Take it from the gorgeous Gabrielle Union: red lips don’t have to be loud or flashy. Her creamy brick-red pout at the New York premiere for her new show, Being Mary Jane, looked feminine and supersexy. “Red with a hint of brown is easier to wear than bright bright,” says Nick Barose, the celebrity makeup artist behind the modern Jessica Rabbit look. “It’s still attention-grabbing, but not so full on that it’s a turnoff.” Here’s how to pair it with illuminated, lit-from-within skin to make your face come alive.

Step 1: Create a radiant glow by blending a shimmery tinted moisturizer, like Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Deep Bronze, on skin. Then apply translucent powder on your T-zones to keep oil at bay.

Step 2: Cheeks should have a just a hint of color to warm your skin without competing with your lips. Apply a wash softly on the apples of your cheeks only. Try: YSL Blush Radiance in No5.

Step 3: Keep your eyes simple by smudging black liner along the upper lash lines and winging it out at the outer edges for a feline effect. Try: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof  Eye Pencil #1.

Step 4: Smudge a bronzy cream shadow, like Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in BR306 Leather, along your entire upper lids, up to the creases. Blend around the edges and add a bit along the lower lash lines.

Step 5: Add two coats of black mascara, like Lancôme Définicilsto your top lashes. Then add a third coat on the outer corners of your lashes to add shape to your eyes.

Step 6: Smudge brown lip liner pencil onto your entire lip and softly along the edges so that the line isn’t harsh and melts into your skin. Try: Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in Mocha 35. Top with one coat of a creamy, slightly sheer true red lipstick, like MAC Lipstick in Russian Red. Using a sheer formula allows the brown to show through.

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