I love red lipstick. It’s sexy, classic and makes anyone look beautiful. Like a beautiful pair of heels, sparkling diamonds or classic pearl earrings, red lips are eternally in fashion. If you doubt this, look at pictures of Cleopatra – one of the last Egyptian pharaohs (and total beauty) who’d crush semi-precious stones, beetles and ants to make her own fabulous scarlet-hued lipstains.
Red lips can also be intimidating. I understand the hesitancy to wear a shade so bright, sexy and attention-grabbing. Maybe this stems from really old thinking (I’m talking dated and sexist thinking of how “harlots” and prostitutes only wore red lipstick. Hello 1700s!!). Thankfully, as cosmetics became popular, women started embracing a range of beauty products including rouge and mascara.
In the early 1900s, smarty-pants Maurice Levy invented the first tube of lipstick. Before his invention, women carried lipstick made of beeswax, deer tallow and castor oil wrapped in silk paper. You couldn’t pay me enough to carry that potential disaster in a designer bag – no way. By 1923, lipstick as we know it, housed in a metal swivel tube, was patented and heavy-hitters such Chanel began making lipsticks in still-popular shades such as Pirate and the rest is history.
Now…how to actually wear red liptick without looking clowny? The key is finding the best shade for you. Let’s start with skin tones. Choosing a shade that is too yellow or too cold will quickly take you from sultry Marilyn Monroe to hideously creepy Pennywise the Clown.
Alright – Red Lips 101 is in session! Pay attention, Class!
Those with caramel complexions (think Rihanna) can pull off red lipsticks with warm, yellow tones well. Below, Rihanna is wearing MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in So Chaud – perfect for her.
Are you a very fair blond with a cool skintone? Bright red lipsticks with a hint of pink or raspberry will warm up those icy cool pinkish undertones in your skin. Try Bite’s Cashmere Lip Creme in Sancerre.
Have beautiful, flame red hair (my favourite hair colour of all time)? Do NOT shy away from red lipsticks – they were made for you! Coral red lipsticks look fantastic on redheads. The orange tones in corally-red lipstick look beautiful especially on those with milky skintones with auburn hair. Give NYX Cosmetics’ Butter Lipstick in Hot Tamale a whirl.
On sale now at Amazon $5.93 (click pic below):
Brunettes with medium complexions really benefit from pinky-red lipsticks – think raspberry tones. Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colour in Envoutante is calling all fair-toned brunettes!
Brunettes with golden tones should try bright berry-coloured reds to enhance the golden warmth of their skin. A perfect example is Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg.
Those with olive-toned skin – think glimmering, summery tans and golden glows – should take advantage of all of the awesome orangey-reds out there! JLo should teach a class on this. Avon’s Ultra Colour Lipstick in Tangerine Tango is a good one to try.
For all of my chocolate beauties out there, if you have dark skin with warm undertones blue-based reds were made for you. Think the immensely popular MAC Cosmetics’ Ruby Woo or Kiko Make Up Milano Ultra Glossy Stylo in #809 Ruby Red (shown on me below).
For my dark chocolate ladies, you tend to have blue undertones. Reach for ruby red shades with a little golden shimmer to enhance that deep cocoaness! Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick in Saffron Silk is perfect for your dark gorgeous skin tone.
For those of you who are curious, in my header image, I am wearing MAC Cosmetics Marilyn Monroe Collection for Holiday 2012 Lipstick in Charmed I’m Sure which unfortunately is unavailable. A great dupe is MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo lipstick.
My outfit details (header image):
- Shirt, Aritzia (no longer available, similar here)
- Statement necklace, J.Crew (no longer available, similar here)
Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments! Also, please share your favourite red lipsticks and identify your skintone too!
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