How to pick the perfect red lipstick shade for you
The power of red lipstick can’t be understated. Tubes of it were handed out by the suffragettes when they protested in New York in 1912, and in January this year, it was a glaring symbol of resistance as the Time’s Up movement rallied.
In day-to-day life, too, it helps give its wearers more confidence. To help you find the right lipstick that fills you with this the most, be it a classic red or an unapologetic plum, we’ve put together a short guide for every skin tone.
First and foremost, consider the undertones of your skin colour. Not only will they indicate which shades will work with your overall skin tone, they’ll allow you to see which can contrast well – and really stand out – against it.
The well-known test of the trade: Look at your wrist up-turned; then, to the colour of your veins.
If the colour of your veins is closer to blue or purple, it’s likely that you have cool undertones.
Conversely, if your veins have more of a green tint, you’ve probably got warm undertones.
Can’t decide because your veins look like a mixture of both – partly bluish-purple and, at the same time, partly green? Neutral is your tonal baseline.
Once you’ve consulted your skin tone, look to these suggestions for a red pout that really flatters, anytime of the day:
Across the range of skin complexions, from light to deep and all variants in between, those with cool undertones should opt for blue-toned reds, especially if you’ve got fair skin – the cooler shades will complement flush pinks.
Warmer tones will benefit from orangey-reds or crimsons, which lift any natural warmth, with tanned and olive complexions wearing the former to striking effect. Deep complexions will find that similar bright shades really radiate, too – think coral or cherry. If you want something more understated, wearable purples, such as plum- or wine-reds, balance any soft greens in warm-toned skin.
Neutral undertones will find that reds are universally flattering – their combination tones can be complimented by an array of shades on the scale. Don’t know where to begin? Try a classic matte red for a look that’s truly timeless.
#1 Try your desired shade on in store. You’ll see if the colour is true to the bullet it comes from.
#2 For minimal touch-ups or a party-proof lip, semi matte shades will last longer than anything sheer.
#3 If you want something as adventurous as it is bold, choose a red that’s the opposite of your skin tone: match cool tones with warm-reds, and vice versa.
#4 Once you’ve applied your shade, blot your lips with tissue or an oil-blotting sheet to evenly distribute colour.
#5 If you want a lip liner in your arsenal to match, opt for a shade that is either the same, or one shade lighter or darker, than your red for an easy blend on application.
What’s your favourite red lipstick?