Ravishing red lipstick is the one beauty trend that will never fade and should be included in every woman’s make-up collection. But with all the different lipstick shades and textures available on the market, it can be quite daunting to find a shade that suits you.
We were going to write a whole article about our very real struggle until the Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick Matte 198 landed on our desk – it was love at first gentle click and swipe and the only lippie we’ll be wearing this season. But that would be mean, so to make sure you find your perfect match too we’ve put together some tips to help you in your quest for the ultimate red lipstick!
Red lips have signified glamour from the earliest days of Hollywood. Stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe paved the way for red lipstick and these days Rihanna, Rita Ora, Taylor Swift and Julianne Moore lead the way.
The easiest way to know what shade of red will suit you best is by comparing it to your natural skin tone. There may be a few tones that suit your skin tone, but the best way to judge is the following:
Fair skin tone:
Opt for cool-toned shades of red that will work harmoniously with your cool-toned skin. These shades will be bold reds that do not contain and gold or orange hues.
We love: Catrice Luminous Lips Lipstick in 160 Read Me A Cherrytale, R99,95, Revlon Super Lustrous in Revlon Red, R149, M.A.C. Cosmetics Lipstick in Ruby Woo, R240, and Chanel Rouge Allure in Ardente, R610.
Medium skin tone:
Look for warm tones of red that are yellow-based – these will have a slight hint of orange to them. You can wear cool-toned shades, however, the most complementary shades are those that are warmer. With the help of a natural tan, these reds will bring out the natural glow of your skin.
We love: Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Colour in Are you Red-dy, R125, LCN Lipstick in Pure Obsession, R345, and Lancome L’Absolu Rouge lipstick in Cream 114, R399 and Yves Saint Laurent Vernis à Lèvres Vinyl Cream in 411 Rhythm Red, R520.
Dark skin tone:
Deep plum and wine red shades are best suited to darker skin tones as they complement your skin tone while adding a sultry pop of colour. These shades prevent your skin from looking darker against the colour of your lipstick. The colour should enhance your natural tones not change it.
We love: NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Life’s a Beach, R149, L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Exclusive Reds in Eva, R169,95, Urban Decay Vice Cream Lipstick in EZ, R230 and Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Bold Liquid Lipstick in Fiery Red, R295.
If you find the idea of a bold red lip daunting, experiment with a lip stain for a more subtle take on the ever popular statement lip! A stain isn’t as pigmented as a liquid lipstick, so you can achieve a more natural result and it stays put all day. Lip stains are also very buildable, so as you grow more confidant carrying off your new colour you can simply apply more on top for a deeper finish.
To matte, to liquid or stain?
A tricky question. Matte lipstick is iconic. So if you’re looking to add a sophisticated finish to your makeup, a classic cherry red with a semi-matte finish is the way to go. Remember that dark lipsticks will show up any dry skin, so treat your lips to a lip scrub and good conditioning lip balm before applying your lipstick. If you have very dry lips, a stain is better. These can be applied over a lip balm or gloss and will still leave your lips with a sheer tint.
Tips for you red lip
* First rule of red lip club used to be to line your lips with a good quality lip liner (it should match the shade of your lipstick) to prevent the lipstick from bleeding into fine lines. But lipstick formulas have come along way and with the quality of some of the lipsticks we’ve tested for this story, we’re not so sure this golden rule counts as much as it used to. That said, applying a lipliner helps you to define your lip and also accentuates your Cupid’s bow. Top this off with your lipstick – this will make sure you don’t overdo it when you need to reapply.
* Matte shades last much longer than glossy shades, so instead of using a completely glossy lipstick, use a matte one and finish with a small dab of lip gloss. The latest in the matte trend are chubby sticks that look like pencils, but are actually lipsticks. Easy to apply and store away and they come in amazing summer colours.
* To perfect and sculpt your red lip, clean up the edges using a flat brush and some concealer. After that, you are ready to go out and make your mark!