Hot Lips: a 10 step program

Gah! It happens each year and every time I’m not mentally equipped to handle it. WINTER. It seems to be setting in yet again. Last week, there were a couple of days in Ottawa with a -20 Celsius windchill factor (WordPress is telling me “windchill” is not a word; WordPress does not know my pain).  For you imperial system holders-on, -20 is -4 Fahrenheit.

I wake up in the dark at 6:30 AM and, by the time I leave work at 5 PM, it’s already dark again. All around me are sad grey faces wrapped in sad grey coats walking down sad grey streets bordered by sad grey leafless trees. I curse my ancestors for colonising this frozen land! The hardship they must have endured, and what for? So they could claim [steal] some land and send furs back to France? (Admittedly, my grip on history may be shaky, but it was something like that.)



I live in a large apartment in a draughty old house with only 2 heating vents.  My winter arsenal includes a plug-in gas radiator, a fancy electric heater with lovely faux-flames, an electric blanket, layers of clothes… and a one-week booking at a tropical resort. Psychologically though, I need one more thing — warm colours! I love the colour red in every kind of weather, but now it seems extra crucial to fight the drab and wear something bright.

Red is and has always been my favourite colour. Not only does it suit me, but it represents a lot of things that inspire me: fire, passion, revolution, courage, love. To wear red is to be bold because you will get noticed. Last week I stopped at the grocery store after work. I was wearing a skirt and had on red legwarmers that a friend of mine knit for me. This wasn’t a fashion statement; I was just trying to keep my legs warm. But I noticed a lot of people checking me out! It’s the red, it has that effect, especially when almost everyone is looking monochromatic.

With the holiday social season almost in full effect, I want to share my multi-step method for the perfect red lips that will stay in place all night. Because my lips are quite full, I normally don’t wear much of anything on my lips aside from a little gloss. But when I decide to pretty them up, I go all out. In the summer, I like bright orange or coral, but it the winter it has to be red!

Here are the steps:
  1. Cover lips with concealer (blend outside the lipline as well)
  2. Powder
  3. Trace contour of lips with a neutral lip liner that’s a bit darker than your lipstick
  4. Smudge/blend the lip liner toward your mouth so you don’t get a harsh outline
  5. Put on lipstick
  6. Dab lipstick with tissue
  7. Powder again
  8. More lipstick
  9. And again, dab with tissue
  10. Smile
Don't worry if it's not 100% perfect. It's the spirit of the thing!

Don’t worry if it’s not 100% perfect. It’s the spirit of the thing!

And voilà! You will not have to reapply. I used a Lancôme colour (Vibration) that is a true red, but I stay away from anything too blue or dark because bright looks best with my complexion. Generally, if colours like orange, coral and green suit you, stick with slightly orangy or bright hues. If blues, pure white and pinks look best on you, then go for more jewel toned reds that are not at all orange.

Hurrah for hot lips on a cold night.


  1. 10 steps!! I am very happy you didn’t patronize us – your loyal fans – with the word “Easy” … as in: “Hot Lips: a 10 EASY step program” I am a lazy fashionista and 10 steps scare me — but i will try it… I will… eventually…

    • Dear Loyal Fan, hehe, you’re right. It’s a special event kind of thing. Sometimes even lazy fashionistas need their lipstick to stay on all night… within reason 😉

  2. I always find that when I put my red lipstick on, it comes off on my teeth. Is there anything I can do to avoid it from having that happen? For some reason, it does not happen with any other color I put on—maybe cause the others colors are lighter and people don’t notice even if it is on my teeth?

    • Maybe your red is extra creamy and prone to travelling? These steps should help, for sure. And to be extra certain it won’t come off on your teeth, do the following: put your index finger in your mouth, wrap your lips around it, then pull your finger out slowly. You should then have a ring of red on your finger but at least it won’t be on your teeth. Your husband may find it entertaining to watch you do this…
      Good luck!

  3. 🙂 Thanks, Brenda!

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