The classic holiday red lip became easier to achieve when I first came upon MAC’s iconic blue-red Ruby Woo shade back in the late ’90s. While I love relying on a red lip for my holiday looks, wearing the same shade year after year can feel lackluster. To get an immediate upgrade on a classic, I reached out to top makeup artists who shared their backstage secrets for getting a perfect 2022 party-ready pout.
“My secret to a perfect holiday rouge is Clé de Peau Beaute’s Legend of Rouge #103 ($65),” says celebrity makeup artist Ermahn Ospina. “This lipstick has a beautiful satin finish and its formula is a hybrid that combines makeup and skin care. This shade harmonizes with all skin tones.”
Pro Tip: “Apply it directly from the tube onto your lips and trace your lip line with a darker shade. This will help create the shape you desire and keep a sharp, clean look.” Ospina’s perfect liner? Clé de Peau Beaute’s liner in Vivid Red ($30).
“For a party or event you want something that will be high impact and long-lasting,” says makeup artist Jackie Piccola. “I recommend a long-wear liquid lipstick like Maybelline’s Super Stay Vinyl Ink. Not only does it last, but it has incredible shine. The shade ‘Red-Hot’ ($13) is that perfect vibrant red and you can eat and drink and not worry about reapplying all night.”
Pro Tip: Piccola says to always set a bold lip by pressing powder around the edge of the lipstick to prevent any bleeding. “The Maybelline Super Stay 24H Hybrid Powder Foundation ($15) is great to use with a small brush and set the foundation around the lipstick—it really locks everything in place so the color doesn’t move,” she adds.
According to celebrity makeup guru Tim Quinn, there’s nothing more “now” than Valentino Beauty’s limited-edition Rosso Refillable Studded ($55).
Pro Tip: “If you have trouble with lipstick bleeding, the Dior Universal Countour Liner ($31) comes in handy to trace around the lip line. I also use a touch of concealer to trace, clean up and sharpen the edges. A concealer brush is the perfect size and shape for this.”
To add holiday cheer in a more subdued fashion, celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg’s Jamie Makeup The Boss in The Red One ($26) is the perfect lipstick slash balm to add a sweep of color while hydrating lips. “If you want your red to last all night, layer it using a matte lipstick…matte lips tend to last the longest,” says Greenberg.
Pro Tip: A lighter, glossy hint of red balm is the perfect opportunity to play up the eyes. “If you’re going to go with a smokey holiday eye, keep the shadow closer to the top and bottom lash line,” says Quinn. “I think the character Wednesday as portrayed by Jenny Ortega is a terrific look of slightly goth eyes with a bold look that is wearable and fresh.”
Carly Loudenburg, national makeup artist for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, says she has the best introductory red for anyone who can’t seem to find their own holy grail crimson shade. “If you’re new to reds, Claret ($40) is an easy to wear color because the brown base makes it very flattering on all skin tones,” she says.
Pro Tip: To add dimension and a bit of sparkle, Loudenburg says to finish with a crushed oil-infused lip gloss which also hydrates lips and elevates the red.
To give Gwen Stefani her dazzling holiday red look for The Voice finale, celebrity makeup artist Adam Burrell chose the GXVE Original Me Matte Lipstick in the shade Original Recipe ($26) which is a true blue red.
Pro Tip: For a noncompeting eye, Burrell says go with a rich golden bronze shade, like he did with Stefani, from GXVE Beauty’s Eye See in Color Eyeshadow Quad ($28). Top it off with a bold cat-eye shape using an intense black liner like GXVE’s Line It Up Waterproof Gel Liner in Spiderwebs ($21).