Behind the Scenes: CHANEL Makeup Artist Julie Cusson on Creating the Ultimate Red Lip

Any special tips on prepping the lips before applying lipstick?

“There is no secret! Lips need to be impeccable when it’s time to wear red lipstick. A classic lip scrub and hydrated lips are important basic rules, but also using a product that smooths, firms, and plump the lips before a lipstick application is a must! I love Le Lift Lip and Contour Care.”

How do you choose the red that’s right for you?

“For many years, there were so many rules. We were told to use the colour of our complexion as a guide to choose a red lipstick and the shape of our lips to determine whether we should wear red lipstick. Today, following these rules are completely out of date. As proof, for this photo shoot, I used three different hues of red for Ella. All three shades looked amazing on her! I applied a blue-red shade (Rouge Allure in 99 Pirate), a matte orange-red hue (Rouge Allure Velvet in 57 Rouge Feu), and a classic neutral red (Rouge Allure Laque in 73 Invincible). My advice is to focus more on the finish of your red lipstick. If your complexion is mostly oily, shiny, or if you love a glowy complexion, stay with a satiny or matte finish. Otherwise have fun!”

When should you wear a red shade?

“Don’t overdo your makeup look when you are wearing red lipstick. Keep eyes natural, almost bare. The complexion needs to be naturally impeccable. For a flawless foundation finish use Ultra Le Teint Fluide. Define the eyebrows with a pencil for subtle definition (Boy de CHANEL Eyebrow Pencil in 208 Black) to frame eyes. Instead of wearing red polish on the nails, when you are wearing red lipstick, it’s very modern to colour match your nail colour to your colour complexion. The Fall-Winter 2022 makeup collections Les Accords de CHANEL, offers 12 different shades such as soft beige, dark beige, caramel, and light or dark chocolate-brown shade. Ella is wearing Le Vernis in 941 Spontané, a dusty apricot.

“Some say that we should not wear red lipstick during the day, keeping it for evenings only! But what is more important is to wear red with the right outfit. Muted colours like beige, black, grey, and marine are great outfit colours when you go with a red lipstick. If your outfit is already head-to-toe red, perhaps it’s better to avoid red on the lips. If you are a fashion lover, you will be attracted to wearing red on your lips when your outfit is based on primary colours like yellow, blue, green, or secondary colour range such as orange, violet, or mauve purple.”

How do you choose a red lipstick for difference moods or impact?

“Wearing red lipstick makes a clear statement that could be perceived as being edgy or refined. Wearing red on your lips will have a positive impact. It’s an affirmation! Red can provide confidence that translates as strength, a flirt, or ready to lead! You won’t go unnoticed with red lips!”

What is the secret to pairing blush with a strong red lip?

“Red lips with a soft pink blush are always an elegant combination. I like red lips with an opaque finish, so I’m always drawn to a sheer texture for blush. This is why I love Les Beiges Water Fresh Blush in Warm Pink. The sensation feels like tinted water on your skin! To be a bit more dramatic, pairing red blush with red lipstick can be very powerful. However, be sure to follow these two rules: first, use a sheer finish as a second skin (Joues Contraste in 320 Rouge Profond); second, keep your eye makeup mostly natural to create a balance by simply coating lashes with black mascara (Noir Allure in 10 Black).”

Why is using a lip liner important?

“Using a lip liner is the best way to define lips sharply. This technique can also keep your lipstick longer. Using a lip liner on top of the lipstick, around the contour of the lip, will create a fuller lip and define the lips in a natural way. For this photo session, I used Le Crayon Lèvres in 178 Rouge Cerise.”

What is the key to long-lasting lipstick?

“A long-wear formula is always an excellent choice! Also, a good tip to make lipstick stay longer is to first apply the colour on the bottom lip and then roll the lips 2-3 times. After, apply the same shade on the upper lip and roll lips together again 2-3 times. To conclude, blot lips on a tissue just once and finish by adding another coat of lipstick. The shade is now secure on the lips!”

Model: Ella (WANT Management)
Styling by Jaclyn Bonavota
Hair and Makeup by Julie Cusson for CHANEL Beauty
Styling Assistant: Jessica Luffman