Beauty Basics Products Tips & Tricks

6 Rules for Rocking Red

{I am wearing Tarte Lip Surgence in Fiery here}

As you may well know I am not a HUGE fan of rules.
But when it comes to the Classic Red Lip I must make an exception.
It’s got to be done right.
It’s the black suit of lipstick. Sexy, timeless and has to be tailored perfectly to look good.

Rule #1: Pick a stick that will do just that…stick.
You want a long lasting product that promises not to go anywhere so that you can relax and not feel the need to check it compulsively. Like the one I am wearing in this photo, for instance.

Rule #2: Confidence is key
Siren lips are only as hot as you believe they are.  So repeat after me:  “Dang, I am lookin’ so sexy in this red lip. I’d totally buy me dinner.”

Rule#3: but…nothing kills your confidence like a case of lipstick teeth.
Ever have a great conversation with someone, you drive away feeling smart and witty and…WHAT? Lipstick teeth? Every word out of my mouth came with a side of lipstick teeth!? Don’t let this happen to you,  after you apply put your finger in your mouth like your cleaning off some Cheeto residue. This will clean off all of the lipstick that could potentially end up on your pearly whites.

Rule #4: Call on your inner perfectionist for this one.
Lord knows I have to dig deep to find mine, I zone in, take a few deep breaths and resolve to take my time. I use a liner with my most careful hand to get a perfect outside line, then I fill the lip (with lip surgence) and finish the look by taking a lip brush and some concealer around the outside of my lip, this defines and perfects the look and keeps everything in place.

Rule #5: Wear the red you look good in even if it’s not the red Glamour told you to wear this season.
I tend to look better in darker ruby red and pink reds. So even though I can experiment with the more fashionable shade I always end up more comfortable in the reds that suit my skin tone. So, try all the reds you can get your hands on, but buy the one that makes you feel the prettiest, period.

Rule #6: Even if you don’t wear red tonight, you better wear it sometime.
Every woman should own a good red lipstick. Nothing makes you feel more dressed up and more feminine. I double dare you.

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  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I just sat down to view your video about bold lips because I am a chicken & haven’t ever dared to wear red lipstick, until now! Saw your newest post & figured it must be fate! Thank you for ALL of your tips, tricks, tutorials & advice. You are so amazing and thanks to you I don’t look like a clown in my makeup!

    • Reply
      October 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      haha I am soooo glad you are gonna bite the bullet! You won’t regret it! also, Thank you so much, Amber, i’m happy you like it!

  • Reply
    Angela Whitbeck
    October 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    If you don’t already have a Mary Kay consultant, find one in your area by using the consultant locator at She will provide you, obligation free, with samples of every red lipstick and gloss currently available, like Radiant Red, Rock ‘n’ Red, and Red Passion. If you’re like me, every red lipstick turns pink. So I was so impressed when my Mary Kay consultant worked with me until she found a red lipstick I could wear that stayed red. So I too became a consultant because I love to help people. Cara is so right on every point she made. Red is not easy to wear. Let’s see your confidence shine!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I wish I was brave enough to try this! As a mom of 3 small girls, I rarely have time for myself. I have dark brown hair and green eyes- but I’m very fair skined. Most reds look awful on me. Maybe one day I will have some time to go play at the makeup counter and find the right shade. Congrats on the wedding by the way! It was beautiful!!

    • Reply
      Angela Whitbeck
      October 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      TO SHIRLEE: If you will contact me at my website I will send you samples of all the red lip products I have so you may try them in the comfort of your own home when it’s convenient for you. With three small girls I would imagine your schedule is pretty busy.

      • Reply
        October 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

        Thank you, Angela! Sent you a message on you MK page. 🙂

    • Reply
      Angela Whitbeck
      October 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Shirlee! Contact me and I will send you samples of all the red Mary Kay lip products I have so that you may try them in the comfort of your own home when it is convenient for you. I’m sure your three girls keep you busy! One of the major problems of trying cosmetics at the ‘make-up counter’ counter is the artificial lighting. When you walk outsider you won’t look the same. And when you get home and look in the mirror there’s a chance you may be horrified! So be very careful!

    • Reply
      October 28, 2012 at 12:13 am

      Thank you shirlee! From your discription you sound like you would be stunning in red. Do this: next time (if this ever happens:) you get a chance to hit the stores without the girls bring a friend, red is such a big transition that most people aren’t objective enough to wrap their head around it right away, but your friend would be. She could tell you if the red is knock your socks off or totally bust. Either way, 3 little girls…you have your work cut out for you! I feel like a crazy and I only have 1! I bet they are darling, sisters are the best.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Lovebthe bold lip.. was daring enough to try it out Monday with red and recieved more compliments than i ever have! Thanks Cara, you totally rock!!!

    • Reply
      October 28, 2012 at 12:09 am

      YAY! So glad you did it, I bet with all those compliments it won’t be long before you go red again:)

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    What exact blush and eye shadow are you wearing? I’d love to do a bold lip like this but I have trouble matching blush to my lip color (it gets clownish 🙁 ). If I don’t wear any blush I look washed out and I just don’t like the way I look with nothing on my eyes. Usually I end up stuck just doing a smokey eye/nude lip combo but I’d like to change it up!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Haha, Cara I love you. Please don’t ever quit blogging. Congrats on the wedding, you looked beautiful! So I have a tutorial request if you ever get the time on your hands. Show us just a contouring video. I would like an in depth video on how you sculpt your nose and cheeks. They always look so defined! Same with the highlighting. Love ya, bye!

    • Reply
      October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

      I will! I have been holding out forever for the perfect product to recommend! Maybe I should just bite the bullet and do one in the meantime? Thank you so much Ashley!

    • Reply
      Carla Norris
      October 22, 2017 at 8:38 am

      I hear you about the difficulties of blush with red lipstick!
      I’m NW15, so I’m very pale, and I have to tread carefully to avoid looking like Bozo.
      I either use a fan brush to apply about three molecules of a red blush mixed with translucent powder, or I go with a neutral blush; I like NYX Ombre Blush in the shade “Mauve Me.” It’s neutral enough that it doesn’t compete with red lips, but it still adds a bit of color.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Did you use a liner Cara? If so, what color/brand?
    Looks gorg as per usual!

  • Reply
    October 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I love red, but like to save it for special occasions. To me a red lip makes any outfit more vavavoom. I guess I should rock the red more often.

  • Reply
    Sarah Elizabeth
    November 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I love red lips – it took me years to get the confidences to rock colored lips b/c of my huge lips but I get so many compliments now. I always line, fill, put on the lipstick and then set with one ply toilet paper and loose powder over top, I got it from a vintage beauty book. It works every time to keep the lipstick from budging!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I just recently started wearing bold color lipsticks and I love them. However, i’m one of those people who has to always go check the mirror because I can never get it to set right! I’ve watched your videos but I am stumped!

    • Reply
      November 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      You can also find a powder blush or matte eyeshadow and pat that into your lip as the final step, it will totally keep it in place!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I love red lips. I wear them a lot. My favorite shades are from Bare Minerals. Anyhoo–I pat them on instead of slick them on. This gives them more of a red “stain” look, and then I put a lip gloss on top. This trick makes them stay put longer. Yeah for red lips!

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