Lipstick Week, This or That
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Lipstick Week, Day 3: How to Wear Red Lipstick & Other (Rather Vampy) Alternatives

Lipstick Week - Day 4 copy
(This happened because I don’t have red lip liner and I don’t know how to count.)

Hello everyone! I just wanted to first say thanks to everyone who’s been interacting with me on my current series, Lipstick Week! I’m trying to switch things up and make things a bit more interesting while featuring as many lipsticks as possible. Once again, thanks to Tellie for tagging me. 🙂

SO. We are at Day 3. I thought I would do this feature now (instead of after my “How to Make Your Lipstick Last Longer” post), just in time for the Manila screening of The Great Gatsby. When I think of the 1920s, I think of luscious jazz parties, flapper dresses and bubbly, fizzy drinks—and of course, red lipstick!

I’ll tell you right away—red is not my color. I wish it was. Red lip lovers, like my friends Reggie, Abi, and Krysty, seem to cull some sort of magic confidence elixir from wearing red lipstick. AND I WANT THAT. Alas.

Baby Carina in Red Lipstick

I have always shied away from red, even though I was clearly raised by my mama for Red Lipstick Greatness. After puberty and the obligatory awkward stage, I’ve always felt like I’d be the kind of person who’ll always have red lipstick on her teeth.

(Another red lip wearer whose look I love is Joana from Joanna Loves. She always looks so posh.)

BYS - Matte Lipstick - Tango

When Liz gave my a BYS matte lipstick in a sultry red called Tango, I was like “Uh-oh! Now, how do I wear this?” I mean, deep, deep plums, I can handle… but I’ve never really tried all that many reds. But then, you know, one should broaden horizons and such, especially people who write about beauty. So, yes, Challenge Accepted.

I found this tutorial by Leesha of xsparkage—inspired by The Great Gatsby—that made use of a red lip, so I tried to recreate it, and I guess it’s not so bad:

BYS - Matte Lipstick

(I have, like, a Rachel Green haircut right now. As in from Friends, and it is kind of sad and dated.)

I mean, it’s not bad, but I don’t know if I am 100% comfortable in it. I was thinking of just posting that mirror picture because I was SO “EEP” about my full-on face pictures, but you can’t really tell that I’m wearing a bright red, and the point of this post was to show you how.

Anyway. That tutorial still had some color in the eyes. Another way to wear red is to keep everything really, really simple, and then hit it with a strong brow and defined eyes. You can’t quite see it, but I erased the eyeshadow and put on a bit of Bare Study, which is a MAC Paint Pot, and paired it with a MAC matte lipstick I borrowed from my sister, in Russian Red:

MAC - Russian Red

Although I still don’t think that I am a truly red lipstick person, I think I can deal with this!

Another way to wear red lipstick is: however the hell way you want to.


Clearly inspired by MirandaSings08.

Some general things to keep in mind, while wearing red lipstick:

  • Create a flawless base. Bold lips, in general, tend to accentuate little flaws and imperfections on the face. I don’t know why, they just do.
  • Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Aside from accentuating these little skin imperfections, bold lips also obviously draw attention to themselves. Make sure people see the best set of puckers ever. Otherwise, the confidence boost from a bright red lip is pretty much moot.
  • Choose the right red—and the right finish—for you. Warm toned? Blue toned? Matte? Glossy? Sheer? Shimmery? Overwhelmed yet? I think the trick is to really find a red that works for you. I don’t think I can pull off a “true red,” so I’m perfectly happy going off that path and walking towards more berry and plummy shades.
  • Keep It Simple, Stupid. The lips are the star of the show. Make sure the rest of your face doesn’t compete for the top spot of fame-h0.
  • Precision is key. If you make a mistake, everybody will be able to tell. Use a lip liner or a lip brush and try to color within the lines.
  • Lastly, real confidence doesn’t rely on the red lipstick. Though it’s been proven to help.

Here is a super-red, drugstore alternative in my possession:

Revlon - Liquid Lipstick - Top Tomato

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Lipstick in Top Tomato — This is a very warm red, which can bring out the warmth (aka yellow tones) in your skin and teeth. Also, what did I tell you about drawing within the lines? Now you know what overdrawing looks like, so be careful: it can happen to you.

Still not a red fan? Don’t give up, just move a few spectrum notches away from true reds. Let’s start with warm, more “natural” colors.

Here are some reds with strong brown undertones.

