5 Unconventional Ways to Wear a Red Lip

Red lips for a romantic encounter may be standard thanks to Hollywood icons from Marilyn Monroe to Marlene Dietrich, but it's always fun to shake things up with your makeup for a special occasion. This Valentine's Day, try a red lip with a fresh twist that's sure to turn a few heads, whether you're out or at home.

The Ombré Red Lip

If a standard crimson lip seems a bit too staid for Valentine's Day, try its edgy new interpretation: the ombre red lip. The look starts with a deep plum or burgundy liner to outline the lip, followed by a matching shade of lipstick. To complete the look, use a lighter crimson shade at the center of the top and bottom lip, and blend well. The effect is both unexpected and beautiful, perfect for an unconventional Valentine's Day look.

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The Flame-Red Lip

If you loved 2013's orange lipstick trend, try adding a twist by choosing a red shade with orange undertones. A bright orange-red shade will pop against most skin tones, and draw eyes straight to your lips. For a sharp, clean look, line lips with a slightly exaggerated cupid's bow and fill in with a corresponding lipstick.

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The Stamped-On Matte Red Lip

As opposed to going high-shine with your red lipstick, try a subtler interpretation and keep your lipstick matte. For a show-stopping Old Hollywood effect, first exfoliate lips, and apply a lipliner to mark the outer lines of lips, filling in with a lipstick of the same shade. Blot, and add another layer of lipstick for color that will stay put throughout your Valentine's activities.

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The Golden Red Lip

If you're after a high impact look on Valentine's Day, go for the gold with a metallic red lip. While we're not suggesting you try the painted-on glitter of Fashion Weeks past, but injecting some golden shimmer into a red lip gives it a distinctive iridescent sheen. The look is best achieved with a long-lasting red lipstick, paired with a golden gloss, or a creamy red lipstick infused with subtle golden shimmer like Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Color in Inimitable.

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The Smudgy Stained Red Lip

Red lipstick has a bad reputation for being incredibly high-maintenance and an absolute disaster for food-related occasions. But, if executed in the correct way, the look can be nearly as casual as a swipe of Chapstick. The latest style in insouciant makeup is smudging, from Kristen Stewart's perennially smokey eyes to a carelessly draw lip. For a look that's relaxed without approaching Courtney Love territory, try prepping lips with balm and applying a stroke of lipstick to the very center of the lip, then blending outward with your finger. It's the makeup equivalent of scribbling outside the lines, but all grown up.

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