Want to know the easiest way to look festive fast? (Of course you do.) Swipe on a statement lip color and keep the rest of your look minimal. This shade is clutch for rushed mornings, holiday parties, and when you are going straight from office to party.

By Heather Muir Maffei
Updated November 10, 2016
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Model with pinkish plum metallic lipstick
Credit: Anne Menke

Finding the perfect red lip can be exhausting (too orange, too blue, too dark), so we did the work for you by testing a sea of them on different skin tones. The winner? This creamy, metallic cranberry lip color—Colourpop 3-Way Ultra Metallic Lip ($6, colourpop.com). The metallic finish is on-trend (shout-out to the ‘90s girls) yet still sophisticated, thanks to tiny gold flecks (read: no chunky glitter here). Here’s how to nail the look in five minutes flat.

Model with pinkish plum metallic lipstick
Credit: Anne Menke


The chapped lips struggle is real this time of year, and wearing a bold color exaggerates any roughness. Gently slough off flakes with a damp washcloth using circular motions. (If you have a face scrub, it’ll work on your lips, too). Now that you have a smooth canvas, your lipstick will go on—and stay on—better.

Dab on Lip Balm.

Try Chapstick Total Hydration 3 in 1 Lip Care in Coconut ($8, amazon.com). Don’t be too heavy-handed—your lips will be too slippery for the gloss to adhere to.

RELATED: Here’s Why You’re Addicted to Your Lip Balm

Prep Lips With Foundation.

Using a makeup sponge, pat on a base of foundation. This gives the lip color something to hold on to, extending its longevity.

Swipe and Layer.

Apply the plummy pink, layering it on until you're happy with the intensity. Fix any mistakes outside your lip lines with a cotton swab. Try Q-tips Precision Tips ($9 for 170, amazon.com).

RELATED: 7 Genius Ways to Use Q-Tips


Use a tissue to remove any excess color. Then reapply to ensure the color stays on your lips (and not on your latte or wine glass).

RELATED: Universally Flattering Rose Gold Makeup

Pair It With...

The bold lip looks great with fresh skin (use concealer and/or tinted moisturizer to conceal flaws, yet let any freckles show), feathery brows (brush your brows up with a tinted gel), and a lot of mascara worn on both the top and bottom lashes. A good one: L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara ($6, target.com).