Monday, October 12, 2009

Red Lipstick - you CAN do it!! ^__^

With Halloween coming up and the holiday season just around the corner, I figured now would be a perfect time to discuss red lipstick! Someone once told me that red lipstick was popularized by movie stars because it showed up well on black and white films and eventually was worn in day to day life.  I love red lipstick - I think it's classy and beautiful for the right occasion and particularly during the holidays.

Some tips before applying the lipstick:

-Skin must be FLAWLESS (as with any lip color - makeup looks good only if the canvas looks good!). Moisturize over night, and then use a primer, anti-shine, foundation, concealer, and powder to seal everything in. (I know it's a lot of steps and I will go through each step in a later blog - but for now, these are all musts.)

-Make sure the eyebrows are shaped and groomed. Messy eyebrows will make you look like a caveman. Thick eyebrows look lovely on Brooke Shields or Jennifer Connelly. But red lipstick isn't the best choice of lipcolor for either one of them (not saying it's bad, just that with their eyebrow styles, they're suited to other lipcolors), paired with the thicker brows I think it makes them look aged:

 Megan Fox, on the other hand, with her polished eyebrows pulls of red lips beautifully:

-Ensure that both the eyes and cheeks are fairly neutral. Stick to matte, neutural eyeshadows (like browns, greys, taupes, and steer clear of the smoky eye), a black or brown eyeliner, and bronzer or peachy blushes - go easy on pink cheeks, too bright of a pink combined with red lipstick will look clownish.

-Prime the lips with the anti-shine, then dust some powder on them to absorb any oils.

-Always use a lipliner as red lipstick has a tendency to bleed.

-Thin lips are accentuated with darker colors. While this can also have a cute, pixie effect, it's up to you whether you want to go this route.

The truth is that everyone can wear red lipstick, it's simply a matter of choosing the right hue of red. First we must determine if you're a cool or warm tone - you may exhibit qualities of both warms and cools, try to choose the one you best fall into:

COOL skin tones are people with a little pink in their skin (those porcelains that burn easily - usually the foundation is pink based), people who look good in silver and not too great in gold, people who look better in ash hair colors as opposed to golden hair colors, and people with blue veins on the underside of their wrist. Cools look better in stark white as opposed to ivory, and awesome in black. You're also a cool if you look best in these colors of clothing:

WARM skin tones are yellow based or golden (meaning they tan easily, foundation is usually yellow based), look better in gold than silver jewelry, look good in golden hair colors as opposed to ash, and have green veins on the underside of their wrist. Warms look better in ivory over pure white and washed out in black. You're also a warm if you look best in these colors of clothing:

Generally, you want to stick with like colors. Meaning, warm tones should stick to warmer toned red lipsticks and vice versa (cools should stick to blue based red lipsticks).

NOTE: You guys have it easy - my skin is such a strange shade of olive that I fell under BOTH categories!! (I have both green AND blue veins on my wrist, I tan easily and wear yellow based foundation, but what made me realize I'm a cool (which is very unusual for olives) is that I look better in silver jewelry and look horrid in olive clothing. It appears that most olives have yellow-based skin, making them warm tones. But turns out I'm such an unusually deep olive, my skin is literally green based, making me a borderline cool tone.

The next step is to look at your hair color, which plays a huge role in the intensity of the red you'll be able to pull off. (When I went from burgundy to blond, I had to change my entire makeup ensemble). You will be classified as either dark (brown or black-haired), red (anything from strawberry blond to coppery orange, to auburn, to burgundy-haired), or blond (enough said lol). Here, the darks are going to use a darker shade of red, the blondes a lighter red, and redheads a brighter red. Again - you could fall into 2 categories here (ex: a brunette with blond highlights). In this case, you may want to experiment by mixing colors.

Dark-haired beauties with a WARM skin tone: Look best in brownish reds (brick reds), or darker golden reds.

Dark-haired beauties with a COOL skin tone: Look best in darker cool, blue based reds - cherry reds, plums, and burgundies.

Blond-haired cuties with a WARM skin tone: Look best in coral or light copper reds.

Blond-haired cuties with a COOL skin tone: Look best in darker plum-pinks, light red/rose or any lighter blue based reds.

Redheads with a WARM skin tone: Look best in bright orangey, coppery reds.

Redheads with a COOL skin tone: Look best in bright, blue-based reds - plums, berries, and brick reds.

I would suggest hitting up your local Ulta and taking a gander through Revlon's lipsticks - they have some fantastic reds. Purchase any color that sounds roughly like what you're looking for. Most Ultas allow you to return any makeup that you don't like (yes, even if you tried it on) as long as you keep the original packaging and receipts - but again make sure to call and double check with your's. Also, don't be afraid to mix colors together if you fall into 2 categories.

Which red lipsticks are your favorites? Do you have any tips of your own to share about reds?


  1. ohhhhh it all makes sense now. moisturizer, primer, anti-shine and THEN foundation. what was i thinking... silly me.

  2. I guess I'm a cool...but only the lower end of that spectrum. Lighter cools wash me out. I try to stick with jewel tones. Although, I can wear some warm colors, like orange and red. Tricky tricky.

  3. I have been wanting to try out the red lipstick look! I just haven't gotten the nerve yet:) Great tips! Thanks doll!

    P.S- Ulta is amazing! Everyone should go there