Red lipstick is quite possibly the easiest and least expensive accessory a girl can wear for the holidays. Easy to dress up or down, it’s a bold statement that’s inherently festive this time of year, thanks to the color (plus, it only takes a minute to do!). Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to style a striking lip for the holidays, but first, there are a few things to consider.

Skin tone is the biggest factor in choosing the right tone of red. According to the girls at The Beauty Department, all you need to do is find which skin tone you are closest to, then decide if you prefer warm red (orange-based) or cool red (blue/pink-based). Though some may have opinions on which tones look best, it’s ultimately up to you and whether you want the tone to feel harmonious or be more of a bold statement. (If you’re unsure of your skin tone, their guide is incredibly helpful!)

The second factor to consider is budget. Thankfully, it’s easy to find a classic red at every price point, so that’s completely up to you and how important quality is. If you’re trying this look for the first time, consider trying a less expensive product to start to be sure that you like the result. Better yet, swing by a makeup counter at your local department store or a place like Sephora to experiment with the help of a makeup professional.

Lastly, there’s a tiny bit of technique involved that you’ll want to be sure to have down. Here’s a quick rundown:

    • STEP ONE – Moisturize your lips, then wipe off the excess so that the pigment will have something to cling to.
    • STEP TWO – Line your lips, following the natural shape, then fill in your lips with that very same liner. This provides a good base and ensures that the lips retain the most pigment.
    • STEP THREE – Apply lipstick, blot the excess then apply once more. If you’ve wandered out of the lines at all, simply use a Q-Tip to clean things up.

Regardless of the tone you choose and the budget, it’s important to keep the rest of your makeup toned down when you opt for a bold lip. It ensures that the lips are the focus and that you don’t look overdone. Now, for some styling ideas to try while sporting that bright red lip:


(clockwise from top left)

Classic Neutrals – For a not-too fancy gathering, try an all-black base layer, a neutral grey or tan coat, and bold jewels.

Faux Fur & Layers – With chilly temperatures, faux fur is cozy and festive-looking. Layer a vest over a denim jacket or chambray top for a comfortable and stylish look this holiday.

Blazer & Aviators – For everyday style, you can’t beat a button down, blazer and aviators. So simple and classic. It doesn’t get better than that! Equally appropriate for a work meeting and a holiday party.

All Black – You can’t go wrong with monochromatic black. This look has awesome textures, thanks to that faux fur layer, and the simple color palette makes the red lip stand out even more.

Casual Chic – My personal favorite combination, this look is perfect for Christmas parties with friends—with or without the cap. The flannel and denim combination is both warm and comfortable, and the heels, jewels and lip color make it all feel intentional and put-together.

Dressy Black & Gold – For fancy occasions this season, black and glittery gold work every time. That bold necklace is stunning, too! And since the outfit has an overall neutral palette, the red lip still works and isn’t too much.

Top image via Morgan Ashley Photography
Bottom images via Gal Meets Glam, Free People, Metro Mode, Sivan Ayla, J.Crew, Bows & Sequins

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