that casual red lip


I've always loved the idea of clashing elements, especially when it comes to fashion. You'll rarely find me in anything other than casual wear, but at the same time, whether it be shoes or accessories, I'll throw in a bit of something to mix up the whole look. One of my favourite ways of chic-ing up a casual day is throwing on a red lipstick, but in a casual, effortless 'I really didn't try that hard' way. It's definitely not the easiest thing to do as red lipstick tends to equate classic, high maintenance, and fancy. Almost too fancy sometimes. But after loads of experimenting and some lessons from Lisa Eldridge, I would like to think I've nailed down the how to.

1. Lip prepping: I don't tend to get chapped lips that often so usually a matte lip balm like the Nuxe Reve De Miel**(£9.50) at the start of my makeup process will suffice. But if I have slightly angry lips and I'm still rebelling by wanting to wear a long-lasting red lipstick, then I'll roll a q-tip in the lip balm and just use it to exfoliate. You could also go in with a lip exfoliator, but I find the q-tip method to be less messy.

2. Face prepping: I am someone that has a lot of acne scarring and naturally quite reddish cheeks. So in order to fully wear the red, I need to cancel out all the redness in my skin. I usually will opt for a lighter base to do the initial evening out and then go in with a heavy duty concealer for some pinpoint concealing. Another thing that I tend to be more aware of is under eye concealing. I will opt for more thinner layers to really cover those pesky bits and then go in with a highlighting concealer or a brightening powder to really bring light to the area.

3. Eyebrows and well, eyes: As the red lip, although casual will still be in the center of the spotlight, I keep it simple elsewhere. My eye makeup tends to be a light eyeshadow with a softly defined crease to keep it simple. When I'm opting for the modern, casual red lip, I usually push a darker eyeshadow at the outer lash line to define my eyes. I find a winged liner to be too classic for what I'm going for most times I wear a red lip. I have a coat or two of mascara, but it's simple defining rather than opting for a lashy look. As for eyebrows, things are kept simple with some powder and a gel to keep things in place. Nothing too defined or shaped - just filling in the gaps and keeping things bushy.

4. The actual lip action: Now we're finally getting into the main attraction of the look. Low maintenance is my main requirement when wearing a red lip so I do tend to opt for matte finishes. Rather than applying straight from the bullet, I take the lipstick on a brush to really paint and work the colour into my lips. I just use a MAC 231 (£16.50), which is meant to be an eyeshadow brush but I find it to work perfectly with a lipstick. I'd like to think that I was blessed with quite even lips, so I just tend to work with my natural lip shape. But rather than trying to get the edges crisp, I tend to focus the colour in the middle and slightly fade the colours at the edges. After roughly getting a stain, I then go in with the lipstick straight from the tube. I smooth it over once again with my fingers before taking a tissue to press away the excess colours. Q-tips are definitely a must to clean the edges after I smack my lips together to fully blend the colour together. Don't forget to do the finger sucking trick to make sure there isn't lipstick that'll get onto your teeth - that's never fun. It's a lot of steps when it comes to the actual lip colour application but these steps ensure a stain that's low maintenance and rarely needs touching up.

5. Adding some colour back into the face: I save blush and bronzer to the end of this process as that's when I can more accurately judge just how much colour should be added back into the skin to balance out the whole look. As the lipstick is the center of the look, I opt for safer colours that won't clash with the main attraction. I add just enough to balance out the look, but definitely not letting it overpower the look and make it look too done.

A casual red lip, as all things casual in the makeup world, needs quite a bit of attention and effort. But the end result is definitely worth it. I always feel like I'm almost fashionable when I wear a casual red lip with a grey t-shirt, ripped jeans, and sunglasses. Especially if the sunglasses are completely black. Or in this case, an oversized blouse and a messy braid. Just let me pretend I'm cool and fashionable for a day. 

And as always with face posts, I leave you with an outtake that happens near the end when all my posing mojo has worn out. 

With Love, 
Daphne x
**The Nuxe Reve De Miel is on sale for £6.33 on Escentual (the link provided) for June! For full disclosure, it is an affiliated link but I was not sponsored to mention the link.