Nothing says party make-up more than a bold, statement lip.
A bright lip is much easier to do yourself than, say, a smokey eye, which tends to involve complicated techniques and a heap of different tools. Still though, some people are hesitant to embrace a red lip on a night out because they feel it's too high maintenance. But with a quality formula and the right preparation, that's not the case.
Firstly, prep your lips with a balm about 20 minutes before applying your lip colour. That's long enough for the product to work, just make sure to remove any excess before applying colour. You want your lips to be moisturised but not slippy.
When I wear a bold lip colour, I really realise the benefits of a liner to bolster its staying power. You tend to get a better colour pay-off applying the lipstick directly to the lip, however, you get more precision using a brush. Whatever works for you. Post lipstick application, I like to apply concealer around the area to really correct and neaten the shape. It also works to further prevent bleeding. As for shades, if you have thin lips, steer clear of dark berry colours, and opt instead for a bright red like Chanel's Rouge Allure in La Flamboyante or Nars' Audacious in Carmen - both gorgeous shades in luxurious formulas.
Nars' Carmen is one of 40 shades in the range (yes, really!), so if the colour isn't for you, there is definitely one that is. Tom Ford's Ruby Rush is a cooler shade of red, therefore, tends to look better on fair-skinned women. For a soft red, something that might work for a daytime Christmas party, try MAC's Mineralize Rick Lipstick in So Good. It's pretty and really does work to liven up the complexion.
It was with great trepidation that I approached Estée Lauder's Color Envy in Insolent Plum. Red is as bold as I had previously worn, but fancied a change. I made sure there was very little else going on with my face, just a clean, concealed complexion, light contouring, and black mascara.
The result? Probably more compliments than I have ever received about my make-up. The addition of hyaluronic acid makes the lipstick non-drying and yet it is so long-wearing. By gosh did it last.
Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Insolent Plum, €29
Estée Lauder, available in department stores nationwide. A vivid plum colour that is sure to get you noticed this party season.
Audacious Lipstick in Carmen, €30
Nars, available at Brown Thomas stores nationwide. The pigment of this lipstick is so strong and rich that a single stroke is all that's required to create a power pout.
Rouge Allure in La Flamboyante, €32
Chanel, available in selected department stores nationwide. An intense but flattering red that, despite the glossy finish, boasts serious staying power, certain to serve you well during the Christmas season.
Mineralize Rich Lipstick in So Good, €26.50
MAC, available at Brown Thomas and BT2 stores nationwide. A soft pinkish red that won't shock but will flatter. It has a buildable formula, making it the perfect day-to-night lippie.
Lip Color in Ruby Rush, €47
Tom Ford, available at Brown Thomas Dublin. Because every woman needs a bit of Tom Ford in her life, and this is his newest, coolest shade of red. It's matte but still wonderfully luxurious.
Before we pull ourselves together and get our party hats on, let's take a moment of calm. Let's take things down a notch before ramping up the sparkle and shine. Let's take the cosmetic equivalent of a nice deep breath, before taking the plunge into party season. Put aside all thoughts of shimmer, gloss and glimmer, and think nude, near naked and fresh faced.
You may be married, single, coupled up or simply on the lookout for your next 'winter' girlfriend or boyfriend, but one thing is a given - the changing climes of late are playing havoc with your perfect pout and as a consequence, your love life.