Skip to main content
  • Pick your area:


How to: The perfect red lip


Hair stylist, makeup artist, manicurist and beauty therapist Bonnie Gillies knows a thing or two about beauty. Her hugely popular website Oz Beauty Expert is a mecca of insider information, product reviews, celebrity interviews and inspiring beauty shoots.

ModelCo teamed up with the talented Bonnie from Oz Beauty Expert and iconic Australian model Samantha Harris for the latest Oz Beauty Expert editorial shoot. In the first of our four-part How To series, we share the stunning look ’50 shades of Red’.

When it comes to rocking a bold red lip, here are a few tips and tricks worth noting to ensure you master pout perfection.

Bonnie’s Red Lip tips

1. Select the perfect shade

Before you swipe colour across your lips, it’s important you’ve given some thought to shade selection. Bonnie suggests you experiment and work out what looks best, but the general rule of thumb is that warmer skin tones should look to coral reds, burnished deep copper reds or any red with an orangey or warm base. These with cooler skin tones should first opt for a red with a cooler, blue base. Think bright rich reds, pinky reds, or deep purpley reds.

2. Preparation is key

Regular lip maintenance is important to ensure you’re applying product to a perfect canvas. Applying a bold colour to cracked dry lips, or having red lipstick smeared on your teeth or seeping onto the skin around your mouth is not a good look on anyone!

Bonnie’s trick? A generous dollop of lip balm or or paw paw ointment applied onto clean lips makes for the perfect lip scrub. Take an old toothbrush and gently scrub across the lips surface to exfoliate off all the dead skin and leave your lips full, plump and lipstick ready.

3. Touch up tricks

Bonnie suggests keeping a lip balm with you at all times, so if your lips begin to feel dry, simply dab a tiny amount over your lipstick. Secondly, even the most long-wearing shades will require a spot of touching up so always keep a small compact mirror on hand so you can neatly do touch ups during the day or after you’ve been eating and drinking.

Bonnie paired model Samantha Harris’ crimson pouts with pared back, bronzed skin and a subtle neutral-toned eye.


ModelCo Luminosity skin highlighter mixed in with ModelCo Fluidsplash 3-in-1 foundation for the ultimate dewy base.

Take ModelCo Bronze in Matte to contour around bottom jawline and hollows of the cheekbones, and ModelCo Bronze in Shimmer to highlight the tops of the cheekbones, nose and jawline.

Lightly dust ModelCo 2-in-1 Powder Duo on the apples of the cheeks.


ModelCo Eyeshadow Trio in Naturally Neutral to subtly highlight and shade the eyelid area.

Finish with a generous coat of ModelCo Fibre Lash Mascara.

For the full ’50 Shades of Red’ story, click here.

Photography: Thom Kerr
Styling: Lydia-Jane Saunders
Beauty: Bonnie Gillies @ Oz Beauty Expert using ModelCo Cosmetics
Hair: Iggy using Kerastase
Styling Assistance: Kathryn Blom
Model: Samantha Harris @ Chic

Shop The Story