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December 2022

Pucker Up with the Perfect Red Lipstick: Illamasqua Lipstick in Box

By Lindsay Leff


I Want Red Lips
As a beauty editor (read I get paid to shop for makeup!), I have gathered my fair share of professional makeup tips.

How to Wear Red Lipstick with Your Skin Tone
I learned long ago the first rule for wearing red lipstick: match your skin tone to the undertone of the lipstick. How that translates:
• fair skin tones need a blue-based red lipstick
• olive-toned skin needs an orange-based red lipstick shade
• darker skin tones need deep burgundy-red lipsticks

Finding the Right Shade of Red Lipstick
So, finding the perfect shade of red lipstick should be as quick as blowing a kiss, right? More like finding a needle in a haystack . . . of lipsticks, of course. For a long time, I was at a red-lipstick standstill. I promise, I’ve tried them all and not one shade clicked, giving me that “ah, that’s it!” moment. Can you feel me pouting?

Illamasqua-Brand Beauty Products: Stage Makeup Meets Mainstream
Recently, I attended one of the most exciting work events I’ve ever experienced—the Illamasqua Makeup Master Class. Illamasqua, whose tagline is “Makeup for your alter ego,” is known for its almost-outrageous, richly pigmented colors—think stage makeup meets mainstream. This event was a showcase for the London-based beauty brand’s creative director and makeup artist, Alex Box. With her eccentric-genius approach to beauty, Alex’s idea of “everyday makeup” includes blue eyebrows and shadow, purple cheeks, and red lips. The look she created on the model was wild and spectacular, her face and neck stenciled with a piece of paper Alex cut on the fly.

Loved Illamasqua, but Will This Shade of Red Lipstick Be the One?
The morning after the event, I was feeling quite adventurous, so I looked into the bag of samples I had been given and smeared on red lipstick in Alex’s namesake shade—Box. A quick check for lipstick on my teeth and I was out the door and off to work.

The Perfect Red Lipstick Shade for Every Skin Type!
I wasn’t in the office long enough to get my coat off, when my editor-in-chief, perpetually on her own search for the perfect lipstick in red demanded to know what I was wearing and if she could try it. She did—and loved it! Everyone else at the office tried it too: blonds, brunettes, fair skin, olive skin. That’s when I realized that I had finally found the holy grail of beauty products—not just the perfect shade of red lipstick for me, but the perfect shade of red lipstick that looks great on everyone.
Buy Illamasqua Lipstick in Box, $22, at sephora.com

Makeup Tips & Tricks: The Right Way to Apply the Right Red Lipstick
When it comes to rich lip colors, particularly red lipstick, you shouldn’t just apply on the go. For the proper technique, we’ve got some beauty and style tips to keep that pucker perky.
Step 1 Apply lipstick with a lip brush, not straight from the stick
Step 2 Smear the lipstick carefully with your finger along lips to lock in color
Step 3 Dust translucent powder on and around lips to seal color so it won’t bleed
Step 4 Purse your lips around your index finger, then pull it out quickly to remove excess color and keep lipstick off those pearly whites

Related Links
A Hot Celeb Who Loves Her Red
Want to Have More Fun with Makeup?
A Celebrity Makeup Artist’s Best Beauty Advice for the Most Beautiful You

How To Rock a Little Red Dress: 5 Easy Steps
Get your red on before Valentine’s Day for National Wear Red Day, February 4. But if the idea of wearing red has you seeing red, relax that all-black-clad body of yours! Working a red dress with your favorite look is as easy as wearing your go-to LBD. See our little red dress picks, $55–$100, and follow our 5 simple styling steps.

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