I’ve posted a fair few times online about red lipstick, and I always receive comments from people telling me they don’t look right with it on. As I truly believe there’s a red lipstick out there for everyone, I’ve been interested in writing up a blog post about it for a long time now to hopefully help those who haven’t had the life changing experience of finding that perfect red. And after the success of my ‘How to Find your Perfect Foundation’ post, I felt this was long overdue…
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Step 1: Find your perfect undertone
I personally know I can’t wear coral or pinkish reds, as I just don’t have the tan for it. If you’re someone who looks best in peach shades, however, then these pink-toned red shades will be much more flattering on you. If you like browns and berry-toned shades, then you’re much more suited to a blue-toned red. The main way to check, in my opinion, is to experiment. I know a lot of advice revolves around warm vs cool skin undertones matching up to orange vs blue lipstick bases, but I never find this to be of much use as the colours that suit me don’t quite link to each other (I also love orange-toned reds, which shouldn’t really look good on me at all based on skin-tone logic). If you’re totally confused for your first red lipstick, and have no opportunity to try different ones on, I’d definitely suggest going for a classic Marilyn red, such as the Balm’s ‘Meet Matt(e) Hughes’ liquid lipstick (non-UK readers click here) in Loyal. It’s not too orange and it’s not too brown, and until you’re ready to start experimenting with each end of the red colour spectrum it’s a great place to start. (In this image, I’m wearing the Beauty Bakerie ‘Matte Lip Whip’ in Mon Cherie. I find this lipstick to be a little crumbly and dry to be honest, but the colour is beautiful and really intense.)
Step 2: Adapt your other makeup
If you’re someone who generally turns to heavy eye makeup and a neutral lip, then replacing your nude for a red is always going to be a bit garish. Red lipstick can be a dramatic statement on it’s own, and I find that the best eye combination is either warm neutral/gold eyeshadow, a black wing, or simply just mascara. In fact, one of my favourite ways to make quick and simple makeup a little more exciting is to throw on a red lipstick with it.
Step 3: Complete your look
If the red lipstick still looks out of place on your lips, it may just need to be matched by something else. A red bag, red nails, red shoes….anything will work to take the attention away from your lips and put the focus on you as a whole. I love to wear my hair in a messy bun whilst I have on red lipstick, as I think it gives a much more casual look.
Step 4: Pack the handbag essentials!
I’ve always loved a garish lip, and I’ve certainly learned a few lessons over the past few years because of it. You have to be prepared for the mishaps that just don’t come with nude shades. Wherever I go, I always make sure I have a few handbag essentials: makeup remover wipes, a powder foundation (with a mirror!), a lip balm and the lipstick I’m wearing. If, for whatever reason, your lipstick gets smudged during the day, it’s nice to know you have a way to fix it. Use the wipes to remove the mistakes, the foundation to re-cover the wiped area, and the lipstick to reapply. Similarly, if eating out, it’s easiest to remove the lipstick right before you eat and reapply it after. The lip balm is there because, well, lipstick is so much easier to apply with lip balm underneath. These steps may seem a little time consuming of course, which is why you should do the best you can to prevent them.
My favourite long wearing lipsticks are the NYX ‘Soft Matte Lip Creams’ (non-UK readers click here), they’re comfortable and never crumble or smudge. Not to mention they’re great value and come in a huge range of shades – my personal favourite red is Morocco; it’s what I’m wearing in this picture. It’s orange-toned and practically neon!
Hopefully after following these 4 steps you’ll be much more comfortable in red lipstick, and more confident about battling the setbacks you had previously worried would occur whilst wearing it.
Thanks so much for reading,