lady in red

the lover marguerite duras red lipstick

Red lipstick seem counterintuitive in summer when the norm is to gravitate towards all things bronze, gold, and glowing. “Naturally sun-kissed” is the ideal (achieved by way of strategic contour and highlighting) or if you’re more into the first part (essentially, lazy like me) you’ll rely on a good night’s sleep and good ol’ Vitamin D to achieve a similar look.

Enter the red lip.

The key is a bright, blue-based shade, which simultaneously lifts the complexion and gives the illusion of a good tan (and whiter teeth!). A bit of matte bronzer and mascara certainly polishes the look, but really, it’s all too easy to just swipe on color and go. In fact, it’s how I like wearing red best in summertime. Give the lashes a quick curl, then finish up with one of the following:

Rimmel Provocalips 16-Hr. Kiss-Proof Lip Color “Kiss Me You Fool”

You guys—this is seriously incredible. I’m in love with the shade, for starters, but it’s the formula that’s truly the star. Despite liking bold lipsticks, I’m often deterred by how high-maintenance they are; I’m constantly talking, eating, or drinking throughout the day and it’s simply not worth the hassle or the mess. There’s no smudging, zero flaking, and not a sign of wear all throughout my work day. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to remove without persistent exfoliation and coconut oil.

I think I’ve found my holy grail, long-lasting matte lipstick. (Now it’s just a matter of finding a willing partner to test out this “kiss-proof” claim…)

MUFE Rouge Artist Intense “Moulin Rouge (no. 43)”

Yes, I totally bought this for the name. But this shade (and formula) has been a staple in my collection for at least four years now for good reason. It’s not nearly as bright as the Rimmel (which is almost a neon take on the class red), but it’s a vibrant, true red nonetheless. I love this shade for days when my skin’s slightly paler than my usual summer color, or for a dressy night out.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil “Cruella”

When it comes to matte lipsticks, NARS’ formulas easily take the cake as one of the best on the market. “Cruella” is slightly deeper in tone, making it the ideal red for slightly more conservative offices.

Though this one looks great applied full-on, I actually prefer this lightly blended onto the lips, sans lip liner. It gives a definitive but soft red that looks as if it’s been worn in (well).

Armour Beauty “Barracuda”

It’s no secret I adore Armour Beauty. I typically don’t go for glosses these days, but I make the exception for Armour (and MUFE’s longwear line): these formulas are highly pigmented, long-lasted, and just feel good on the lips. “Barracuda” is no exception: it’s a bright, blue-toned red for the bold and brave.

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