Leave the tube at home—because you won't need it. 

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Red lipstick is that secret weapon in our beauty arsenal that works for every occasion, from weekend brunches to formal affairs. It’s a swipe of personality and a pop of confidence. During the holiday party season, it gives a pout that’s merry and bright; but the real trick is getting it to stay all night. The last thing we want to worry about after every sip of sparkling champagne and every bite of holiday treats is if our red lip is taking a turn for the worst. You know the signs well: feathering, smudging, fading, or the tragic teeth marks. Lucky for you, we know a never-fail method for getting your red lip to look amazing and stay all day (and night!) without re-applying. Follow these five steps for a perfect cherry-stained pout every time.

Step One: Exfoliate those lips. 

Our lips don’t naturally stay soft and smooth, especially during the winter when we’re plagued with seasonal dryness. Using a sugar lip scrub, such as our favorite Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, will create a hydrated and smooth surface for any lipstick to adhere to. The gentle scrub will buff away roughness and leave lips soft with its conditioning ingredients, which helps combat post-lipstick dryness later as well. During the winter, it’s also important to keep lips lathered with lip balm when not wearing your favorite holiday shades! If you’ve applied lip balm after this scrub (before applying lipstick), blot it off before heading to our next step.

Step Two: Use a lip primer—or concealer. 

This is a step that most people skip, but if you’re serious about getting a lipstick to stay all day, you need to start with a primer. The Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer is our personal pick, as it goes on easily with its lip gloss-style applicator, dries quickly and weightlessly, and is enriched with anti-aging peptides. Primer creates the smoothest possible canvas for lipstick and helps lock down the color on your lips for long-lasting wear. A lesser used technique (but worth mentioning) is skipping the primer in favor of matte concealer, which neutralizes the natural pinky tones of the lip to enhance a bright lipstick color.

Step Three: Apply lip liner all over.

We promise that this step is not redundant after already using primer. It gives a starter layer of priming color that will keep your lipstick on all night without any feathering and bleeding, which is really not ideal if you are using a red shade. Instead of just lining the outer edges of the lips, fill in the entire lip after lining the outer edges to ensure you’ll get that longer lasting color all over. Don't you just hate when red lipstick fades in the center, while the outer bits stay put? Lip liner keeps that tragedy at bay.

Step Four: Blot and repeat.

Every lipstick-wearing lady knows of the necessity of blotting, no doubt about it. But, if the goal is setting up your red lip for long-lasting success, it’s the blot and repeat that matters. After swiping on the first coat of your red lipstick, use a Kleenex tissue to gently blot the color. Then, apply a second coat of your lipstick, but NOT in your usual swiping method. We personally do the “dab and twist” to get that bright red color in every crease and crack, but even just dabbing the lipstick will deposit a longer-lasting look.

Step Five: Finish with powder. 

This step is another trick that many ladies skip. Using a translucent powder, gently swipe a very thin dusting over the red lip. It’ll make sure your lipstick, already applied, will stay for good. For good measure, dab a final coat of your red lipstick over the powdered lips for a final pop of color and even more reassurance that this red lip is going to stay put all day and night. We swear by the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, which we swipe over our T-zone after applying foundation as well.

WATCH: Why Southern Women Can't Leave The House Without Lipstick

Enjoy your flawless red lip without worries.

I’ve used this method with my favorite matte red NARS shade (Jungle Red is simply perfect), and I’ve used this method with my go-to creamy Revlon shade. It works across the board, between all shades and finishes. As far as picking your new holiday red lipstick: As a rule of thumb, red hues with blue undertones work well with fairer skin tones, and red hues with orange undertones work well with warmer skin tones. No matter the color choice, we guarantee your lipstick routine will be forever changed after using these foolproof tips—so get ready for your best red lip yet! 

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