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WE ALL KNOW we need to be presentable at work, but beyond the obvious, what does "presentable" actually mean? How much cleavage to show or how short a skirt should be may still be up for debate, but at least the verdict is out on lipstick.
Is red lipstick too attention-grabbing in the workplace? Yes. While red lipstick may sound daring for daytime, it can still look professional if the rest of your makeup is subtle.
With a neutral eye, matte skin and a touch of blush, red lipstick can look appropriate for day. The key is to keep it clean. Shy away from red glosses and try a matte.
So update your holiday look and swap that nude lipstick for a bolder color. Take a break from your casual style for a more polished persona at work. Transform yourself from laidback to loud, soft to smart.
With these guidelines, everyone (yes, that means even you) can wear red.
Consider the lighting. If you're going to be outdoors, pick a softer or more sheer shade. For evening, go bolder, so your features stand out.
Avoid deep reds if you have thin lips. They tend to make lips look smaller.
Don't play up your eyes. Pair red lipstick with the lightest possible eye makeup. A little mascara and beige shadow will do.
Don't toss red lipstick in a shade that doesn't work. Top it with a gold gloss to warm and soften it or, add a pink gloss to take it to the bluer side.
Coordinate your look. Dot a little the lipstick on the apples of your cheeks, then blend it with your fingers.
Be precise whether you're using a brush or applying lipstick straight from the tube. Red lipstick should never be applied casually while riding a jeep or taxi.
Don't use red lip-liner. If it doesn't match your lipstick perfectly (and the odds are, it won't), you'll end up with a two-tone effect. If you like using liner, find a shade that's close to your natural lip color and use it to outline your lips.
Prevent "bleeding." Apply a little concealer around the border of your mouth.
Avoid getting lipstick on your teeth. After applying, put your finger in your mouth, purse your lips around it, then slowly pull it out to remove excess color.
Red lipstick is classic, elegant and versatile. Red lipstick connoisseur Xeng Zulueta (http://xengzulueta.multiply.com) agrees that, there's no reason you should have to be shy about flaunting rouge lips in the office. She shares an array of tips and tricks to change the way you look at red.
"Anyone can wear red. It's just a matter of finding the right red for you. The only way to find out the right shade is to try. What looks nice on others may or may not be the same for you. Red has a tendency to make one appear fairer, so add warmth to the skin tone by either wearing a shade of foundation that's darker, or dusting the face with bronzer. Red will bring out other red undertones. Stay away if you've got an existing pimple, breakout or tired eyes. Red brings focus to the mouth. Have a go at it if you've got a beauty mark you'd like to accentuate and avoid it if your teeth are stained or yellow.
Make sure to prep the lips with lip balm should you decide to go with a matte red lip. Matte textures tend to make lips dry. Fruit and flower-inspired shades are the reds of spring/summer months (corals, rose, terra cotta). Gems and foliage-inspired shades are the reds of fall/winter months (garnet, brick, fall leaves). Remember to keep the rest of the face simple. Skip the eye shadow but load up on mascara, then release your inner Marilyn Monroe."
Simple makeup is never a bad idea, especially when there's an impromptu meeting or luncheon to attend. The trio of mascara, concealer and blush adds just enough polish to your appearance.
Hair, on the other hand, isn't always so simple. Some of us spend hours each morning blow-drying, curling, ironing and teasing our tresses. For a perfectly sleek 'do, a professional blow drier is worth the cash.
If you're still wary about spending money, there are plenty of cheap frizz-taming products on the market.