let's makeup

A Perfectly Imperfect Red Lip

For the self-conscious lipstick-wearer.

Louis Vuitton top, price upon request at Louis Vuitton. Lady Grey earrings, $276 at ladygreyjewelry.com. Photo: Heather Hazzan
Louis Vuitton top, price upon request at Louis Vuitton. Lady Grey earrings, $276 at ladygreyjewelry.com. Photo: Heather Hazzan

Sometimes, a bright lipstick can look a little too bright. Maybe you know the feeling: You’ve applied it straight from the tube and it’s just sitting there, alienlike, on your face. Then you wait half an hour and it starts to blur a bit, and everything looks better.

Makeup artist Romy Soleimani, who works with Tracee Ellis Ross and Bella Hadid, has a way of getting that “blurred lip” effect from the start. She showed the Cut how to get a lipstick look that’s completely devoid of hard edges, making any color look softer and more natural.

It’s a simple three-part process. First, using your finger like a lip brush, dab it onto your lipstick of choice and pat it onto your lips (Soleimani likes Bobbi Brown’s Luxe Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet).

Next, to add dimension, take a different shade (Soleimani likes adding a complementary color like Sephora Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Always Red). Blend and smear that onto the middle of the bottom lip, again using your finger.

Then for the clutch move: Use a fluffy eye-shadow brush to blend your lips’ perimeters with a back-and-forth swishing motion. The effect is all blurred lines, soft contours, and fullness. It’s also a very subtle way to make your lips look slightly bigger than they are, without overdrawing to get a Kylie Jenner effect.

Louis Vuitton top, price upon request at Louis Vuitton. Lady Grey earrings, $276 at ladygreyjewelry.com. Photo: Heather Hazzan
BOBBI BROWN Luxe Matte Lipstick
SEPHORA COLLECTION Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick
E.L.F. COSMETICS Fluffy Eye Blender Brush

If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

A Perfectly Imperfect Red Lip