How To Wear Red Lipstick on Your Wedding Day

It doesn't have to be scary

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I was never a lipstick person. As a teenager learning about makeup, my only exposure to the stuff was when my mom would hand off unflattering (on her at least) shades of twenty-four-hour longwear lip product, which sucked the moisture out of everything it touched and left my perpetually chapped lips splotchy and uneven. Figuring that all lipsticks were probably the same, I devoted myself to a tube of Burt’s Bees and spent the next decade writing myself off as A Person Who Could Not Carry Lip Color. But then I started working for APW, where I occasionally get to hang out with super talented makeup artists, and I soon realized that I’d been missing out. Lipstick is amazing stuff (once you find the right kind, in the right shade. But that’s half the fun). Lipstick provides all the impact of wearing a lot of makeup, without actually having to put on a lot of makeup, which is great for the super femme #lazygirls in the house, like me. Plus it has the added power of making you feel like a badass in under a minute.

But this isn’t a PSA to convert you to wearing lipstick. On the contrary, if you don’t normally wear lipstick in your daily life, let alone red lipstick, your wedding is probably not the time to start. And why would you? You want to look like yourself. But if you do wear lipstick now and then (or want to get bolder with it) and are thinking that might apply to the wedding too, but need a little push in the right direction, then we’ve rounded up some of the Internet’s best tips and inspiration that will put you firmly in the “I got this” category. Because if Solange can do it, so you can you, right?

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1. Seeing Red

It took me a lot of sampling (and returning) products before I found the lipstick I liked the best (currently Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in On Fire Red, available for around $8 at most pharmacies). But I was surprised to find that price didn’t always correlate to quality. After seeing it on a friend, I went out and bought a thirty-dollar Tarte lipstick at Sephora that was supposed to be super moisturizing, but that ended up all over my face when I tried to eat. (Maybe cheeseburgers were a bad idea, but still. I can’t put my life on hold for makeup.) If you don’t want to subject yourself to the hassle of trial and error, both Oh Happy Day and A Cup of Jo conducted lipstick challenges last year that remove any need for in-person testing. See the results of Jordan’s test of forty different lipsticks here (including her top twelve picks) and check out Joanna Goddard’s four-weeks of lipstick here, here, here, and here. The Beauty Department also has great tips for choosing a red that matches your skin tone.

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2. Make It Last All Night

I partly avoided lipstick for so long because it seemed like such high-maintenance makeup. Who wants to wear something that needs to be reapplied every few hours? But I’ve since learned a few tricks that not only help maximize lipstick’s longevity, but that also make it more partner-friendly (and don’t involve the gross twenty-four hour stuff of my childhood). Of course, if you’re worried about lipstick rubbing off on your partner during the ceremony, you can always go bare for the ceremony and add red lipstick for the reception. But if you’ve got your heart set on red lipstick all day and all night, try this technique from The Beauty Department:

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1. First apply a lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick all over your lips.

2. Blot with a tissue

3. Apply a translucent powder all over your lips

4. Repeat the process.

Layering in this way helps lipstick stay on longer (thanks to the lip liner) and prevents it from rubbing off (thanks to the powder.) If all of this sounds like way too much work than it’s worth, you can always forgo lipstick for lip stain, which has the staying power without the effort.

3. The Red Wedding

I think one of the misconceptions about wearing red lipstick at your wedding is that it’s going to look R-E-D. But not all reds are created equal and you won’t know how you look in lipstick until you try. But to give you an idea, I rounded up a smattering of smokin’ hot ladies rocking red lipstick at their weddings and making it look easy:

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1. Photo by Eyes and Hart via A Practical Wedding 2. Elissa R. Photography via A Practical Wedding 3. Randolph Quan via A Practical Wedding 4. Morgan Trinker via Green Wedding Shoes 5. Laura Hotz via Green Wedding Shoes 6. Next Exit Photography via Style Me Pretty 7. Christa Elyce Photography via Bridal Musings 8. Monica Roy via A Practical Wedding 9. Readyluck via Rock ‘N Roll Bride, makeup by Jennifer Tanko (This one’s a styled shoot, but it’s so damn pretty.) 10. Amanda Summerlin via A Practical Wedding 11. Lindsay Docherty Photography via Style Me Pretty 12. Tavistock Avenue Photography via Love My Dress 13. Zachary Hunt via A Practical Wedding 14. Phil Chester via 100 Layer Cake

Have a hair, makeup, or style related question for the apw staff? Leave it in the comments or email team (at) apracticalwedding (dot) com.

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