The first thing I definitely suggest is exfoliating your lips, because the matte finish that this lip look will give you can bring out any flaws or dry skin on your lips. A great place to get a lip scrub is Lush, and all of their lip scrubs are edible! If you don't want to go out and purchase a lip scrub, though, there is an easy solution. All you need is one part olive oil, and one part sugar. Just mix the two ingredients together and rub it all over your lips! You can also add a little bit of honey to help bring out some extra moisture. Wipe your lips, then apply some lip balm.
My absolute favorite lip balm is the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, but you can use whatever lip balm you like! After exfoliating, let the lip balm sit on your lips and absorb for a few minutes. You can just move on to the rest of your makeup while you allow the product to really sink in. If you want, you can also use a lip primer like MAC's Prep + Prime Lip, which helps to add moisture while priming your lips, but this isn't a completely necessary step.
Finally, moving onto the lip color itself. If you used lip balm, you will need to wipe your lips down to get off any excess product. Then, using a lip liner, I line the edges of my lips, and fill it in. The lip liner I have is by NYX, in the shade "Red," which is a gorgeous blue-based red which works really well on my skin tone. By filling in the lips with the lip liner, you help to stain the lips and prevent any feathering!
Next, the lipstick. My go-to matte lipstick is MAC's "Russian Red," but if you're looking for a drugstore option, I really recommend Wet n Wild's MegaLast Lipstick in "Stoplight Red" or "Red Velvet," any of the beautiful red Color Statement lipsticks by Milani, or Maybelline's Creamy Matte Lipstick in "Siren in Scarlet." Of course, it doesn't have to be a matte lipstick, because you're going to make your favorite lipstick into a matte formula! I like to apply the product straight from the bullet, then I take a tissue and blot the lipstick, to help get rid of any shine. Then, I take a lip brush and really go back and even out the product while refining the edges.
To really help set the lipstick in place, I take a translucent powder on a fluffy brush, and pat this over the lipstick. This helps to get rid of any of the moisture that could cause the product to slip and slide. To brighten up any of the color lost from applying the powder, I go back in with a lip brush, loaded up with the lipstick, and apply that on top of the powder.
Of course, to help everything look even more crisp and clean, I take my MAC Studio Finish Concealer with a small detail brush and clean up the edges of my lips. I also make sure to set the concealer with a translucent powder so that the creaminess of the lipstick doesn't bleed into the concealer!
What are your go-to tips for red lips?