Tutorial – How To Apply Red Lips, Holiday Makeup

This tutorial is designed to walk you through, step-by-step, how to create those crisp, red lips.

Skill Level: Beginner


Lips: Viva Glam I lipstick (any matte red lipstick will do)
Tools: MAC 316 lip brush, MAC 194 concealer brush


Start with bare lips. (Mine have a touch of foundation from applying it to my face, but this is not an issue, as you’ll see in the next step.)


Using the 194, apply a layer of foundation all over your lips. Alternatively, you could use Urban Decay’s Primer Potion or MAC’s Lip Erase (PRO product). The purpose is to neutralize your lips and reduce pigmentation and undertones.


Your lips should resemble something like this.


Using the 316, pick up a generous amount of Viva Glam I lipstick and begin applying it to the bow of your lip.


Using the 316, you want to line your lips with the lipstick itself, before applying it all over the lips. Alternatively, you could use a matching lip liner (Red Enriched cremestick liner is my recommendation) to get a cleaner line or for added bleed prevention if your lips have a tendency to bleed.


This is how your upper lip should appear.


Now, utilize the same technique to line the bottom of your lower lip.


Since we are using the same lipstick to fill in the lips, perfection is not key! It doesn’t have to be an exact line.


It’s time to fill in your lips. Keep brushing the 316 against the lipstick itself and then apply the color generously to your bottom and upper lips.


Keep repeating the process until you get to the desired level of redness. It will start off as a light to medium pink and get darker, eventually to the truest red that you see from the lipstick itself.


After several applications, your lips should have a color like this.


Fix any imperfections by slowly going over the edges of your lips. If you find yourself with a few bits that are outside the lines, there are two ways to remove it. One, use a cotton swab with a touch of make remover, and erase the flaws. Two, use foundation or concealer to go over the flaws. Either way will usually accomplish what you need, but if there is a significant stray red mark, makeup remover is the better option.


Here is the final version.


Plushy red lips!