Beauty How To: Vampy Red Lips & Nails

I remember watching “Dynasty” in the ’80s and thinking that Krystle and Alexis Carrington were so fantastically glam. Their glitzy, sequined dresses, shellacked hair, long, red talons and crimson lips were just IT, you know? If I saw those cats on TV today, however, I’d probably mistake them for two campy transvestites and wonder why they weren’t on Bravo. I admit, though, that I’d likely still find their red lips and nails awesome; there’s just something about a red pucker and red digits that screams “Respect me, bitch!” Whenever I try to wear both at the same time, however, I feel that I look like a trashy whore and not a powerful diva, so I asked Ashunta Sheriff, makeup artist for Christian Dior, on how to wear red well. Her beauty breakdown, after the jump…1. Don’t pair red lips and nails with attention-getting clothing or hair: Here’s where Alexis and Krystle went right in the Reagan era, but would go wrong today. “Red lips and nails make a strong statement,” Ashunta told me. “To avoid looking campy, wear them with simple, classic haircuts, solid-colored clothing and unfussy accessories.”

2. Rock your red lips and nails, but keep your other makeup simple: You can sport red lips at the same time – as long as you wear minimal makeup. Sheriff recommends soft, peachy or rose blush and neutral eyes. If you’d like to go a little retro, you can add black eye liner and two to three coats of mascara, she says, but keep the rest of your face pretty bare.

3. Choose your lip color formula wisely: If you’re a red newbie, start by choosing sheer lipsticks, glosses or lip tints. If you’re stuck on the ‘stick, Sheriff advises getting a perfect red pout by first lining lips with a neutral lip pencil, and then using the pencil to completely fill in your lips. Next, dip a lip brush into your red lipstick, and then use the brush to trace lips exactly where the liner is. This will ensure that you don’t end up looking like The Joker, with red color bleeding outside of your lip line. To finish, use a fluffy brush to dust transparent powder over your lips to set the color. Sheriff’s shade recs: Dior Red Currant Lip Gloss and MAC Russian Red Lipstick.

4. Keep red nails short and on the darker side: Sheriff says red nails look best at “professional length”, which she explained is just a tiny bit longer then “short”. For a classy look, choose a deeper-toned red shade as opposed to a full-on, candy apple red. Her favorite color: Revlon Red.