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Rock Red Hot Lipstick for Valentine’s Day

Tips for finding your shade of bold and beautiful

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An animated graphic showing various shades of red lipstick.
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Passion. Power. Confidence. Respect.

The color red invokes so many emotions. It’s known as the most provocative of all colors. It invokes so many inherent thoughts including those of anger, aggression and sex. It’s the color our grandmothers and aunts told us as children was too grown up for us. But it was the red lip that matched our mother’s red nails that we emulated and adored. On Valentine’s Day, we encourage all women to shamelessly rock a red lip.

As a red lip enthusiast, the color remains my go-to for every occasion – dinner, work, going out – literally everything. It exudes confidence, has presence, commands attention and makes me feel damn powerful. It’s also versatile. Red lipstick is good for any look: classic, edgy or sexy. A red lip remains the perfect accessory to the little black dress, business suit and your favorite jeans.

Finding Your Red Lip

Shockingly, not everyone is a fan. Some believe that red isn’t the color for them. Others may have preconceived notions about what the color red implies. And others, maybe, just don’t like the color red. For those of you who have avoided a red lip like a plague (I see you), we’re here to help you look as good as Oprah looks in a red lip.

There is literally a shade of red for every woman in the universe. Candy apple and fire engine, orange, mauve, pink, blue, berry, cherry ... I can go on but you get the point. There are also vast lip finishes: glosses, tints, stains and even matte. Here’s how to find and rock the perfect red lip.

Step 1: Color crush

Head to your local beauty counter and try on different red lipsticks before deciding which shade appeals to you the most. Bring a girlfriend with you to get a trusted second opinion.

Step 2: Stay a while

Without the proper protection, red lipstick can bleed onto the skin. One of my good friends and beauty blogger Ty Alexander’s advice is to put a little of your foundation on your lips before your lipstick for a seamless look. Powdering your lips with a pressed powder can also help the lipstick stay on your lips before application. A good liner can also keep your lipstick from ending up on your chin.

Step 3: Keep balm and carry on

Put balm on your lips after applying your lipstick. It can add sheen to your lipstick’s finish and keep your lips moisturized.

Step 4: Less is more

Keep your other face makeup very light. A red lip is the main attraction. Don’t ruin it with heavy eye makeup or rosy cheeks.

Step 5: Clean up

After you’ve applied your lipstick, place your index finger in your mouth and form a closed “O” around it with your lips. Pull your finger through the “O” to remove the excess lipstick, making sure it won’t get on your teeth.

Need a few color ideas to get started? Check out some of our tried-and-true hues:

Ruby Woo by M.A.C., $18.50
With a cult following, Ruby Woo is also known as the red lipstick that looks good on any woman. Seriously.

CoverGirl Colorlicious in Candy Apple, $6.99
This orangey red can be found anywhere from your local drugstore to the supermarket so there’s no excuse for not having one.

SMASHBOX Be Legendary Lipstick in Bing, $21
This hydrating matte lipstick is so pigmented, you only need to apply one layer of lipstick.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored, $24
This liquid matte lipstick is formulated to last all day. If we can look as good as Rihanna looks in a red lip, we’re down to try it.

Colourpop in On Display, $7
This creamy pinkish red is great for a red lip novice.


Photo Credits: Getty Images; Joshua Pestka/The Licensing Project; Shutterstock