How to Wear Red Lipstick Like a Champ (And Keep It On)

Kailani Andrade
Red Lip

Kailani Andrade

Kailani Andrade is a 20-something who lives between San Diego and San Francisco and is the voice behind lifestyle fashion blog Kailani’s Korner. She blogs about life behind the lens (check out Kapture By Kailani her photography company), current styles, quick and easy beauty routines, daily inspirations, entertaining, food, the little things in life, and her crazy family. 

At first, the thought of a big bright and bold color on my lips terrified me. I would try it at home with hopes to work it out in public but would eventually just end up rubbing (and I mean RUBBING) it off five seconds before running out the door. My mom is a total gloss girl—she has a million types in all different colors. She always told me that all you need is a little tinted moisturizer, mascara, and lipstick and you’re good to go for the day.

I followed the first two tips for the past 10 years and just started to realize the importance of working a color on your lips. While I’m not a huge fan of gloss like my mom, I’ve recently adopted a love for lipstick. Not only do your lips complete your overall look, it’s effortlessly sexy. I slowly made the transition to bold lips after a few short weeks of getting used to subtle color on my lips. At first I would just wear a colored Chapstick while running errands around town, I then transitioned to lighter shades of lipstick (soft pinks and corals), after I felt comfortable… I moved to the bright and the bold! You know the colors that say “Check me out!” In the beginning, I wasn’t quite ready to apply it on my bare lips so, to tone it down, I would first put on some Aquaphor or Vaseline to help avoid the bright bright color. Once I felt comfortable enough I applied the lipstick straight to my pout. It made a  huge difference, but now I love wearing lipstick. It’s such a quick, easy, and hassle-free accessory.

Of course, working bold lipstick can come with some challenges. Here’s how to tackle them:

Kissing it off: First off, you paid money for that little stick of color…. so let’s not give any away. Besides I’m sure your man isn’t trying to start a new trend either. I mean, my brother wears a little tinted moisturizer every now and then but even he wouldn’t sport a bold lip. Try purchasing a stain. It will stay on longer and is smudge- and kiss-proof. Not a fan of stain? Blot your lips just before you lock lips and avoid the gloss.

Getting it on your teeth: This is the worst. Avoid this problem by taking a Q-tip and wiping the inner part of your lips. Don’t have one? Your finger can do the trick just as well.

Smudging: The easiest way to avoid smudging when you’re wearing an uber bold color is to powder your lips, then line them with a primer and liner before applying lipstick. This helps the color to stay where it’s meant to be.

Looking like you’re trying too hard: Bold lips are gorgeous and you should own them! That said, if you’re feeling self-conscious about them, start slow. Try a subtle color like a soft pink or try my trick with putting on a little lip balm before applying the bold color. It will tone down the effect while still adding just the right amount of color. Then, upgrade to a bolder shade or ditch the balm!

Don’t forget: You should prep your lips before you apply lipstick. I’ve found this three-step method is the best way to make sure your lipstick stays on:

how to prep your lips for lipstick

1) Exfoliate your lips: Just like your skin, your lips need exfoliation. After you’re done brushing your teeth, (and the brush is clean) rub your lips with the brush to gently exfoliate dead skin. This also helps with chapped lips.

2) Prime them: I purchased a cheap primer from Target that does the trick. It keeps your lipstick from bleeding and smudging.

3) Apply a liner:  You will definitely notice a difference.

More From Kailani’s Korner:
Carry-On Essentials
Your Daily Skincare Routine