How to Rock Red Lips

With the holiday seasons approaching, everyone wants to know how to rock the red lip. However, many people don’t feel comfortable wearing them. Here, we have all our best tips and tricks to show you how to wear red lips and look simply striking for the holidays.  We are also going to give you two looks for your eyes that will perfectly match those hot, red lips and make you the center of all your holiday gatherings.


Eyes #1:

Eyes #2:


Profile photo of Marlena

CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


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YAAAY!! LOVE IT! dark hair + red lips + Marlena= HOT!!! lol…
sn: im NW45, n i wanna do a red lip but i find that its just BAM! like in ur face (my lips r HUGE, btw) n i end up feeling self conscious the WHOLE time… so what color red shud i wear? i wanna do a look like this for Christmas…

Ruby Woo by MAC looks awesome on woman of color. I’m NC50 and love the way it looks on me. My aunt is nw45 and it looks better on her. I would use a lip liner with it though. I use burgundy, but currant (a purplish brown) and brown looks great with it too. Just remeber to

Hi Ladies,

I use N9 studio fix powder and I love Ruby Woo!!

Sorry- I posted this under the wrong comment earlier.

Hey Girl!!! AMAZING!!!! LOVE IT!!!! So happy to be one of the first people to comment!!!

You look amazing!!! Keep it up girl!!
Question: What lipliner brands would you say are the best??? Tried Urban decay ones but too creamy… What would you suggest???

Hi Marlena! :)
Thank you for this video. This look is absolutely gorgeous on you!! And might I say that your hair looks very sleek and gorgeous as well.
Hope you are staying happy and healthy!!
Thank you for sharing all you wisdom and being such a positive influence- you brighten my day with your videos.
God Bless,

Love that your putting up so many videos right now. Thank you so so much. I’m so gonna try these looks:)

I Love this look, you look amazing!! I’m Hispanic and my sky is tan, I don’t want red cool lipstick I should wear, I tried some many red lipstick but… I don’t like the way it look.. ?please help me

Thank you..


i’m not Marlene, but my godmother is Hispanic, and i grew up at her house all the time. when she did red, she went brick reds – reds with a small bit of “orange”, or otherwise known as “warm reds”. for years, i wondered why those colors looked horrid on me – i’m sooooo pale i almost have blue undertones in my skin. lol. so i can’t wear them anymore – but they should look WONDERFUL on you!

Hi Marlena,
Love the videos!!! Do you have some Mac alternate eyeshadow colors for the looks you used today? Several of them are discontinued and the look is so pretty, I really want to try it.

Soo pretty!! Quick question! I use the Too Faced Primed and Poreless primer, which I LOVE, to prime my face, but can I use that to prime my lids for eyeshadows as well? Hope to hear from you! Keep up the tuts! You’re looking great girl!!

Thank you! I ahev just bought a new makeup kit from Bare Escentuals at qvc and it had simular colors in it just like the ones you used and now i know how to put them on with out it looking to crazy, lol, Thank you so much Marlena! :)

hey marlena! i know that you are a very busy lady and this website is only one of your many priorities, but if possible i would love it if you did the red colors to match specific skin tones and have an article on your favorite mac eyeshadow colors as promised. Love your videos and especially your helpful website!!!!

YAY!!! I love the video.. I’ve been wanting to try red lips for away but never knew how to go about it..

Thank You


ps.. You look real beautiful… I really admire you and love this site…

MAKE * UP * GEEKS * RULE!!!!!!

o my dear!!!that I was looking and night looks! both are great ! I love red lipstic:)
thx for such a great inspiration!
Greetings from Poland XD

I hope you have wonderfull weekend too:)

Hi Marlena, I LOVE this look! Its absolutely gorgeous, and so are you!!
I was wondering what shade of red lipstick would look best on a porcelain skinned-auburn haired girl?
So many people have told me that I cant wear red lipsticks and that I should avoid the colour completely, but I love red and its disappointing not to be able to find a shade for me!
I’ve heard about going for “blue” reds and “orange” reds, but that confuses me more! Sadly, I have no idea how to see if a red has a “blue” in it or not!
Are there any shades or brands you could recommend?

