The Look: Nude Face with Red Lips

Portrait Stella ©Jessica Barthel

Stella von Senger explains how to create the nude face and red lips look you see at fashion shows

Personally, I don’t wear a lot of makeup – but I do love a good old red lip. Flawless skin, no mascara, and a red lip: once I overcame my teenage years thinking that a lot of mascara would bring me love, I soon established my signature look.

Oh boy, where to start! There are a million things that pop into my mind when I think about lipstick, but just to mention a few:

My boyfriend is obsessed with new lipsticks. Not because he generally shares my passion for makeup, but rather because he thinks there is little as satisfying as the color, shape, and texture of this thing we call lipstick.

My brother once told me the secret to his marriage lies in the fact that he always picks up a new lipstick for his wife every time he returns home from a trip. Well, I figure marriage is a little more complicated than that, but it stuck with me – and I think about it at every airport. 


© Tim Walker for i-D / Delphine Achard for WWD

For me, the ultimate perfection is seeing the brand name imprinted in the velvety texture of a perfect red lipstick. It is so utterly beautiful that I sometimes would rather look at my lipsticks untouched.

My love for makeup started as a young girl when I bought my very first Chanel lipstick. It was pretty much then and there that I decided to go to Paris to intern at the Studio Maquillage de Chanel. Every day was like a dream come true: new colors and trends being decided for years to come.

Lipsticks have an uplifting effect on me: I don’t leave the house without one. When I have one, I feel armed for any situation I might walk into. A lipstick is like that savior telephone call you wish for during a bad date, like your first coffee in the morning, like high heels for your face. Lipstick is like a double rainbow, like pasta with fresh pesto. I think you got the memo: lipsticks have super powers (in my opinion).

So let’s get real. How easily is this look done?


Start with a good base. For example, Inika’s liquid foundation or Perfect Skin Cushion by Dior, which is what I use at the moment. Honestly, my go-to concealer is by Santé (an organic brand from back in the days before organic was cool, which I buy at Alnatura or Bio Company).


Try using an eyelash curler instead of mascara – you might like it as much as I do! I love the bare lashes look so much that sometimes I even put a little foundation on the tips to exaggerate this look even more.


Lash Curler, € 24 via Niche Beauty


Also, don’t forget to brush your brows. Use a transparent gel and brush them up, or if you feel like you need to add color and happen to be in America – or one of your friends happens to be – grab a Glossier Boy Brow.


Before we carry on talking about what we really care about – lipstick! – let me tell you this: adding a mellow highlighter to your cheekbones, the eyes, and maybe to the chin and the area between your eyebrows will make you look younger and fresher at all times.

I personally go for the ones by RMS, Tom Ford, or ILIA Beauty.


Here it goes: for this look, I suggest a bold red.

Rouge Dior, which has been around since 1953, has just launched a capsule collection with new matte and satin finish haute couture colors. I adore the new #999 Matte shade.

If you looking to achieve less of a perfect lipstick look and rather more of a tinted lip one, go for Tata Harper’s Very Naughty, Kjaer Weis’ Lover’s Choice, RMS’ lip shine in Content, or ILIA Beauty’s Arabian Knights.

The fun thing is that you can play around as much as you like. Try it matte or shiny, in the perfect shape (with the help of a lip liner) or blurred. Be bold or be shy. But do try it. This look is elegant, classic, and different – yet clean and beautiful.

The Blurred Lip

The blurred lip trend is something I have always done intuitively as I think there is nothing sexier than lipstick that looks like you have either been kissing all night or had too much red wine while blabbing on about your last trip to Mexico or Miami. But why not create this look intentionally at the beginning of the evening instead of waiting until it’s over?

To get this look, don’t try to achieve a contour, but rather fade the lipstick out on the edges of your lips. Use more and/or darker colors in the middle of the lip. That’s all it takes!

© /

Stella von Senger und Etterlin was born and raised in Berlin. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Make-Up for Theatre and Film at August Everding University in Munich in 2013. After living in Paris and New York, she travelled around the world before pursuing her Masters of Special Effects SFX in Los Angeles. Along the way, she’s been doing hair and make-up for magazines such as Vogue, L'officiel, Qvest, Stern Mode, Condé Nast Traveller, and many more. She and her family have just recently moved back to Berlin.