the brush and applying directly from the tube? Is it more for precision/control?

  5. says

    So pretty! Quick question.. any tips on finding the perfect shade of red? I’m fairly olive-tan skin toned and have had a difficult time finding the right red tone.
    Thanks! Love your blog!

    • says

      It’s important to find the *right* red. I suggest going to a few makeup counters and asking what they think would look good on your skin tone! Good luck!

  6. Anonymous says

    Just wondering, what makes you think this red lipstick looks good on you and you have the authority to explain to the world how to apply it? It almost has an orange hue and is very flat. I typically enjoy your tutorials, but pale blondes should not do a “bold lip”.

    Liz Johnson

    • says

      Liz, I disagree with your comment that blondes should never wear a bold lip color, but its your prerogative to have your opinion.
      Also, at no point in my post did I write “this is the only way to ever wear lip color and I am the only authority on how to do it”. The concept of blogging means that the writer shares opinions, ideas, or simply things that they are interested in on their blog. I’m very aware that not everyone will agree with everything a blogger writes about or shares, but I do think there is a tactful way to comment if you disagree with the post.
      If you are interested in learning more about wearing a bold lip color, I suggest you search for makeup artists on YouTube. There are a lot of great resources online where you can learn tips and techniques.

    • ElleBee says

      Oh, trolls :) Dear Liz, I think she looks fab with a bold lip. My suggestion for your lips? Shut them. You will appear more attractive with less hateful crap spewing out of your mouth. That’s my beauty tip for you! Have a better day!

    • Anonymous says

      Very well said ElleBee! Some people just have no class whatsoever.
      Keep up the great job Kate! I for one thoroughly enjoy your blogs and tutorials and have actually tried most of them. You are absolutely beautiful and amazingly talented. :)

      Amy in Texas

    • says

      Liz, lets not be a hater. Personally, I am a pale blonde and I don’t like a bold lip on me. (You are pretty Kate) But I believe that if you like how you look and are happy then that is your choice, who are we to judge. A confident woman is always attractive no matter what’s on the outside I am also a licenses cosmetologist like Kate and you may not know but part of that training also involves make up skills so actually she does know what she’s talking about. This is what you are choosing to get when you read a blog: people’s opinions, they are not always fact, and they are not always true but we need to be respectful. Kate, love your blog and refer clients to your tutorials.

  7. says

    First off, I am also a blonde and think bold lips are perfect for many occasions if done correctly. I think you look FAB in a bold lip! And I happen to dig the color you’ve shown in this tutorial and others. Regardless of hair color or skin tone, I think there’s a time and place for certain colors if applied correctly.

    Now, my question…a friend of mine swears by putting powder on her lips to “set” her lipstick. She puts on a primer, then a layer of color, then powder and another layer of color. This is a lot of work and seems like there’s got to be a better way. Is there anything YOU do to “set” or “seal” your lip color when not wearing a long-wear brand?

    Keep up the good work – we love your blog!!

  8. says

    Kate, your bold lip color is gorgeous! I hope you can brush off negative comments and focus on all the wonderful, positive feedback you get each day on your blog. You’re doing a great job inspiring us ladies to look beautiful and feel confident! I love following your blog and use it as my “me time” during study breaks! As a fair-skinned girl myself, I’ve learned a lot from your makeup tips and new colors to add to my wardrobe that I didn’t think could be there! Thanks for all of you’re fabulous posts!

  9. Anonymous says

    Pale blondes should not road a bold lip????!!!!!!! One of the most amazing woman of our century, Marilyn Monroe, basically invented this look and you don’t see many people “hating” on her for her bold look. They praise her for it. I have some other ladies styles for you to ponder as well….GWEN STEFANI, SIENNA MILLER, MICHELLE WILLIAMS all icons worship the bold lip.
    Not everyone is going to agree on every look out there, but I would venture to say you are probably a dark haired, darker skin lady who never embraced her own look and always coveted blonde. we do have more fun! @anonymous

  10. Anonymous says

    Kate is cute but am I the only one who thinks red lips + white skin lady+ blue eyes = a little too similar to July 4th?

    • Anonymous says

      Any make-up artist will tell you it allows for a more precise and even application. Straight from the tube can go on with uneven pressure so it is harder to blend and you often get bleeding on the surrounding skin. If you tried a lip brush once, you would never stop.

  11. says

    Will you please tell us the name of the font you are using on your pictures? I love it. I type letter to the parents who have students in my classroom and this font is pretty close to my actual handwriting. I would love to be able to make typed ( and spell checked) letters home look more personal. Thank you in advance and I love your blog!

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