I am always up for a challenge and as a makeup artist I face many. Most of the time, I face myths about makeup and the number one I hear is....."I can't wear red lipstick." (insert record scratching) What? Really? But....that is CrAzY talk!!!!! Ladies, I am here to tell you that every single woman in the world can wear red (did you hear the collective gasp?). Yes, a bold statement but a true one. Having said this, however, you must know that not all reds are created equal. Not every one will have the desired affect so you must go into that drug/department store armed, armed to the TEETH with proper information. Remember that my fav makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin said,
"There are no rules to make up"
SO true!!! So take all of these hint, tips and tricks as guidelines. Not iron clad rules. If a suggestion doesn't work for you, then don't do it...period! Be comfortable and be YOU!
Let's get right to it. As I mentioned before, not all shades of red will look great on every skin tone. Also our skin color changes with every season so instead of matching your skin color to a red, we want to find your natural undertone and match THAT to a red lipstick. The way I try to find out if someone is cool or warm, is if you look better in silver jewelry and pure white clothing, you are most likely cool. If you look better in gold jewelry and cream clothing, you are warm. With skin changing color from summer to winter you can slightly change your red lipstick but the undertones will stay the same.
For those lovely ladies PINK/COOL undertones (think Sandra Bullock, Evan Rachel Wood, Kate Bosworth) you want to reach for blue-based reds. Yes, blue. They will work harmoniously with your rosy skin and will warm up your face. Added bonus? They can make your teeth look super white! Neutral divas can also wear blue based reds (since they can pull off almost any red.....luckies) but it won't be their best match. Love how Sandra wears her blue red, muah!
And don't be afraid to reach for a red that has a slight orange in it too. Look at how Kate rocks her sliiiiiightly orange toned lip. I wouldn't recommend going more orange than this though.
Keep in mind, there is such thing as being fair skinned with yellow undertones (think Sandra Oh). If that is you, keep reading. This was for fair skinned gals with cool/pink undertones.
Some great blue-based reds to grab are:
and here's a blue based wine color MAC's Plumful Lustre Lipstick
For those of you that have a more MEDIUM SKIN with neutral undertones, luuuuuuucky YOU!!! (think Alyssa Milano, Jesinta Campbell *below*, Lauren Conrad) You really can wear almost any red out there. The BEST reds that will compliment you are the true/natural reds. Think fire engine red, as red as you can GET red! This type of red is also AMAZING on brunettes that have more fair skin in the winter time. Also be sure to experiment with all the lovely wine colored reds out there as well!
Some true reds to try:
MAC's Russian Red (a personal fav)
I LOVE this wine color Frankie Rose lipstick in Cabernet
For those lovelies with WARMER OLIVE/COCO skin (think Kim Kardashian, Penelope Cruz, and Zoe Saldana, ) with golden undertones, listen up! You too can wear almost anything out there. Yellow undertones can sometimes look sallow and the warm, orangey tones in these shades of red play on said yellow and brighten the warmer complexion. But the same can be said of the blue-reds. Deeper wine tones look stunning and corals? I mean come ON!!! Pink/reds can look amazing with those of you that have this complexion and green eyes.
Put all other reds mentioned in your makeup bag, including these:
(I love using this to deepen the corners of a bright red)
For those of you with DARKER SKIN tones, orangey red, corals etc. will look amazing on those that have a warmer undertone (Iman, Kelly Rowland, Angela Bassett). If you are going to be this bold with this much contrast you must commit! Wear it with confidence and a big smile! Wearing more cool blue-red can definitely work if cooler toned makeup is carried throughout the rest of the face for those with a somewhat warmer undertone but is better suited to those with cooler tones (think Alek Wek, Viola Davis) who also look stunning in plumy red shades. Finding the perfect deep red, maroon or burgundy (whether blue or yellow based) will look fantastic and creamy against your dark skin.
Reds to put in your cart:
MAC's Lady Danger (warm tones)
CoverGirl Lip Perfection lipstick in Burn (warm tones)
NARS Fire Down Below (warm tones)
Limecrime Velveteen Lipstain in Wicked (warm tones)
NYX Matte Lipstick in Siren (warm tones)
Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in Carmin Escarpin (cool tones)
MAC’s lipstick in Hang-Up (cool tones)
And just to give you even MORE options...here are neutral reds (aren't 100% warm or cool) that compliment almost ever skin tone and also look different on everyone!
Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice (looks orange-red on warm skin and pinkish-red on cool skin not to mention it's been around since 1952 and was a fav of Elizabeth Taylor)
If you are still having a hard time knowing what red is right for you or you need help knowing what skin tone you have Boots has an awesome page that can help you. Just click here and you'll be on your way to the perfect red lip. Stay tuned as we get even closer to Valentines Day for more tricks of the trade with tricky red lips. Muah!!!