A red lipstick is a red lipstick, right? Wrong. Leading make-up artist and ambassador for M&S make-up, Kay Montano, shows us that the key to making a crimson lip modern is as much about the rest of your face as it is your pout

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One of the most important points to making red lipstick both modern and wearable is to wear it with simplicity. A bright red lip plus a bold smokey eye together can make even the most youthful of beauties look old and caked. The appeal of this look is in the striking crimson mouth against the luminous skin, so whatever you do, don't be tempted by adding eyeliner (too Dita Von Teese) or smokey eyeshadow (too Courtney love). Make-up this season is about looking forward not harking back.

Step 1: Prep your canvas
A fabulous red lipstick will look dated if worn with the wrong base. The key, says Kay Montano, is to apply a light, luminising foundation only where needed so as to avoid a Fifties look. Using a sponge, she blends around the nose, and where skin is blemished, also covering the lips, but says she often misses out the forehead, where it’s least needed. “If you have good skin, you can blend a luminiser with your foundation to give exra glow,” she says. “Although avoid if your skin is bumpy as it will accentuate this.” For under-eye shadows, she uses a creamy concealer product that won’t sit in lines.
Kay used: Autograph Invisible Colour Natural Finish Foundation, £9.50; Autograph Liquid Glow Illuminator in Natural White, £9.50; Autograph Illuminating Touch Under Eye Concealer in Medium,  £9.50 (under eyes).

Step 2: Go easy on the eyeshadow

Here, Kay has used a pale, pearl-coloured eyeshadow that she says “looks fresher with a red lip and more youthful than a dark eye.” Apply with a small, flat brush.
Kay used: Autograph Pure Colour Mono Eyeshadow in Pink Shimmer, £4

Step 3: Make eyes "pop"
Mascara worn on the top lashes not only opens up the eyes but looks fresh and slightly understated. “It’s all about getting to the root, which enhances the shapes of the eye and makes your eye colour pop,” says Kay Montano. Her top tip? “For top lashes, look down into a hand help mirror and zig-zag the mascara wand from the base to the tip.”
Kay used: Autograph’s Amplified Lashes in Black, £9.50

Step 4: Blush beautifully
Using a big, soft brush will ensure you don’t get stripe marks on your face and give a soft focus effect.

Kay used a powder blusher with luminizing particles for the rosiest glow.
Kay used: Pür Minerals® Hot Rocks, £29.50

Step 5: Create a traffic-stopping pout
A matte red lipstick is immediately more modern than a red gloss or shiny finish. Kay’s top application tip is to make sure you have blended your foundation over your lips, “It creates a sharper contour,” she says.

“Using a flat, wide brush, start applying in the centre of your mouth and work outwards, making sure the lip line is as neat as possible. “If your lips are thin,” Kay says, “you can push the colour to just beyond your lipline.”
Kay used: Autograph’s lipstick in Red, £9.50

Step 6: Not the time to shine
There’s radiance and then there’s all out shine.  Kay suggests powdering the T Zone with a translucent powder, as well as around the edges of the nose and the chin, but leaving the cheeks powder free. “This is the only place you should really glow” says Kay.
Kay used: Invisible Finish Loose Powder in Translucent, £12

Make-up by Kay Montano at D & V Management
Hair by Maarit Niemela at D &V Management
Model – Georgia Howard at Models 1
Styling and words by Susannah Taylor