ha! same boat as you :)

here is the best advice i can give – first, look at the veins on your inner arm/wrist. do they look more blue or green?
if more blue, look for “cool’/blue
if green, look for “warm”/orange

how to tell if a red is blue/orange – this can be harder. to be honest, a NEUTRAL red is best, but REALLY hard to find. so, lacking that – at WalMart, they had a display of lipsticks divided into warm/cool colors [i THINK it was Revlon, but i’m not positive – but it IS there]
if you can’t find it [or hate walmart] try a place where you can swatch it. blend lipsticks out VERY light – if it turns pink, it has a blue base – if it turns orange/peach, it has an orange base.

but i tell you true – we CAN wear red lipstick! i do it all the time. good luck!

You look beautiful Marlena! Red lips are definitely your thing. :)
Quick question: When I wear lipstick, it tends to smear on to my teeth. ( Embarrassing i know)
What can I do to prevent this? Thanks in advance.

Running your tongue along your teeth with your lips closed takes care of the lipstick on your teeth, but not the source of the problem. To take care of that, put your index finger in your mouth and then pull it out. When you pull it out, you should see some color on it that came from the inside of your mouth. That usually removes it and you should be good to go!

marlena!!!! i have a huge lips are super small and they look smaller with dark lipstick, is there any option for small lips???

What I find works for me is to take slighty shiny or sparkly colors (Estee Lauder’s Fig, Sunstone, and Hot Chili are some good ones, but whatever you think would look best on you) look great.
Also, LINING IS A MUST! But no matter how small you lips are, never go out of the line, but you probably know that.
If you feel like this doesn’t work, take a satin gloss and put it on just the center of you bottom lip — really helps!
I wear red lips frequently and find that these work great for me, hope it helps!

p.s. Hot Chili is more of a summery color but whatever. :)

Awesome tutorial. Your tutorials make my day! I have learned so much from you!
Do you have any recommendations on how to decrease the appearance of deep lip creases? Mine have deepened over the years (and I’m not even 30), and it is very frustrating wearing lipstick as this accentuates the creases. I usually wear gloss as it does not make the creases as noticable. I also try to remain hydrated, but no success! Any recommendations are welcomed!

Wow, as I said earlier – you look stunning with red lips. This is absolutely your lip color!! And your hair looks fantastic! You look more beautiful with every new day ;)
Thanks for the tutorial, I also had hard times finding the right lip color for me. I think it will help a lot of us, MUGs out there :)

hi im a makeup artist from israel. i love love love your tutorials and your sit and stor and you ofcourse!!! can you help me to mach a foundetino couler from makeup for ever. i ame the couler Barcelona in nars. my english is not so good i hopp you understood me and can help, have a very happy hollyday
thanks yafit

I love the the day look! You look fabulous! I don’t have the color: Naked Mac Pigment, can I use Naked Launch Mac eyeshadow for the shimmer effect instead? If not, what other shadow do you recommed that is equivalent to Naked pigment?


hi marlena.. just a question. don’t know if it will be an obvious question or not. but i seriously gotta seek your advice… err.. do you think dark skin tone can pull off with red lips? i have an asian dark skin color, if that makes any sense lol so yeah, can i pull off with red lipstick? if yes, what kind of red should i go for? i’ve always love to wear red lipstick, but im afraid :( afraid it’ll look ugly on me :( please respond :)

Lovely. I was just thinking about how I should do this for the company Christmas party. Then, I realized I wanted to wear teal that night, and that wouldn’t work together. Now, I’m conflicted.

I mentioned before that red lips was my signature 90s look, but boy did I have it wrong. This is fool proof. I wanted to know if you did contouring for this video because thats going to be key for me (and something I knew nothing about back then). And also, did you use a lighter color to fill in your brows because they look defined but much softer. Your skin looks better than ever, stick to your skincare regimen because clearly it worked!

Hi Marlena!

This was one of the best tutorials you’ve ever posted here. I absolutely love those looks and I would definitely use them.
Sometimes I feel a bit reticent cause my hair’s light. I’m not blonde but I’m a light brunette/dark blonde and I’m not sure if red lips suit me that well, but I like that a lot!

