How to master Taylor Swift’s long-lasting red lip

Taylor Swift red lip how to
Photography by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic
Taylor Swift red lip how to
Photography by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic

See our product picks for getting Taylor Swift’s red lip »

Red has been the colour of the year for Taylor Swift. Her latest album, Red, has been wildly successful, her global tour of the same name has sold out at every stop and the single, “Red” was a catchy summer hit. But then there’s the other red in Swift’s life: her signature red lip. The shade practically defines her pop star identity and not since Tragic Kingdom-era Gwen Stefani has a lip colour inspired a generation of beauty junkies.

Whether she’s singing her heartbreak anthems, posing on the red carpet or flipping her hair back and fourth, her lipstick never seems to budge. What’s her secret? To get Taylor Swift’s flawless red lip look, we spoke with M.A.C Cosmetics senior artist Melissa Gibson. She gave us the inside scoop on how to get the perfect, long-lasting red lip. From preventing your lips from drying out to choosing the right colour, here’s how to get Taylor Swift’s look.

One: Pick a shade based on the attitude that you want to portray. A strong, bold red, such as M.A.C “Ruby Woo” ($18,, will instantly make you feel fierce whereas a light red stain, like Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in “Candy Apple” ($8,, will provide a more demure and gentle appearance.

Tip: Your choice of red lipstick is more about who you want to be that day: while there are guidelines for choosing a shade based on your skin tone, confidence can make any lipstick colour work.
Two: Prep your lips with a lip primer to create a solid base for lipstick application. The difference between a primer and a balm is that a balm leaves a shine on the lip, which can interfere with the texture of your lipstick.  Using a primer will moisturize the lip without compromising your desired red and its texture.
Tip: Use M.A.C Prep + Prime Lip ($19, It moisturizes and smoothes out the texture of the lip.  It also makes lip liner easier to apply and helps your colour stay on longer.
Three: Line the lips with a freshly sharpened pencil. Use a lip pencil that’s designed for long-lasting wear and matches your chosen red shade, such as Chanel Le Crayon Lèvres ($29 Be sure to fill in the entire lip, not just lip line, as this will ensure the longevity of your colour.

Tip: Use short feathery strokes, as opposed to one long stroke—it will help with precision and it’s easier!

Four: Apply your lipstick with a lip brush, such as Sephora Collection Retractable Lip Brush #60 ($10, Use the tip of the brush to guide the colour as you apply it around the edge of your mouth. This will help create a really clean finish.

Tip: The more matte the lipstick, the more long-wearing it will be. However, the opposite it also true, with shinier lipsticks requiring more touch-ups throughout the day. 

Five: Build up the texture. The trend for lips this fall is “anything goes” in terms of texture—meaning from ultra matte to super high shine it’s all on trend.
Tip: To get your mattes extra matte take a tissue, peel and separate it into its two plies, take one ply and lay it against the surface of your lips. Then apply some translucent powder over top such as Shiseido Translucent Finishing Powder ($35, The small amount of powder left on the lips will make the texture ultra matte and help with longer lasting wear. Or for a super glossy lip, add Marc Jacobs Beauty Lust For Lacquer Lip Vinyl ($34, for a multi-dimensional hyper glam shine.