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Emma Day’s tips for the ultimate red lip

Red lipsFor over a hundred years, the red lip has held an unrivalled position as the most dramatic, daring and eye-catching beauty look a woman can wear. American insider brand 3 Custom Color has celebrated red lipstick’s iconic status with their palette, A Century in Red, which contains a lipstick or gloss for each of the decades of the 20th century, plus one for the 21st. Whether your favourite era’s the Roaring ’20s or the poptastic ’80s there’s the perfect red shade to represent the definitive woman of that time.

A-list make-up artist and Cult Beauty expert Emma Day explains her take on the classic red lip: “Doing a red lip is the rare occasion I will use a lip liner to get the shape of the lip and give it an undercoat, I then go over the top with an angled lip brush with a lipstick to give a real intensity to the colour – the lip liner will give the lip staying power and help it stay on. I then go over the outline with a cotton bud to make sure it’s perfect and hasn’t bled over the lip-line. Blotting and re-applying the lipstick with a tissue also helps the lipstick not to move.

Personally I love a hot orangey matt red on a blonde, ’50s style (love 3 Custom Colour lipstick in Ballet Russe). Brunettes can take more of a range of reds – I do think a plummy and vampy red can look brilliant on a sultry brunette. If you want to go for the colour but are a bit un-confident with getting away with it, or have a thinner lip-shape – I suggest using a red stain in the middle of your lip which you can blend out with your fingers. This gives a much softer appearance to the lip, whilst you still get a pop of colour. Always prep the lips before with a bit of lipbalm and then tissue it off to get rid of the residue.”


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...