Jane Houle

I have admitted in prior articles that I am lazy when it comes to my own makeup, but don’t hold that against me! It doesn’t mean I don’t want to look pulled together.

Here I’ll show you my recommended method for looking like you spent way more time primping than you actually did (using my gorgeous BFF as the model!) by perking up your face in seconds flat with a bright, matte lip color. Don’t let the eyecatching color scare you — it’s not intimidating to apply at all!

I always prep with my go-to quickie makeup routine first. Oh, what’s that, you say? Get the tutorial here.

Step One: Smooth Your Canvas
Exfoliate your lips using lip balm and a tissue. Glob on the balm, smile to pull your lips taut, wrap a tissue around your index finger and rub vigorously to scrub off the dead, flaky skin.

Step Two: Conceal Redness Around Your Mouth
This is an important but oft-neglected step. Vibrant colors always look sharper and more polished when the area around them is perfected. Use a bit of foundation or concealer around the outer edges of your lips to hide any redness or discolorations.

Step Three: Color
Apply a bright, matte lip color to the center of your lips, then press and roll your lips to smoosh the color to the outer edges of your mouth. I love Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square for every single skintone — it’s simply the perfect color!

Step Four: Blend
Use a dry, clean eyeshadow brush to blur and soften the outer edges of the bright color until it blends out to your skintone.

Do you have any favorite red matte lipstick colors? Do tell! Mwah!