Confidence Boosting Red Lips

This Post is Via my lovely friends from Ladyland and was written by Bella Binns

Red lipstick. Do you love it, or hate it? When well executed it can transform even the most bobbly of COS cardis into luxe going-out wear. But when it’s not, you literally want to hack into Facebook and destroy all pictorial evidence of it ever having existed on your face. And, despite us all being proper grown up women with 2 digit ages starting with the numbers 3 and 4, we all still harbour questions about selecting the right shade, or how to nail the perfect application. And that includes me, a ‘professional’ beauty editor.

So, with NYE approaching (and the likelihood that our aforementioned COS cardis will probably be featuring fairly heavily in our festive wardrobes) we enlisted the help of pro make-up artist Tahira to guide us in our quest. Under her expert tutelage we faced our innermost red lipstick fears head on. Here’s what happened…


Sharmaine wears & Other Stories Demi Matt Lipstick in Max Ruby, £12

Sharmaine (friend of Ladyland and upcoming contributor) admitted she’s nervous of wearing her treasured Chanel red lipstick in case it looks trashy, so Tahira created this proper grown up mid red lip (not too orange, not too blue) in a semi matte finish that looks classic, but not at all vampy. It’s a flattering shade that works for both day and evening. Tahira then used an easy bronze wash on Sharmaine’s eyelids for a sophisticated finish.


Emma wears Topshop Lip Polish in Harness, £8

Emma’s red lip anxiety stems from her love of pastel hair colour and a simultaneous fear of looking like an old age pensioner. To solve this dilema, Tahira selected a pinky red to go with Emma’s lilac hair colour, that when combined with a glossy texture, feels less ‘old lady-ish’. The sheer coverage makes it easy to wear and she kept the eyes simple and clean so there wasn’t too much going on. Keeping the shape of the mouth naturally smaller also helps not to overwhelm Emma’s petite face.


Clem wears Smashbox Lip Lacquer in Legendary Red, £19

Like many of us, Clem worries that a bright red lipstick brings out the redness in her complexion. After correcting Clem’s skin tone with foundation and corrector, Tahira chose a bluey red that worked with Clem’s colouring and would also make her teeth look whiter. She then created a simple grey smoky dolly eye (heaps of mascara on the top and bottom lashes) to complement the bright lip. The liquid format also makes it really easy to apply.


Celia wears Cosmetics á la Carte Lip Rich in Fire, £25

Celia worries that red lipstick makes her look OTT, especially if she’s wearing eye make-up too. Her brief was for a wearable daytime red that wouldn’t look overdone. The wand on this liquid lip colour makes it easy to work with her natural lip line, plus Tahira kept the eyes SUPER clean, only a little sparkly white neutral shadow and mascara on the top lashes to keep it modern-looking.



Bella wears Butter London Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon in Ladybird, £15

As an adult acne sufferer, my mission with ALL make-up application is simply to make my skin look half decent and not to draw undue attention to my problem areas, i.e. jawline and cheeks. Tahira chose an orangey red to complement my fair skin tone with a crayon format for easy application (I’m prone to going wonky too). She combined this with a midnight blue liner for a modern take on the classic cat eye and red lip combo. Her advice to dab concealer over problem areas to keep the skin even, but not too ‘make-upy’, is really working. She also suggested using a powder to create a soft focus on the T-zone and under the eyes.



Tahira wears Illamaqusqua Limited Edition Glamore Lipstick in Vega, £19.50

Dark reds are uber popular right now, but how do you stop them from feathering? For Tahira’s own lip look she used an ‘invisible ‘ liner to prevent her colour flaking or bleeding into fine lines at the edges of her lips. She also chose a dark vampy brown-based plum red as an alternative to the classic blackberry vamp look.


Kate wears Diego Dalla Palma Lipstick in Deep Red, £15.50

Kate (our talented photographer) is never sure of the right red to flatter her olive-based skin tone. Tahira selected this Diego della Palma shade in a modern matte texture that complemented Kate’s natural colouring, without looking too ‘Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love (if you know what I mean).

Photography: Kate Berry
Hair and make-up: Tahira
Art direction: Emma Scott-Child