How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe

by Paris B on · 41 comments

in Lipstick,Makeup,Tips

Red lipstick – the one makeup item that makes any woman look instantly glamorous. It is also the one makeup item that most women will dread the most. Yet red lipstick can be worn both day and night.

lm red lipstick tips How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe

I recently had the chance to derive some pearls of wisdom from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe who flew in all the way from Toronto, Canada. I also caught the preview of the Laura Mercier Art Deco Muse Winter/Holiday collection and I was absolutely taken by the metallic eyeshadows and the beautiful red lip colours. I’ll tell you about them another day icon wink How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe

But for now, Michel Coulombe probably realised how fearful most women are of wearing a red lip so he gave some tips on wearing red lipstick for day and night. You don’t have to fear it icon wink How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe

Wear Red Lipstick in the Day

For the day time, wearing a full on opaque red lip can be a bit much. So here’s an easy way to do so.

  • Use a lip brush, pick some colour off the tube and blend on the back of your hand to sheer it out.
  • Dab the colour on your lips, starting from the middle of your lower lip and then to the sides.
  • Keep the colour light and sheer and use the remainder colour to shape and define your lip.
  • Repeat for top lip.

The colour for the day can be kept light, almost like a stain. If you like you can top it up with gloss. Done this way, the lip colour can actually last longer too.

lm red lipstick tips2 How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe

Wear Red Lipstick at Night

For the evening, you want something more opaque and eye catching.

  • Using a lip brush, take colour from the tube and apply to lips in a dabbing motion.
  • Start from the centre of the lower lip and then to the sides.
  • Shape and define the lip. Keep colour opaque.
  • Layer with a lip lacquer or pigmented lip gloss and blend the colours for something more striking.

For the evening, you want something that will last. Dabbing on the lip colour helps it adhere better and last longer on lips. Also, using a longlasting or matte or semi matte lip colour will help it stay on longer. The layer of gloss or lip lacquer is optional but a good one will make the colour look more intense and add some shine.

When wearing a bold red lipstick, keep eye colour soft but defined and cheeks a soft colour. You don’t want to have too much colour or it will look too overwhelming; and this way, you look polished, not trampy icon wink How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe

If you have been balking at wearing red lipstick, try the tips for the day time. I find that applying red lipstick lightly with a lip brush helps sheer it out and make it easier to ease into wearing a red lip. I will be employing that tip for the day, because I never quite realised just how “much” a full on red lip can be in the day LOL!

Sometimes though, I’ve found that wearing a full on red lip even in the day, does do wonders. It makes people pay attention (even if they could just be mesmerized by the lips) and it makes me feel lovely and feminine in a male dominated room icon wink How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe

Red lipstick: Love it or Afraid of it?

If you answered the latter, I hope these tips helped you. As with everything in life, if you don’t try it once, you’ll never know if it will suit you icon wink How to wear a red lipstick for day and for night : Tips from Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Michel Coulombe Good luck!

Paris B

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[ 41 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

LeGeeque September 11, 2012 at 8:43 am

ALL for it. On days when I can’t be bothered to do much makeup, a bright red lip does all the work for me :D


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Hear hear! I do the same when I’m feeling a bit blah and it lifts the complexion too


Callie September 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

I feel that to apply red lipstick is tough. It’s a bright bold color and you have to be very precise. That’s why I don’t have a single red lipstick so far…


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

And that’s also why experimentation is important! Never know if you could rock it till you try it ;) Try the daytime tips, the effect is subtle and a good way to ease into a full on red :)


Hanny Daforcena September 11, 2012 at 9:12 am

I love red lips! I’ve started to wear red lips to Uni heh heh heh, but only sheerly and set with some translucent powder, i.e.: MAC Blot so that it’s not that RED. Have never appeared with red lips in the presence of La Madre Daforcena, though… She might get a heart attack and lock me up at home!


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Haha she’ll have to accept it at some point ;) isn’t red lipstick fun? I never wore makeup to uni back in the day. Such a nerd ;)


Sarmilah September 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

Hi Paris,

I have very thick colour of pigmentation at both side of my cheek.
Do you have any suggestion of product or colagen product that can help to reduce the pigmentation effectively?


