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When A-listers want red carpet magic, “it all starts with the dress!” says Physicians Formula celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip, who has worked with Christina Applegate. But the truly stunning looks are all about finishing touches. “Red lipstick,” explains celeb makeup artist Troy Surratt, “imparts instant glamour.”

Once they select the shade that suits their complexion (see right), then it’s all about the application: It has to last. Joanna layers, starting with a “stain” she makes from red Jell-O. (Yes, the instant-dessert powder plus water.) She lines and fills in lips with liner, then dusts on translucent powder (like Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Illuminating Powder Duo, $14).

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Finally, she paints on the lipstick. Getting red right is more soul than science. “Confidence,” says Joanna, is what it takes to make those red lips as memorable as the rest of the night.

CHECK OUT THE BEST RED LIPSTICK FOR ALL COMPLEXIONS IN THE GALLERY

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