The Secret To Feeling Super Confident In Red Lipstick

Sure, wearing red lipstick seems simple. You're technically just swiping it on and correcting any mistakes with a cotton swab or your finger, right? So why is it that, even with the perfect application, it seems to look so much better on everyone else? It turns out, those regularly rocking red aren't reaching for some secret formula — although M.A.C.'s Ruby Woo is pretty magical on any complexion — they're simply pairing confidence with subtle makeup nuances that complement a striking pop of color.

From a cat-eye that tempers a strong matte red to a dewy highlight that makes glossy crimson feel more wearable, there are plenty of ways to boost your confidence when wearing the color. To help, we've rounded up some of our favorite looks on Instagram, then broken them down, ahead. Check out all the ways that you can make red lipstick work for you, ahead.


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Red lipstick can feel too heavy under bright lights or during the warmer months, but dabbing highlighter on your cheekbones can add a fresh and wearable effect.

Finish by patting a little extra highlighter above your Cupid's bow, which will make your lips look more defined and provides a cohesive feeling.
A bold lip can seem out of whack when the rest of the face is soft, so playing up your brows and lashes can provide balance.

Want to go bold? Channel the monochromatic trend by reaching for a pink or terracotta shadow, then sculpt your cheeks in a softer shade in the same family.
When it comes to a red lip, you could never go wrong with a sharp cat-eye. It may seem like it'll be too much, but they actually balance each other out.
A metallic-meets-smoky eye delivers glamour while beautifully complementing your favorite red lipstick.
At the 2020 Golden Globes, Kat Graham proved that — if done right — a contrasting color, like purple, can work with a bright red lip. The secret here is precise application and total confidence.
A colorful waterline won't draw too much attention away from your lips, but still delivers major impact.
We're feeling the sweetheart vibes with this pink and red combo.
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