Pick the right shade of red for your skintone. "If you're pale and pinky, go for blue-reds," says Vanitymark makeup artist Brett Freedman. "If you're olive, tan or dark, warmer reds will flatter you," as this punchy shade does for Jessica Alba.
Behold the bold red lip, a way to add instant glamour, as was the case for Mischa Barton. Get the look by lining and filling lips with lipliner (closely matched or slightly lighter than your lipstick shade). "Liner evens out the lip shape and gives a sharp edge," says makeup artist Kristofer Buckle. Forego liner if you have very full lips. "Tap the color onto the lips with your finger so the edge of the lip is soft," says Buckle.
Get Molly Sims's clean edges by brushing on concealer after applying lipstick, says Clarins makeup artist Nick Barose. "It will brighten the area and make the red pop while preventing the color from bleeding."
If you don't have beautiful full lips like Penelope Cruz, avoid red lipstick. "It will only make them look thinner," says Victoria's Secret makeup artist Linda Hay. Instead, try something more transparent, like a berry-hued gloss.
M.A.C makeup artist Gregory Arlt offers this rule for haircolor and lip shade: "Generally speaking, blondes look best in blue reds, redheads in berry reds, and brunettes in brick reds." Flaxen-haired Gwyneth Paltrow gets it just right.
A cherry pout like Ashlee Simpson's is not only for nighttime glamour. "For daytime, a more sheer version is suitable," says makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. "And then for night, opt for a deeper red to punch it up."
"Women with strong jawlines should avoid red lipstick, as it will only highlight a prominent area," says makeup artist Brett Freedman. Rounder faces like Julia Stiles' pull the look off well.
Pigment Rich and Semi-Matte
Makeup pros agree that the best way to apply red lipstick is with a lip brush that you dip in the product and then paint onto the mouth. "The brush keeps lipstick within the lines and prevents mistakes," says makeup artist Scott Barnes.
BUY ONLINE NOW Warm Red Lipstick, Three Custom Color Specialists, $18.50; at www.threecustom.com
Matte yet Silky
Makeup artist Brett Freedman offers this tip to help select your perfect hue: "Pick four shades you like and swipe them closely together on your inner forearm. Once you see them next to each other, the subtle differences will pop and you'll be drawn to one."
BUY ONLINE NOW Slimshine Lipstick in Russian Red, M.A.C, $14.50; at www.maccosmetics.com
Lush and Full
Nothing looks worse than a bold color on chapped lips. Look for a moisturizing lipstick and use balm at night to treat your pout. Using a lip balm right before applying lipstick will dilute the rich shade.
BUY ONLINE NOW Moisture Extreme Lipstick in Wine and Roses, Maybelline, $6.50; at www.drugstore.com