girl with red lip lollipop
photo: iStock

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! It's 24 hours dedicated to love, admiration, and in our case, a bold red lip. On a day like this one, when we dare to step out with a striking red lip, therein lies one major issue: getting it to withstand fancy dinners, innumerable cocktails, and those inevitable smooches. And though I can only relate to two out of those three things (just guess), I can still appreciate some professional guidance on how to make lipstick look great and stay in place

Enter Dionne Wynn, a celebrity makeup artist who might as well have a PhD in the art of red lipstick. Her expertise has kept lipsticks on through hours-long photo shoots, movie sets, and the most exclusive awards season parties. I sat down with her for a crash course on red lips right in time for this lovers' holiday. 

So whether you're showing yourself, your gal pals, or your bae some extra affection today, this is how to make sure that your lip never falters. 

With over 20 years of experience, Dionne Wynn has become one of the most recognized makeup artists in the industry. Her extensive experience in television and movie glamour has made her a pro at all-day wear. 

Her celebrity clientele includes Tracee Ellis Ross, Idris Elba, and most recently, Tiffany Haddish, to name just a few. After years of creating some of my favorite on-screen looks, the Atlanta native has mastered all the tricks to making lipstick stay on all day long. 

So who better to talk to than her about keeping our red lip game strong right in time for Valentine's Day?

There's no better time to flex those makeup skills than on a day when love is in the air and red lips are on full display. Don't put your Valentine through the trouble of having to escape to wipe away your kiss mark; that's so last year. 

Wynn spilled all the deets in an exclusive with Revelist about how to make red lips extra kissable and what to look for in the pursuit of a perfect red lip.

glittery red lips stock image
photo: iStock

If you're headed out on V-Day, or just want to brush up on your lipstick game for the future, this is how to keep your color in place, straight from the pros. 

First, it's important to know how to pick your ultimate red lipstick.

Finding the right red for you is serious business, especially if you want it to withstand the elements of the day and night while simultaneously keeping your lips hydrated. 

"When picking the perfect red lipstick you wanna consider a few things, especially for Valentine's Day: moisture, wearability, and kissability," Wynn said. All things considered, she said you'll have both a cocktail- and smooch-proof pout.

Keeping your lipstick in place surprisingly requires the same magical product that we use to keep our foundation in place: setting powder.

woman with dripping red lipstick
photo: iStock

The trick is simple: "Apply the lipstick as you would, then separate a Kleenex. Hold the Kleenex on your lips, take a puff with translucent powder, and press it on top of your lips," she advised. "Remove [the tissue] and reapply lipstick again." 

Do this, and Wynn says you'll make your already long-wear lipstick last even longer. Setting powders like these are perfect for keeping your lipstick in place. She also suggests Make Up For Ever's Aquaseal to ensure that your red lip will stay on through any party or romantic evening. 

Shop the story below: 


Make Up For Ever Aqua Seal ($21, Sephora)

Aqua Seal instantly converts your favorite makeup products into waterproof formulas. Its lightweight, liquid texture intensifies pigments and shimmer for a dramatic, long-lasting result. 

Marc Jacobs Beauty Finish-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder ($44, Sephora)

A creamy, loose setting powder with five forms of coconut and cocoa butter sets makeup with a soft matte finish for up to eight hours. That lipstick won't be going anywhere.

NYX SFX Setting Powder ($10, Target)

photo: NYX

This loose setting powder enhances the wear of any lipstick. You can also dust this versatile and velvety soft formula over your lips for a comfortable matte finish. It's both lightweight and totally translucent.

And if you're on the search for some already non-transferable reds to add to your collection, these are Wynn's personal favorites. 

red lipstick swatch stock image
photo: iStock

Ever wondered what lipsticks your favorites are wearing on the red carpet and on the big screen? They're a lot easier to find for yourself than expected. 

Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick in Mary Jo ($17, Kylie Cosmetics)

This lipstick has high-intensity pigment for an instant bold matte lip. The extremely long-wearing lipstick contains moisturizing ingredients for a comfortable, emollient, and silky feel that does not dry your lips out.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery ($22, Sephora)

photo: Stila

This creamy, full-coverage lip color provides intense hydration with bold, long-lasting pigment that stays put for up to 12 hours of continuous wear. 

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored ($24, Sephora)

A weightless, 12-hour liquid lipstick with a soft matte finish looks incredible on all skin tones.

Wynn's all-time favorite, however, is a color that you probably already have in your stash: MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo ($19, MAC Cosmetics)

Her sentiment is the same as any girl that made the iconic shade her first-ever red. 

"My all-time go-to favorite red lipstick is MAC Retro Matte Ruby Woo," she said. "We've been through lots of clients and romances together."  

And as for that "black women can't just wear any red" misconception, Wynn says we can do whatever the heck we want. 

woman wearing red lipstick stock image
photo: iStock

“Any woman of any color can wear any red lipstick she desires. It’s about confidence. Show off your inner minx ! That’s our superpower."


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