Blur The (Lip) Line

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If all of Into The Gloss had one definitive lipstick spirit guide, she would be Violette. The French makeup artist is often sporting a red lip herself, which is a good sign. (Gotta love a makeup artist who does her makeup the exact way you would like her to do your makeup. Also her hair. Also her style.) Over the years, she's provided us with such wisdom as...

"For me, a red lip is like a jewel, so I don’t wear earrings, or a huge bag, or a necklace when I do it; red lips are like a fashion accessory." (her Top Shelf, 2012)

"There is nothing more seductive than red matte lipstick. And when I go out, my makeup is all about seduction." (her After Dark, 2016)

For inspiration, Violette often refers to the movie L'Amant, for that blurry line around the lips. "It's so real and you know how she applied the lipstick—you can see her doing it in your mind," Violette said when she stopped by last week to demonstrate exactly what she meant on the mouth of Caroline Brasch Nielsen. "It's not cold and perfect. It's a red lip that's a little bit undressed."

OK, so let's review: It's sexy, it's a statement...and it's also easier than literally every other makeup trend in the world. Check, check, check.

"First you apply the lipstick very strong," Violette instructed. Pick a vibrant color—this won't work well with your '90s-inspired beiges and browns. "Then all you do is caress the contour around the lips to blur it. It works with any texture, but I like to do with a longwear matte. So easy."

The best example of that is the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red (actually what Violette was wearing when she came in). This stuff stays where you put it. Set with a bit of loose powder if you want something that's matter than matte.

On the other end of the spectrum, there's the glossy look. Violette achieved it with a layer of Nars' Palais Royale for a berry base, before she removed most of it just to leave a stain. She covered it with the new Glossier Cherry Balm Dotcom to kick up the red tones.

Or there's the Rihanna route—blue! It's a bit of a departure, but cool in a super irreverent kind of way. Violette used LA Girl Matte Lipstick in Blue Valentine, but Anastasia Beverly Hills makes one too. It's clearly a California thing.

Caroline Brasch Nielsen (The Society) photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Violette. Hair by Adam Markarian.

For more on how Violette styles herself, peep her Top Shelf After Dark. Or if it's that undone lip look you're after, try this guide.