Dear Lucky: How Do I Make My Red Lipstick Last?

Executive Beauty Director

Red lips step up models Anais Mali and Aymeline Valade’s casual summer chic outside the Jason Wu spring 2013 show.

Q: Can I wear bright red lipstick in the summer? And what’s the best way to make it really last?
—Natalie

A: Dear Natalie, My favorite red-lipstick look is a summery, otherwise-casual offhanded flick of full-on red—think Kate Moss with cutoffs and a tan, or Aymeline and Anais, above. The full Marilyn gets a little costumey, no? Whatever you wear it with, though, red is a high-maintenance choice. You’re not going to slick it on and run through the fields and never think of it again. The occasional tooth-smear check/reapplication/touch-up is just part of the deal. However, unlike, say, eyeliner, lipstick billed as long-lasting is actually … remarkably long-lasting.

Re: this, the tiny, gorgeous, gray-topknotted über-stylist/skincare genius/perfumer Linda Rodin dropped by recently with a new scent; we were struck by her dazzling lips. Which shade of lipstick isn’t the point, she insisted: “You stain first, with these $3 drugstore lip stains.” Rodin pulled out something called Fran Wilson Mood Matcher and swiped it across the top of her hand. “It stains your lips, and I mean, it lasts. Like, you can’t get it off.” She demonstrated, rubbing furiously at her stained hand. “And it makes your lipstick pop.” If lipstick tends to bleed, outline first with a clear pencil like No Bleeding Lips ($15, sephora.com). Clear is better, unless you’re super-advanced: A bright red pencil often lasts longer than the lipstick it matches, leaving you with a terrifying red lip outline that is to be avoided at all costs.

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