Friday Post: Kay Montano’s Daytime Red Lip

A Red Lip For Winter

There’s something about a red lip in the daytime. While I’d rarely wear red in the evening, a quick whip of scarlet on a Saturday afternoon is a non sequitur of a make-up gesture that I really love – a little bit unnecessary, and remarkably cheering when you’re grubbing around in jeans and a jumper. Another thing: I like red best with a bare face, and if it slides off and leaves me entirely make-up free (as mine always does, eventually) it’s not such a big deal during the day.

Imagine my surprise then, when I found I’d been far from acing one of my favourite looks for a looong time now. Especially as I’ve written about it so very often, usually along the lines of matte being far fresher, rolling on from the bullet, pressing in with a finger etc, etc. Wrong, all wrong, said make-up artist Kay Montano at the Chanel press day last week. ‘But that’s what makes it modern’, I protested. ‘Modern changes, that’s the point,’ she replied. And so this is Kay’s all-new guide to the effortless red lip…

Daniel Sandler Waterbase

Complexion Prep: I shamefully wear mine with nothing more than moisturiser, but if you’re making bold moves with your make-up you must create a face that can take it, says Kay. ‘Use foundation where it’s needed and not where it’s not – intelligent coverage means never hiding anything unless you have to. But most importantly, focus on the area that will be carrying the colour and think about balance. If you’re doing a dark eye, for example, you take away any natural darkness from the eye area first. If you’re doing a red lip, you knock out the redness around it.’ Which means colour-correcting around your nose and mouth with a yellow-toned concealer, try Daniel Sandler Waterbase Foundation With Concealer (£25).

Bourjois Sweet Kiss Les Rouges

The Main Event: ‘Right now, anyone wearing lipstick well is wearing it properly’ says Kay, citing the full coverage and precision-application of Florence Welch, Kate Nash et al. So use a brush, line before filling in, and keep it low on pearl but high on shine. ‘The freshest-looking reds have very little sparkle but lots of moisture…this is lipstick for the gloss generation.’ I left Chanel HQ with Rouge Allure in Lover (£22.50), which I love for being super-rich but still looking crisp and bright (it’s usually the reds with orange undertones that walk that tightrope best). Similarly sheeny are Bourjois Sweet Kiss Les Rouge in Rouge Fashion (second from the left, £7.99) and Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Moment (£18).

Les Tissages De Chanel in Tweed Fuchsia

Balance It Out: While red lips can accentuate any pinkness around your nose and mouth they can strip the colour from your cheeks at the same time – go figure. Anyhow, this needs putting back with blush or you’ll look pale and lifeless, says Kay, who recommends the super-charged raspberry tones of Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect in Tweed Fuchsia (£31) – it looks far sheerer when it hits the skin but still provides the requisite punch. Peach works well on warmer skintones, continues Kay – I love the apricot glow I’ve been getting from By Terry Terrybly Blush in Platonic Coral this week, but at whopping £50 you might want to sub in something bright-but-still-pretty, such as MAC Powder Blush in Peachy Keen or Springsheen, (£16.50).

Dior Powder Mono Eyeshadow in Nude Luminescence

Finish It Off: No matter what the catwalk says about bare lashes being the last word in modernity you do need mascara or you’ll be nothing more than a mouth, says Kay. ‘A few thin layers always look prettier than one or two thick ones so don’t choose a hugely fattening formula – these often clump a few lashes at a time together and can look quite ugly.’ Kay’s favourite? Chanel Inimitable Intense, (£21.50) ‘squiggled’ down the lash from root to tip. Tapping pearl, oyster or nude tones (eyeshadow or highlighter, says Kay) somewhere around the eye can finish off the look without looking too ‘done’ – try it in the inside corners, on the top parts of the cheekbones or on the lids themselves (I’m extremely fond of Top Shop Skin Glow in Light, £10, and Dior Powder Mono Eyeshadow in Nude Luminescence, £19.50).

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