Red Lipstick

BuzzFeed recently posted a beauty hack on how to get rid of dark eye circles, but it had nothing to do with using a very good concealer, it was about using red lipstick. Yes, you read that right. The same red lipstick that you usually use on your mouth, but probably never thought to use on your eye area. It was slightly weird, like nothing I had ever read before, and it was a new way to use something you already have in your makeup bag, so I definitely wanted to try it.

(Related: Meet The Little Black Primer, The Trendy New Makeup Tool Changing How You Enhance Your Eyes)

Vlogger Deepica Mutyala posted about using an orangey-red lipstick to cover under eye circles. You apply a bit of lipstick with a brush, then cover it with your regular foundation.


It sounds straight-forward enough, considering you’re basically swapping concealer for lipstick, but how exactly does it work? It all comes down to color theory. For those who didn’t make it passed middle school art, red-oranges are across from blues on the color wheel, which means they neutralize each other. Similarly, the reason they suggest you use a yellow-based concealer if your dark circles are more purple-y is because they are opposites.

So does it actually work? You can see from Deepica’s video it seems too, but I decided to test it out for myself, since I had visions of ending up like I had some sort of weird eye infection.

I first chose an old red-orange lipstick that wasn’t too expensive, or precious, for the experiment. I decided on COVERGIRL Lipstick In Hot Passion. Just make sure you stay away from blue-reds since those will just enhance your dark circles. Same goes for totally matte formulas.


Eye Before

Here’s a nice closeup shot of my eye before lipstick and foundation. I always have some dark shadow regardless of how much sleep I get, so any trick to help hide it, I’m interested in.

Applying Red Lipstick Eye

I applied the lipstick with a stiffer eyeshadow brush. Use one you don’t care about, since the oily lipstick may not come off it easily.

Red Lipstick Under Eye

I took a light-handed approach because I was worried my foundation would never be able to cover it.  I think if you look like you got punched in the face, it’s a sign you applied the lipstick correctly.

Next, I applied foundation with a sponge. I applied to two layers since the foundation I used was a lightweight formula, and you could see a touch of pink showing through, after the first application. Next, I finished with a dusting of translucent powder.


After Red Lipstick Eye

And the results. There is a definite improvement to my dark circles, and there isn’t any obvious I-have-red-lipstick-under-my-eyes line. Here’s a comparison:

Red Lipstick Eye Before And After


The proof is in the photos. I was worried a red lipstick would be too obvious on my pale skin, so I didn’t apply a lot. I probably could have used a bit more to completely get rid of any shadows under my eyes.

I don’t know if I would use it everyday, since it requires more foundation to camouflage the lipstick that I would normally use, and I was tempted to just put some concealer over top. However, It’s a fun beauty hack to know, especially if you’re low on concealer and don’t feel like buying another tube just yet.