How to apply the perfect red lip

How to apply the perfect red lip

How to apply the perfect red lip tutorial

Pulling off a red lip is not as difficult as you may believe.

As a red lipstick wearer of 26 years, I’ve tried them all. The brands, the shades, the formulas, the insider tips and tricks. Now it’s time to share them.

As a professional makeup artist who works with women of all ages, one of the questions I’m most frequently asked is, how do you get your lipstick to stay on so well?” There is no single answer to this as there are a few factors that come into play, applying it well in the first instance makes a huge difference.

There are so many red lipsticks on the market it’s often hard to know where to start. That’s why I’ve personally created this page where you can shop some our favourite brands!

If you have questions about red lipstick, how to wear it, recommended brands etc. please leave me a comment and I’ll add your request to our new series, The Red Lipstick List!

Shop Red Lipstick

Cirque Du Soleil Totem – Behind the Scenes

Cirque Du Soleil Totem – Behind the Scenes

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

As a first timer seeing any of the work of Cirque Du Soleil, my first visit to see Totem in Melbourne, was the type you remember forever.

Under the big top at Flemington Racecourse, the Cirque Du Soleil team created the most astonishing wonderland! To be asked which was my favourite act at the end of the evening, was an unanswerable question. The feats of strength, wonder, athleticism and engineering was more than my mind could handle. Utterly mesmerising is the only accurate description.

What made my evening however, was the opportunity to spend time with the cast and crew backstage after the show for a tantalising look into the world of circus folk.

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

Chatting with the “human mirror ball” about the construction and weight of his costume was utterly fascinating. Each piece has been carefully calculated to ensure maximum reflective surface with a minimal weight rating; something they are continually perfecting. Even the choice of glue must give the right strength of adhesion but not add too much weight to the overall piece. As an inventive fashionista with a penchant for the hot glue gun, I found this whole thought process enthralling.

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

The closest  I was able to come to selecting a favourite act, was these two ladies. Twins from Eastern Europe who’s costumes were so stunning I was mentally sketching out replicas for myself during their act! To me they appeared as gorgeous, mermaid like creatures with fin like crowns and reflective scales. Each costume is (naturally) hand made to their exact specifications and commercially worth $30,000 USD each!! Of course I had to ask the question of how they were cleaned, especially given just how difficult and expensive I know it is to clean my vintage pieces. The ladies have two costumes each, one for the performance and a clean one for the finale. These are each cleaned daily with hand washing and air drying; the process of which is done immediately on site in a bank of washing machines and high powered air dryers for each performer.

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenesCirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

The fabrics, trim and other embellishments are all kept in highly organised filling drawers within the costume department. If any repairs or replacements are needed while on tour, it is essential that the correct pieces are quickly and easily accessible. While Cirque Du Soleil have the largest costume workshop in North America, the tour wardrobe and makeup department was nothing short of “system porn” for me.

As an addict of labelling, sorting by colour and finding smarter ways to operate, the set up for the performers and the precision to which it is adhered, was heaven to me.

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

The sheer attention to detail in these costumes is staggering! The custom printed lycra, appliquéd treatments, individually moulded latex monkey face masks, each of which has had the hair attached strand by strand. Not one detail is over looked, no corner cut and no wardrobe malfunctions that will not be pre-empted and swiftly remedied.

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

As a makeup artist, I had to know, did each performer complete their own look and if so, how long was the process? For these ladies the process was an “easy” 45 minutes now that they were well practiced. They did state, however, that theirs was the most simplistic of all the makeup applications! So not only do the performers need to be incredible at their own craft, they must also be quick studies in the art of stage makeup and dab hands at arduous daily application.

In order to direct the performers, the makeup designer had prepared extensive proof and instructions sheets. Having prepared these on many occasions myself for models to follow, I can tell you it is no easy task ensuring that the finished product looks remotely like your sketches!

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenesCirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

MAC is an official sponsor of and supplier to, Cirque Du Solei. This huge (perfectly labelled) filling cabinet holds enough product to put and entire sorority house into dead faint! Gleaming tubes of glitter gloss, pots of paint, liner, crayons and lashes were lined up like candy. Ben Nye products completed the cabinet of lust (as I like to call it), and had my hand reaching for my credit card on auto pilot.

Cirque du soleil Totem Melbourne Behind the scenes

This small post-it with the stubs of liner pencils brought home to me the true magic of what Cirque Du Soleil really is. One huge talented family, travelling the globe to share their miraculous world and reawaken our own sense of wonder.

Cirque Du Soleil Totem is in Melbourne until March 28th. Be mesmerised!

Review – The Best Red Lipstick Series – Maybelline Super Stay 24 hr Colour

Review – The Best Red Lipstick Series – Maybelline Super Stay 24 hr Colour

Are you always on the hunt for a stay on lipstick that actually works? How to get your lipstick to stay on is one of my most frequently asked questions, and unfortunately there is only so much you can do short of tattooing your lips. My everyday tips for wearing red lipstick will help you to a degree, but serious staying power? I always thought that was the realm of fantasy. Until I tried this stuff.

In my eternal quest to try all the red lipsticks on the market (how full are my bathrooms cupboards?!), the minute I saw these new Maybelline Super Stay 24 hour Colour advertised I wanted to put it to the test.  My test came in two parts, as I didn’t want to invest the money off the cuff on the very slim chance it may actually work, so this is what I did.


1.00pm- Wander into Target (also available at Priceline and on sale at the moment I think) and start casing the joint to uncover this new lipcolour.

1.05pm- Get distracted by liquid liners before remembering again why I was there.

1.15pm – Find the VM stand for the new Maybelline lipcolour and am amazed at the huge number of colours on offer. Which red do I want?

1.20pm – decide that before picking a colour, I should give this a proper hard core trial.  So I paint a slash onto the heel of my hand, following the instructions and waiting for it to dry. this ought to be good given how many times a day I wash my hands. I wonder if it will last more than the next three hours.

6.00pm – Am marvelling to my girls that the lip colour is STILL there! What kind of thing is this?


9.00am – It’s even lasted the night without any fading.  Okay then you stubborn stuff, here’s a real test.

11.00am – Clean the whole house, including bathrooms without gloves on.

3.00pm – Beer and wonderment.. and also a bit of a worry.  The lipstick is still there, clean and bright; what the hell is in this stuff??

After such a  vigorous non facial test, I decided to give it a go and see how it lasted through eating, drinking, greasy foods and the ultimate pash.  AND IT DOES!!

Here’s the thing though, none of these stay on lipsticks are going to remain highly moisture filled, so you do need to keep applying a balm over the top.  When you apply it, you need to paint it on carefully with your lips somewhat stretched so they are flat.  Then you have to wait about 4 minutes for it to dry and stop being sticky before applying the balm.  The feeling is a little odd, like there is a bit of a barrier between you and the world, but for the results it is worth it.

While it doesn’t dry out and crack like others I’ve tried, if you don’t apply the balm, there is a tendency to chew at your lips if it gets too dry and that will simply peel the colour off. But if you can avoid doing this, you will actually have lips that last overnight! And it really doesn’t smear, smudge or kiss off!

So as you can see this was a big winner for me, so much so that I bought three different reds, each fabulous!


Keep Up The Flame – A non shimmery red with an almost warm hue.

Reliable Raspberry – A more hot pink version of red.

All Day Cherry– My fast favourite with a touch of shimmer and a rich blue red, cherry hue.

(Shown in the image holding them left to right – Cherry, Flame, Raspberry. Wearing All Day Cherry.)

Verdict – At around $21.00 these are definitely worth the money and something you should have handy for big nights out or gastronomic adventures when you need to look your best.