Revlon - L Fabulous Fig, R Supreme Sienna

L: Revlon Matte Lipstick in Fabulous Fig, R: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Lipstick in Supreme Siena

I rarely wear these colors, because they are so waaaarm, and I don’t really play well with browns and warmth, but looking at these pictures, I think I kinda like them! Hmmm.

Anyway, here are some everyday sorta reddish options:

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita, Chanel Rouge Allure in Captivante

L: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita, R: Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Captivante

Addiction by Ayako lipstick in Super Woman — What did I tell you about spots? :p Keep your base ace, and you’re halfway to looking good in red. 🙂

These are not exactly red, though I think that they are “red enough” to merit a mention, at least.

Here is a supremely glossy, bright pinky red:

shu uemura x karl lagerfeld - mon shu

shu uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Rouge Ultimate Lipstick in Mon Shu, which is my sister’s! I can’t pull this off very often, I think, but she totally can.

Here are some wine and berry reds, which is the “color group” I tend to favor when I am in the mood for a dark lip:

Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait in Orgueil — Probably my favorite red. Everyone who reads this blog probably knows that. I love it so much, I wore it in broad daylight and all through the night. Sigh, I’ll eat you up, I love you so.

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Envoutante — I like this a lot, but the silver sparkles put me off from wearing it a lot. Also, I don’t really go out much, apart from errands and lunches, so I don’t know if I should waste my Chanel on that.

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain - Crush, Maybelline Refined Wine

L: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, R: Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick in Refined Wine

I love Crush, but I hate the stain it leaves behind. Refined Wine is my sister’s and it is beautiful.

Addiction by Ayako Lipstick in Lady of the Lake — I almost didn’t get this because it reminded me so much of Guerlain’s Orgueil, but ah, I love it and I’m happy that I got it.

Chanel - Rouge Noir, shu uemura x karl lagerfeld - luxe burgundy

L: shu uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Rouge Ultimate in Luxe Burgundy, R: Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Rouge Noir

I almost mixed up these two, because they look pretty much identical! The finish and glitter content made me think twice, though. I own Luxe Burgundy and my sister and I gave Rouge Noir to our mom on her birthday, but I really prefer Rouge Noir!

Phew! And we’re done. I hope this helps, and I’m sorry this turned out to be SO LONG. Seriously. I don’t know when to stop, apparently. What are your favorite red lippies? Any suggestions for a red lip coward like me? 🙂

Also, I wanna say, this was a taxing post to make, to say the least. Red lipstick is messy business:


RAR! I have been trying to clean this red lipsticked mess for a long, long time. Le sigh. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this long-ass post and that it was helpful! Sorry you saw my face so much today. I just find it so funny when I post lips-only photos. I can’t seem to make mine look normal.

Tomorrow (or at least, the next Lipstick Week post—I might be late) is Day 4, which is the Lipstick Week Hump Day. I think I’ll go with nudes. That seems to be an easier thing to post about than reds.

See you later, and as always, thanks for reading. 🙂

Follow Lipstick Week through this tag. This post contains products from companies who are not cruelty-free. They were purchased prior to my personal cruelty-free pledge.


  1. Jin says

    Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait in Orgueil + you = smashing 🙂

  2. You’re SOOO the red lipstick kind of gal! And I think bright reds look the best on you! You even could pull it off a toddler 😀

    Thank goodness you didn’t do lips-only photos. I don’t find those useful at all. To really judge how the lipstick color works, I need to see the face of the person wearing it.

    Hehe, loved the first photo and the caption LOL

    • Aw, thanks! 🙂 Maybe I am and I just don’t know it yet, LOL.

      I find it so weird when I crop to my lips, like, EEK. Why does it look like THAT? So I stopped those. Glad you appreciate them like this! 🙂

      Yeah, that was a failure. 😦

  3. I like the shu uemura Luxe burgundy on you. Special mention to your haircut, you look really pretty on the photo below the gatsby vid. 🙂

    Did you like the BYS matte lipstick? What’s your verdict on it?

    • Thank you, Ranne. 🙂

      OK naman! Takes a bit more layering for a really opaque color. I can’t really say much about wear time but OK yung pigmentation and wala siyang funny smell! I’ll try to try it on for wear and hydration, but so far, I like it. 🙂

    • Aw, thanks Shari! Minsan lang yan, sana tumagal-tagal. I’m using better facial wash~ na yata haha so sana tumagal.

