This season the fashion and beauty world is seeing red, it’s on everything from shoes and bags, to nails and lips. A pair of red lips is a sure fire way to warm up a frosty winter morning and add some instant pop to the standard black winter wardrobe.

Red lipstick suggests confidence and sophistication and while other shades may come and go, a strong red lip is always in style. Wearing a red lip can take some practice, though, so here are some tips to ensure you end up looking more like Jessica Rabbit than the Joker.

Keep the rest of your face simple

A red lipstick works best when it is the stand out feature of your face. So that means very little, if any, eye shadow or liner, and just a light dusting of blush. Mascara is ok, though, use it on upper and lower lashes.

Prep like a pro

Before you slather on any colour, ensure your lips are in top condition. Use a conditioning balm to make sure they’re soft and smooth. Line your lips Red lipsticks tend to bleed, which can look cheap and nasty. Make sure you use a liner (match the shade to your lipstick) to line your lips for a great and long lasting result.

Pick the right colour

Although you may long for fire engine red, it might not be right for your skin tone. Pink complexions are suited by deep plum tones, while yellow complexions are best suited to warm reds with a brown base.

Get blending

If you’ve bought a shade that’s totally inappropriate, don’t throw it away, try using it as a stain. Dab onto your lips with a cotton bud and then slather on some lip gloss for a more muted look. Or try blending your red shade with whatever else you have on hand to get the right shade for you.

Note your nails

For a look that is totally put together and polished, try not to let your nail colour clash with your lip colour. Unless you can match them, stick with a plain nail or go for a different nail colour all together.