Red, Redder, ReddestJan 19, 2015 08:00AM ● By Lindsey Anne Baker
“What lip color are you wearing?” I asked, as one would.
“NARS Cruella,” she said.
This was how I met NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. Cruella is one of its most popular variations.
“It lasts through anything but soup,” says Anthony Batin, a Beauty Studio captain at Sephora in Village Pointe, where Cruella goes for $25.
Its lasting power is what makes it No. 1 on our list of the five best red lip colors for Valentine’s Day. Whether you need a polished powerhouse of a shade to get you through a romantic dinner or a lighter stain for a casual soiree with friends, we’ve got a shade and formula to get you through every event of the season.
- NARS Cruella Velvet Matte: Known for its lasting power, NARS Cruella Velvet Matte “Lasts through anything but soup,” says Anthony Batin, a Beauty Studio captain at Sephora in Village Pointe.
- Make Up For Ever, Rouge Artist Intense in color 43, $20: Also known as Moulin Rouge, Make Up For Ever’s 43 is a rich red with blue undertones that make it perfect for cooler skin types. It’s not for the faint of heart—this one requires a liner and a bit of careful application, but it’s a beautiful choice for an after-work cocktail party.
- Hourglass, Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Icon, $30: When I asked Batin about his top red-lip picks, this was tops on his list. “It’s the perfect red for every skin tone,” Batin says. “It’s not too orangey and not too blue.” It’s got a creamy, paraben- and sulfate-free formula, too.
- Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro, $22: For those like Omaha mom-on-the-go Augusta Wester, who says she’s a little red-shy, a lip gloss or stain formula is a festive, easy-application option. She’s a fan of Sephora’s own Rouge Infusion Lip Stain in Red Essence ($14). Batin chose this Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro, an unexpected orangey-red, as a funky alternative. Both feature an easy-use wand and neither requires liner.
- Kat Von D, Studdedkiss Lipstick in Hellbent, $21: Another long-wearing matte red—the claim is 10 hours—this rock ‘n’ roll-ready pick of Batin’s is another intense choice in a classic red shade.
Essential Red Prep StepsBatin recommends anyone prep for party-red lipstick by first exfoliating and hydrating lips, as matte lipsticks can be drying. Thicker formulas like Make Up For Ever, Hourglass and Kat Von D require a nude lip liner to prevent bleeding and feathering, as well as a good lip brush, which can help evenly deposit color onto lips’ not-always-so-even surface. Batin said a hydrating concealer can touch up any dry areas around the lips, and when the night is over, Sephora’s new oil-in-gel lipstick remover ($9.50) lets ladies wipe color off with minimal rubbing and staining, plus a bit of moisturizing power—perfect for brunch-ready lips the next morning.