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Hi the only successful way to remove pigmentation, I’m told, is laser treatments. It might be worth checking at a dermatologist or skin doctor to see what they say. I personally have pigmentation too and although products with Vitamin C help lighten, it doesn’t quite remove it totally.


Joyce (bronzerbunny) September 11, 2012 at 9:39 am

love these tips! I’m kind of afraid of red lipstick, but I think that is because I haven’t taken the time to find a perfect red. I do like hot pinks and berries! I did pre sale a burberry one that is kind of red, so hopefully i’ll soon be a red-lipstick-wearer!


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hi Joyce, good to know you are taking the plunge! :D There is something very satisfying about finding the right red for you – I hope you will enjoy the experience and remember to start slow so you don’t feel too overwhelmed ;)


Isabel September 11, 2012 at 10:39 am

I like red lips but I have a small mouth. So a red lip against my very fair skin makes me look like a geisha. :D


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm

That’s not a bad thing at all Isabel! ;)


kuri September 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

love it, but need to wear it more.
I have a few red lippies that just don’t see daylight enough. gotta work on that :)


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I know! Sometimes, I feel its just too much but if I don’t use them up they’d spoil right? So we should be using our favourite colours out more often ! :D


Honey September 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Occasionally I will do the red-lip look and everyone will go wow! He he……I’ve lips like Angelina Jolie, unfortunately that’s about the only thing that is similar!!


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Hey, if everyone goes wow! then you should wear it more right? ;) Angelina Jolie lips are sexy! People go for plastic surgery to get them LOL!


gio September 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I’ve just started wearing red lips more often and I love it. On days when I want to keep my eye makeup simple and neutral, I’ll put on some red lipstick and it instantly brightens up my face.


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hurrah for loving red lips! :D I like how with just red lips, I can keep the rest of my makeup minimal too. Some days just don’t call for complicated makeup ;)


Jacqueline September 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Love it to bits! And I will wear a full on red on weekends though I leave it for the weekends. I can’t wear it to work, my colleagues will faint.


Paris B September 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Hahaha So on weekdays its the red lipstick stain then? :D


Avisse September 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I love the red lipstick look, but I’m such a lipstick noobie so I’m not very confident in wearing it out due to stress I inflict upon myself :P I wore it once during an outing, and ended up fretting and worrying of leaving glaring stains on drinking glasses and leaving my lips lipstick-less in the middle, while the lip-liner still around my lips. I was afraid of that happening, so I excused myself many times to check my lips and touch-up when needed. Also found myself self-consciously wiping the rim of my glass every time I took a sip. Ugh, after that I laid off lipstick and stuck to light gloss. :P

Reading your post makes me feel like wearing it again, but is there a magical tip to prevent lipstick from smearing off from lips onto glasses? I read that matte lipsticks powdered with translucent powder works, but what if I’d like to keep it glossy and shiny? Any advice? :D


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Hi Avisse, to prevent leaving stains or having it feather or fade, you can try using a lip stain e.g. Benefit Benetint and then layer on lipstick. This way, if it fades, you still have a stain. Alternatively, try one of the new long wearing liquid lipsticks in the market. Shiseido and Guerlain are two with long wearing lip colours that don’t fade very much even after eating or drinking. As for the marks on glasses here’s a trick I picked up from a mag a long time ago. Before drinking, lick the side of the glass. Your lipstick will transfer less. Or if all else fails, use a straw ;) I’m not a fan of the matte lip so I tend not to deal with matte lipsticks. After my meal, i usually clean off my lipstick then reapply :)


Sunny September 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Thanks for the tips Paris! I am suddenly a fan of bolder lips now for some reason! I think all my sheer red training has paid off. I tried on a pretty vampy red from Tom Ford the other day and I was mesmerized! I think it does take some getting used to seeing yourself with a bold lip color, and also you need to try some on before figuring out what types of colors work better than others. But wow am I not glad I’m almost there!