      I miss your posts na! 😀 Hope the family is doing well.

      • Aw thanks Carinz! Yes doing well – super well that my blog is taken for granted. But will update soon! In the meantime, I live out my beauty addiction vicariously through your blog! Keep updating ah! HIHI 🙂

    • No problem! You always make me want to wear red lipstick, but I chicken out. Haha. Thank you! ❤

  4. Pingback: Introducing… Lipstick Week! | Softly Sometimes

  5. Jenine says

    All these looks are lovely on you, but I really couldn’t take my eyes off on the MAC Bare Study paired with Russian Red! You look so pretty there, and so can so rock red lips! ❤ *dies of envy*

    I think I’ll try that look myself… once I get my hands on those products. Oh! And I think your hair looks nice. 🙂

  6. I feel that the role of red in my life is to boost my mood and make me feel like I can do anything. So if you’re feeling awkward with ‘red’ reds, that’s perfectly fine. And from those swatches, plummy reds flatter you the most esp. that matte one. You look so adult (in a good way) and pretty.

    • Thank you, Rae. 🙂 I completely agree. Haha I get that boost from Orgueil, so maybe it’s really just a matter of choosing which red is best for you. 😀

  7. makatigirl says

    Grabe, ganda ng Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait in Orgueil on you!

  8. You look gorgeous in red! I don’t wear red often, but I love how it looks on me, and people seem to agree that it’s a good colour for me. What I think is a gorgeous colour/what other people do doesn’t always match up, so it’s good to know this is a definite good one.

    • Aw, thanks Laala! 🙂 When do you usually wear reds? I know that rules don’t really mean anything but I wonder where it’s most “appropriate” to wear!

      • I don’t have a tonne of reds, so I don’t wear them often. I always tend to go for brown-toned pinks. I just love it. I only actually have two reds, and they’re both Chanel- the Rogue Hydrabase NY Red I told you about, and a Rogue Coco in Vendôme. I got Vendôme last year because I didn’t want to use my New York Red every time I wanted a red, because I wouldn’t be able to repurchase it!
        I think if I had a couple more wearable reds, I’d wear them for nights out and such. As it is, though, both my reds are quite bold, even for reds, so I save them for “special occasions”. When I’m not in Bahrain, I don’t mind wearing Vendôme day-to-day if I’m doing something nice that day, but here wearing a red during the day/out for ordinary occasions is kind of asking to be looked at strangely.
        So mostly I wear reds for weddings, birthdays, special nights out, and so on. For Halloween one year, I didn’t have a costume, so I wore black head-to-toe, put on a black leather jacket and black khol, and then wore my New York Red lipstick. Everyone I knew — and I mean EVERYONE — who saw me that night stopped me to tell me that the lipstick looked great. So I save it for occasions like that where I want to make an impression.

      • Oh, also, you have to bear in mind I don’t wear make up everyday. I love makeup, but I don’t want to get into the habit of “having” to wear it (and I’m definitely the kind of addictive personality that would, because I know my skin looks better with a bit of foundation). So, because of that, it’s enough of a shock for people when I wear a full face of “natural-looking” makeup. If I wore red to work one day, I think people would have a heart attack.

  9. Orgueil!!!! And the last segment: wines and berries, are the loveliest on you! Though your bright ones were quite interesting too. I think you, with a bright lip and a crisp coif would look so Gatsby!

  10. Ok.. First. Your haircut is amazing and not fated.. Also, that Russian Red on you is perfection! You have the perfect coloring for a bright red. I also love the deep Guerlain shade. Wear red often! You were the cutest little thing! Ahh

  11. Hey there, oh loved the quote “Another way to wear red lipstick is: however the hell way you want to.” – made me laugh!! (and its so very true!)
    Then, i love how the bright red looks in combination with your hair color!! Thats def a great look for you. And last but not least – i like the idea of the lipstick week series! Its fun. 🙂

    Btw: i just found your blog through Niicolea, and iviting you to the weekly
    Friendly Bunch Blog Hop (#13)
    A great way to find new blog to follow.
    Stop by any time & say hi.

    xoxo, Luchessa.

    • Aw thanks, Luchessa! You should definitely do Lipstick Week. 🙂

      Will definitely drop by, thanks!

  12. Pingback: Depot and Press: Loose Eyeshadows and Bulky Lipsticks | Softly Sometimes

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