The easiest way to do red? Channel Taylor Swift and go for the bold lip

<span>Photograph: Martina Lang/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Martina Lang/The Guardian

Anyone who tried and failed to buy a pair of red socks in the run-up to Christmas can blame Zoë Kravitz. Her scarlet-stockinged stroll through Manhattan led to a stampede, but the inspiration really came from luxury fashion brand of the moment The Row, which for winter added vibrant flashes of red to its signature black, grey and navy colour palette.

This can be done with hosiery, a knit or bag, of course, but the easiest and most understated way to add a red accent is with makeup, specifically on the lips and cheeks, leaving eyes relatively bare. Taylor Swift has been doing it all winter.

Her favourite LiquiLUST Legendary Wear Lipstick in Elson 4 (£32) by Pat McGrath is a vivid, blue-based red, which is not for the uninitiated red lip wearer (the liquid formula benefits from careful application). But if you have the confidence, it looks wonderful against an otherwise neutral makeup look.

The easiest way to add a red accent is with the lips and cheeks, leaving eyes relatively bar

For everyone else, there are what I’d call Fisher-Price Starter Reds, for their versatility and their ease of use and wear. I almost disregarded Merit’s Flush Balm in Rouge (£32) when it arrived, figuring this bright, cheery red cream blusher would look too doll-like to be age-appropriate or chic, but turns out it’s one of my favourite winter makeup additions.

The sheer, red-apple shade translates beautifully into a wholesome flush of good health that subtly enlivens not only my face but also my frequently funereal outfits.

Its translucence and dab-on application make it a perfect first red for anyone who fears bold colour, and it works as well on the lips as on the cheeks (I’d even argue it looks better and more modern when matching on both areas). I adore it, and strangely (for a committed red lip wearer) I currently find myself more drawn to its muted look.

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If you favour a more orangey-toned red, Ilia’s Dear Ruby in the excellent and versatile Multi-Stick formula (£36) is glorious and flattering to all.

I also love Trinny London’s effortless Lip2Cheek in Rossy (£26), which has just the right amount of pigment to look dressy and exactly enough moisture to stay casual.

For red lips that require next to zero thought, never mind a mirror, try Summer Fridays’ Lip Butter Balm in Cherry (£23). This is literally impossible to cock up – just smoosh over the mouth, straight from the tube, and enjoy comfier, smoother winter lips.