Good job! :)

Thanks for posting this video Marlena! The looks are awesome and so easy to do! You look smokin hot! You definitely have inspired me to go buy some red lippie. Thanks again :)

Hi Marlena! Thank you very much for makeing this look! It looks very pretty, i think i’m going to try it tomorrow (: You look very beautiful :)

Hi I wanted to reply to this but I accidentally posted elsewhere. oops!

I am NC42 aswell.
I really like MUFE lipsticks. The quality is so good, strongly pigmented, very creamy and moisturizing. I find that I don’t even need lipliner because of the great coverage and the shape of the lipstick head (a semi circle, not a point..if that makes sense). It makes it easy to get a strong defined shape along the line of your lips.

I have medium dark skin, with a golden undertone and use no. 44 MUFE lipstick. I LOVE it. Its not long-lasting, technically. Having said that, I barely touch up after eating and drinking when wearing this lipstick.

Right now, MUFE has this lipstick shade finder at sephora (on the website as well) that can help you pin point your perfect red. They narrow it down using your skin undertone and hair colour.

I have used many lipsticks out there, and really, have found no comparison to the MUFE. Love their products.

I know this is not the brands you wanted, but it honestly it the best that I have found. Hope this helps!

Hi Marlena ~
how do u keep red lipsticks from running outside the lipline? I’ve worn reds for years and as I’ve gotton older the reds that i wear have started to run. Any tips that you have are appreciated. BTW I love ur tutorials…u are awesome!

Goddess Marlena … Seriously red hot sizzling tonight!

Goddess is looking KFC finger licking good as she saves the best for last …… red lipstick and a tease of black lace to send us Geeks into a Marlitastic drooooooooooooooooooooool xxxx

if i had to chose id go for the night time after dark look for our Goddess of the LASH to wear as me heart as just hit the 200 beats per min mark …

would be soooooo nice to get them lipsticks tested Godddess with the kissing test and what i give for it to br me :-) :-) ……. id couple that lovely black lace top with a 3 quarter length chiffon over satin pencil skirt coupled with a matching lipstick red waist clincher belt / evening bag / red high heels and sexy black stockings!!!! … and Mistress “M” as arrived! :-)


Hi Marlena, these looks are gorgeous and can not wait to try them out! Unfortunately, I don’t have “Symmetry”, “Ground Brown” or “Mega Rich”. I think they are discontinued? What is the next best MAC substitutes for these colours? Would love to hear from you. Best wishes from Adelaide, Australia xx

This is great! Can’t wait for your reviews of the red lipsticks. Went to the store last night but decided to wait to here what you had to say!!

I love this website I,ve passed it on to my teenage daughter and co workers love the red lips with the eyes thank you for your tips

I am having the same problem as Georgie. Some of these eye shadow colors are discontinued. Any suggestions for dupes by MAC or NYX?

pleeeez pleeez pleeeez can U make a video for(( INGLOT)) make up products.!!

LOVE UR work..

Hey Marlena,
It’s another hello from me in Australia again… I finally got the products from the MUG store and am so super excited about them getting here In perfect condition (there were no breakages..yay!!). This look is stunning on you – I love it!
Just wondering if you have heard of Napoleon Perdis and his products?? I would be interested to see you do a tutorial using them… he is pretty popular here in Australia and lots of ladies love his stuff where I live and I have alot of clients love the fact that I use his products..
I guess I wanna know what you think about them???
Thanks again for another inspiring look – it’s perfect for the christmas season! :-)

Hi, Marlena! Thanks for the next great video. I wanted to ask you a question about the powdered pigments. How do you apply them- do you water the brush before that or you use them dry. What would u advise me?

