Finding The Right Shade of Red Lipstick For You

Rocking a bold, red lipstick is always guaranteed to amp up an outfit, a makeup look or even one’s overall presence. It is timeless, effortless, glamorous, and has withstood the test of many eras and times.

There’s hundreds of red lipstick shades, tones and finishes in the market and it can get quite overwhelming to really nail one that’s right for you. Here are some tips on how to narrow the choices down and find the right shade of red lipstick for you:

Figuring Out Your Undertone – Warm, Cool or Neutral

Knowing your skin’s undertone doesn’t only help with finding the right lipstick shade, but what colour palette works best for you.

Warm undertones are typically more yellow or peachy/ golden and tend to look best when paired with gold-coloured jewelry. Your veins also appear more green than blue and you tend to tan more easily in the sun.

Cool undertones appear more pinkish, rosey or even blue in colour. Silver or rose gold jewelry tends to work best for those in this group. Your veins would appear more blue than green and you get more red easily when in the sun.

Then there’s those who look good in potentially any colour and can wear gold or silver jewelry alike – Neutral undertones can look like a mixture of both peachy and pinky hues. Those with more olive skin tones and have a mix of blue/green or even purple veins fall under the neutral undertone group.

Once you’ve figured out your skin undertone, we can look at the different undertones of red lipstick and which types are best suited for you.

Figuring Out The Different Shades Of Red Lipstick

Similar to identifying your skin undertone, red lipsticks also work the exact same way. There are different hues of reds – from burgundies and coral reds to oxblood and blue reds, all red lipsticks tend to fall into a specific red group that are most flattering for specific skin undertones.

Red Lipsticks For Warm Undertone Skin

Warm undertone (yellow/ peachy hues) skin tends to work best with reds that have peachy or orangey tones. Brown-reds or brick reds fall in this category as well, and are a lot deeper than orange-reds.

Think Beyonce, Rihanna, Blake Lively and Jessica Alba – these few celebrities are all warm-toned girlies.

Some notable warm-red lipsticks from lighter orange finishes to darker brown/brick reds that would be suitable for warm undertone skin include:

Red Lipsticks For Cool Undertone Skin

Similarly, cool undertone (pinky/rosey hues) skin works best with reds that have blue or berry tones. Pinky reds, cherry reds and deep burgundy reds fall under this cool umbrella.

Famous cool-toned girls include Taylor Swift (who sports her signature red lip everywhere she goes), Adele, Anne Hathaway, and Lupita Nyong’o.

A few well-known red lipsticks that would suit those with cooler undertones include:

I’m wearing Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in 99 – Pirate

‘True Red’ Lipsticks For Every Skin Tone

There are however, a select few red lipsticks in the market that are dubbed as ‘true red‘, which are reds that look most balanced with very subtle hints of orange or blue. These types of reds are typically wearable for every and almost any skin tone.

A few brands have managed to perfect this and became cult classics on their own are:

Because red is an intense ‘statement’ colour, it undoubtedly takes many trials and errors to find the exact one that works for you. Sometimes swatches on the hand can look slightly different when swatched on the lips, and this can be dependent on how fair or deep your skin tone is.

For me, I have light-medium skin with neutral-warm undertones and I gravitate more towards brown reds or darker reds in general.

My current favourite and recent find is L’Oreal’s Colour Rich Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in the shade 129 I Lead. I think this type of subtle brown/ brick red is so flattering without appearing too striking. Plus I really like how it glides on the lips smoothly while still leaving a comfortable, non-chapping matte finish.

Of course, if you’re still a bit unconfident about committing to a red lipstick, you can opt for a more sheer or glossy formula that isn’t as “bold” at first glance. I do that with my Chanel Rouge Allure one from time to time with a warm brown lipliner for a softer effect.

The whole aim is to experiment, have fun and find what works for you. Once you find your perfect red lipstick, trust that it will be your go-to statement lippie for any occasion that calls for it.

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