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Vibrant Red Lips

Red lipstick is always a good idea, no matter what the season. But it goes with holiday the way mistletoe does with makeouts. “I think red lipstick is probably the most iconic piece of makeup that exists,” says makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, founder of Kjaer Weis, who has just launched an entire collection dedicated to red lipstick. “It has power in it, but it’s also the color of love and a way of embracing one’s femininity.” And lest you be intimidated by the idea of a crimson pout, experts say don’t be. “Red lips are the easiest way to bump up the specialness in your makeup,” says Marc Reagan, director of global education, artistry and events at Hourglass. “They elevate the overall look.”

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What the Pros Know

It’s easier than you think. According to Kate Synnott, beauty creative director at Róen, doing a red lip is “definitely easier than doing a smoky eye.” She suggests pairing cream highlighter with your scarlet lipstick, so “you have this beautiful, glowy skin and then this statement lip.”

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Go it alone, at first. The quickest way to confirm that you’ve found the right red for you is to test it on a bare face. “You shouldn’t need to build a full face of makeup around your red lip,” Synnott says. “It should look good with very little makeup.”

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Play matchmaker. Lining and filling your lips with pencil will ensure your lipcolor lasts (and lasts). And in response to the age-old question of whether your lip pencil should match your natural lip color or your lipstick, Kjaer Weis is confident: “To your lipstick.”

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It’s ok to say no. “If red doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you, and that’s totally fine,” Reagan says. “My question is always, ‘Are you really interested in a red lip for yourself or is it just because other people are wearing it?’ That’s the most important thing to ask.”