If there’s a look that’s transcended time, trends and the fashion world’s fickleness, it’s red lips. But since summer days don’t call for caked-on makeup or a deluge of lipstick, it’s hard to embrace the look year round if you’re concerned about looking fresh. That’s why we’ve come up with some ways to make red lips look natural – so whether you’re braving humidity or embracing AC, you’ll maintain the season’s infatuation with bold.
We all know that red lips and lipstick tend to be synonymous – despite the face-palm factor of constant re-application. However, provided you apply lipstick sparingly by using a brush, you can create a stained effect far from the typical waxy aesthetic. But if you’re willing to part with the standard lip treatment you normally gravitate towards, tint products like Fresh’s Sugar Honey and Sugar Plum (with an SPF of 15) provide all-day colour that simultaneously repairs and moisturizes while providing sheer tints not often found in most lipsticks.
We’ve all heard the praises of lip stain, the lipstick alternative pioneered by the likes of Cover Girl that offers distinctive shades without the heaviness of traditional lip colour. And since days of picnics, concerts, beaches and brunching aren’t conducive to the old school application method (let’s face it: busting a mirror out to apply lipstick doesn’t exactly invite acceptance), water-based stains provide long-lasting colour without the waxiness of lipstick.
Brands like Stila and Benefit offer a brush-on form that allows you to colour-in lips for a stained, natural aesthetic, while Sephora’s Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain allows you to capitalize on the latest blush trend, providing an all-encompassing “natural” look. Just be careful not to over-apply: like with lipstick, gloss or even balm, over-application will lead to lips that cancel out your other features, making them a focal point in the worst sense of the word.
Speaking of gloss, few things define summer like the fresh-faced aesthetic defined by a layer of tinted sheen, and thanks to products like Dior Addict Ultra Gloss (in shade Little Red Dress), you can get that polished finish with a hint of bold colour. However, if you’re in the market for a natural product in the literal sense, Korres Cherry Full Colour Gloss falls under the Naturally Sephora umbrella of additive-free options, providing the perfection solution if you’re looking for both colour and Vitamins E and C. Our only suggestion? Don’t over apply: to keep red lips looking natural, use any product sparingly so as not to look like a walking cosmetics ad.