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Ahhh you can’t go wrong with Tom Ford! As you said, bold lip colours take some getting used to. Suddenly, all you notice are your lips! Lol


JackieA September 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Love red lips but I have not found the correct red shade. Most really red lippies have a blue undertone which does nothing for my coloring. Still on the hunt for my perfect red…..some brands have testers but no sanitizers so I would not go near them, not even to test at the back of my hand. So the search continues…


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

You Might find a brick red or browned red more to your liking. Estée Lauder does good browned reds generally. I usually test everything on the back of my hand. Gives a rough idea even if its not perfect :)


Baya Sy September 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I love red lipstick. It makes me feel im in charge! People compliments me when i wear red lips. I skip blushes when i wear it. Simple but elegant.


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm

It’s great isn’t it? Gives confidence and hey, we look good! ;)


Claire September 12, 2012 at 3:19 am

I am very happy to see that red lipstick gains more and more love. I think a nice subtle, balanced red can be great for everday use (although, I like a true, blood red for daytime as well – just love all the reds). But I have to say, I had to work on my ‘red lips wearing in public’ haha, after a while I got used to it and was confident enough to wear them out.


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I agree with you. There is a red for every occasion :) wearing it out takes getting used to but once we get used to it, then va va voom! ;)


Becca September 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

I’ve always been a little afraid of red lips–or just really bold lips in general, as many people know. But I have been growing fonder of a sheer, semi-glossy red lip. Burberry’s Rosy Red is one I just LOVE and can’t wait to purchase once I run out of my samples


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I think bold or red lips is something everyone wants to aspire to but are afraid if they can pull it off. Good to know you’re easing your way into the red spectrum ;) I may have to go and check out the Burberry lipsticks again eh?


rudi September 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I love red lipstick n wear it whenever i want, day or night. Never gave it a thought thst others may think it’s too much. Too bad for them if they dont like it, it’s on my lips n i like it.


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Haha yeah, that’s the way to do it! ;)


M.Kate September 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Hi Paris, just a note to say how much I appreciate all the reviews. I’ve recently got into thinking hard about make up and skincare, which I didnt bothered much in the past. So many brands and so many things, I must say that I sort of drove me bonkers on which brand. However, some of your reviews are really helpful and helping me in deciding. So, just wanted to say thank you for sharing :)) have a great week ahead…..MK


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hi MK, thank you so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it, and I’m glad to know you’re enjoying your visits and that the reviews have helped you :) hope to we you around the comment box again! :)


Lisa September 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I wear glasses. And I find it distracting if a woman wears glasses and red lipstick together. I do love red but finds it overwhelming on myself. I do however manage lip stains. My best red lipstick has to be Burberry’s Lip Mist in Rosy Red. It leaves such a beautiful, natural, lasting lip color.
Can i say this again in case i didn’t say it before? You really rock in red lips. :-)


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Aww *blush* thanks! I have been hearing so much about Burberry Lip Mists it seems that I should investigate it and soon! Thanks for the rec!


Beth Maiorana September 13, 2012 at 6:56 am

My absolute favorite look is a red lip: night or day, I don’t care. I just have never been able to get over the simple elegance of this look- no matter the skin tone, or occasion or whatever, or the age- nothing beats a red lip. Thanks for this valuable post, Paris. xoxo Beth in Pgh ;-0


Paris B September 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm

You are absolutely right, Beth. There is a lot of glamour and elegance associated with a red lipstick and it’s the perfect makeup item to own :)


Ching September 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Bright red lips really puts me off for 2 reasons: its so Marilyn Monroe (imho-dumb blonde syndrome) and for some unexplainable reason, teeth staining chances appear high (I know, statistically, this doesn’t make sense!! LOL). It gets worse after a few cuppa, the colour rubs off from the inner corners of the mouth leaving a nude “O” or you end up with a red joker grin!!

I am in love with Mac’s Totally Fab dazzleglass but it is not mine to own for reasons you now know… Tsk tsk tsk.


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