How to create the perfect scarlet lip

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By Hannah Martin, Bobbi Brown PRO Artist

She assisted the bridal party on their make-up at the Royal wedding, as well as creating Zara Phillips’ look for her big day. A regular backstage at New York Fashion Week, and a seasoned TV spokesperson ( this Friday you can catch her on ITV’s Lorraine talking about the perfect Christmas party look) there isn't a lot Bobbi Brown's Pro Artist, Hannah Martin doesn't know about beauty. We asked her to share her ten tips on making sure your pout is primed for any chance Mistletoe encounters.

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1. Fill the lips with liner

Before applying red lipstick, fill in your lips with liner of the same colour and ensure your lip is completely stained. It is the dryness of the liner that helps keep your lipstick in place, balm will only make it slide. And don't worry about it looking dry, the lipstick itself, will keep the finish fresh.

2. Everyone can wear red

All women suit red lipstick, it is just a matter of confidence. In our Scotch on the Rocks collection we have a Sultry Red and also a Bordeaux which are two great shades for Christmas but no matter what you are wearing or doing, a slick of red instantly makes you look pulled together. As a very basic guide, our Sultry red would suit fairer skins, while the Bordeaux would suit deeper colourings and brunettes but even as I say this I can hear Bobbi advising: ‘anyone can wear it’. Our philosophy is more about options not rules. The truth is if you love it, you can wear it.

3. Know when to blot

Women think blotting is an old wives tale but it does actually work. Separate a two-ply tissue and hold it very gently over the lipstick and with a powder brush stipple through with face powder to seal the surface of the lipstick and then do a second coat on top.

4. Gloss isn't for every occasion

As fun as gloss is, if making your lipstick long-wearing is your priority, steer clear. If you are afraid of block colour, try a red or berry gloss that will give the illusion of intensity and impact without looking too hard or severe.

5. A pink-tone will counter yellow teeth

Lots of women worry that red lipstick makes their teeth look yellow - my advice would be to wear it and try it, and work out if it really does. If pillar box red is too bright something with pink will warm it up and make it softer.

6. Test it on your fingertips

To choose the right shade, a great quick test is to apply four different reds to your fingertips. Hold your fingernail up to your lip in turn and it is amazing how your eye will jump automatically to the colour that suits you. Then just go with your gut instinct. Don’t let a make-up consultant show you on the back of your hand. A good make-up artist should invite you to sit down and spray the lipstick with alcohol and wipe away any nasties so you can test it properly.

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7. Thin can be beautiful

Women often worry a bright lipstick will draw attention to narrow lips and make them appear even thinner. It is true any deep tone will make your lips recede but it still looks super glam, just look at Courtney Cox (pre filler days) she looked beautiful with a slim lip and deep colour.

8. Use balm wisely

Another tip to ensure your lipstick doesn’t bleed and to keep it looking as fresh and full as possible is as you do your skincare, apply a little balm then gently buff it off to remove it before you apply your lipstick. Remember to pat very gently to avoid making around your lips look red.

9. Approach long-wear lipsticks with caution

Many mature women are fixated by long-wear lipstick. Our Creamy Matt 8-hour lip colour work (£19.50) well but it is also partly down to how you wear it - not licking your lips, eating and drinking really carefully and not touching your lips will all make your lipstick last longer. There are some lipsticks that claim to last for 12 hours but I urge women to be cautious purely because with long-wear the nature of the lipstick can compromise the appearance of the lips.

10. And finally, touch up at will

It is ok to touch up your lipstick in public, even the Queen whipped her lipstick out at the Commonwealth Games for a quick application, admittedly she can do it without even a mirror, but if it is acceptable for her Highness...

Hannah's picks:

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By Hannah Martin