Hi :-)
Good see your looking very well :-)
I’m glad you did a turorial on red lips! I used to have dark hair before (dark brown almost black) which went with a number of looks with makeup. I’ve recently got my hair colourd dark deep red (similar to Sharon Ozbourne & Cheryl Cole) & I’m woried that red lips maybe abit too much with my hair colour? What are your thoughts on this? Do you think I shud stick to a warm coloured lip gloss that is not very strong? Can you please do a swatch review/ tutorial on different types of red lipstick shades that will go with various skin tones & hair colours? I am of olive skin tone.
I look forward to hearng from you soon :-)
Take care xxxx

Can you share with us alternatives to Symmetry and Ground brown? I don’t believe you can get those anymore… Something with the same pigment as well as texture and color? Thank you!!

Hello Marlena =)

Can you please give me a MAC alternative for the Gel Liner “Ecstasy” ??????????

I try so many lipstick and feel gear with them, but I love the color, I use to use it alot years ago but since I have being using nude color all this time, can’t be familiar with the color, I just can’t it hard to get the right color, but love the way they look on you.


you look gorgeous as always! love the look! can you tell me where you got the lace top from and what hot pink brush you used in this tutorial?? i hope to hear from you :)

hi marlena you look great with red lips! i want to ask you how do you tan? i hope you can help me with that

Hello Marlena

Wonderful make up for this holidays
just love the look :)

I wonder if you can tell me how should i make my make up
for my birthday ..!! i really need your help cuz my birthday is
next week

thank you

and have a HAPPY HOLIDAYS:)

Awesome video!!! I want to order that gel liner but you guys are out, noooo. Lol, I can be a little dramatic. When will you have more in stock?

Hi marlena,
Love both of these looks!! Quick question, besides the naked pigment what others do you recommend?

Please can you tell us what pink brush you used under the eye. I really would like one for under the eye and can’t seem to find what I am looking for. Mac 219 may be similar?


Marlene I think that you have most def. achieved the ULTIMATE sexy red lips look! I’ve been wearing red lipstick since ’03 and it has always been my fav. color but the only trouble was that I was always too scared to do my eyes but now with your tutorial I will now be able to do the whole sultry look now. Yay!

But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you can list some dupes for the eye shadows I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks again! :)

Hi Marlena

Thanks for your videos. I look forward to watching these and am loving ur dark hair. I’m a brunette too! I’ll have to try this look. I’m a NC25 and will have to try this revlon matte red.

Thanks and have a great day.
Chinch :)

Thank you for this look, I’m wearing a red dress tomorrow to a day time Christmas party and the first look will be perfect. It so timely, as I did not know what I was going to do. Thank you for sharing all this great info. All the best, and happy holidays!

Hello Marlena, you soo sweet, I would like to thank you for every thing you teach us about the makeup I really improved in doing my eyes makeup and the foundation actually every thing regarding the makeup. You look so great and attractive and I liked the black hair color on you. wish you all the best

I really like MUFE lipsticks. The quality is so good, strongly pigmented, very creamy and moisturizing. I find that I don’t even need lipliner because of the great coverage and the shape of the lipstick head (a semi circle, not a point..if that makes sense). It makes it easy to get a strong defined shape along the line of your lips.

I have medium dark skin, with a golden undertone and use no. 44 MUFE lipstick. I LOVE it. Its not long-lasting, technically. Having said that, I barely touch up after eating and drinking when wearing this lipstick.

Right now, MUFE has this lipstick shade finder at sephora (on the website as well) that can help you pin point your perfect red. They narrow it down using your skin undertone and hair colour.

I have used many lipsticks out there, and really, have found no comparison to the MUFE. Love their products.

Hope this helps!

Hi. I am new to Makeup Geek website. I have been watching the you tube videos for the past few months and I love watching Marlena share your talent and knowledge about makeup and skin care. I have been having a hard time locating the Monistat Chafing Powder Gel in any drug store. CVS has been taken over by Walgreens around here. I know the internet has some websites to purchase it but I was just hoping to find a local store if possible. Any ideas? I live in Ohio.

Aveda’s Poppy is an ammmaaaazing red!! Try it sometime :)
BTW, Marlena, the end of that video is soo funny! I actually rewinded it a couple of times :D
You should wear red lips more often, it suits you very well!

Hi Marlena! I was wondering what shade you were in MAC. You seem to be around my skintone so I could use that as a guide on what colors my work well for me!