Some search for the perfect everyday hue, others collect. When it comes to red lipstick you will be told the following concepts: "fair skinned beauties generally should stick with blue undertones reds."; "check the inside of your wrist, what do your veins reveal?"; "steer clear of vibrant reds if you have dark skin!". As one who experiments with color on the daily, that includes contrasting shades, I am here to say some of the concepts listed above DO hold water, but most aren't clear and mislead MANY a woman! For example, what if you have light skin and neutral TO WARM undertones? Clearly, a blue toned red although it MIGHT fit if deep enough, won't look as good as a fiery orange toned color. Below I will be going into depth on some of my FAVORITE RED lipstick colors, and MY TIPS on how to choose the correct hue and shade for you! Do be noted I tried incorporating both liquid, and regular lipstick formulas along with high end/low end/indie brands this way a diverse amount of products would be present.
Lipstick is a tricky thing to come by since almost ALL of us beauties are uptight on how we fancy our formulas! For instance, a red lipstick in particular should be FADE PROOF, highly pigmented, and long lasting. While some brands might encompass 2/3 of these important factors, I made sure to ONLY display brands featuring excelling above these standards and moreover passing the 3 out of 3 test! For those of you who might be curious as to why I did NOT include "transfer proof" apart of the "3 out of 3", simply said, lipsticks in bullet form are ALWAYS going to have a hint of transferring, no matter how matte they claim to be. Above you shall see a total of 5 (five) lipsticks ranging from Maybelline's Rich Ruby to Besame Cosmetics Blood Red-- all of different formulas, all of different undertones, but all quite suiting, thus begging the question "HOW do you choose the perfect red Lilz?" Well, continue reading on and you shall become a personal red lipstick expert ;)!
Are you warm? Cool? Neutral? Cool Neutral? Olive? Warm Olive?! If this plays like an annoying bout of screaming in your head each and overtime you seek a red color, or gaze upon a shade you know will never suit you, take a step back girl, and HEAR ME OUT. There is a total of four basic methods to knowing your undertone. The most obvious being to check your veins in broad daylight as this'll display the colors most accurately. If they lean blueish purple, you have cool undertones. Sorta' unsure? You're neutral toned. Have a bunch of greens? Warm! However, just as mentioned above, what IF you have neutral to ___ undertones, how can you be sure? Take a peak at my wrist present to the left of this paragraph-- you shall see a bluish green and a deep purple, weirdly enough the SHADE of purple, green, and blue can verify wether you're neutral to cool or neutral to warm! For example, in my case, I work best with neutral to warm colors since I have a strong yellow base to my skin, DESPITE most color matchers telling me otherwise. People who're neutral to cool will have a stronger blue base to their skin and a more porcelain like complexion!
The vein test, I admit was VERY confusing to me at first! Fear not, more tests await. Hold up a piece of silver jewelry against your skin, and then a piece of gold jewelry, which looks best?
Both = Neutral
Silver = Cool
Gold = Warm
Both but MORSO Silver = Neutral to Cool
Both but MORSO Gold = Neutral to Warm
Still can't decide? Which piece of jewelry ENERGIZES your complexion? Although a bizarre question, if you analyze both pieces of jewelry present on my arm you shall see both are fitting, but the golden bangle refreshes my face, while the silver bangle draws focus outwards and washes me out. This my friends is an assured method to figuring out what undertones lie beneath that pretty little skin of yours! The third method is strictly based on your coloring. That means your NATURAL hair color, NATURAL eye color, and NATURAL skin color, mainly to detect how it reacts to the sun. If you're alabaster in tone, almost snow and ALWAYS burn you're more than likely cool toned. However, IF you have dark hair and are of an French heritage per-say, you might have neutral tones! On the other hand, those with sandy complexions who ALWAYS tan are more than likely warm toned, but once again if you're of Italian heritage PER-SAY, you could have strong olive undertones. When it comes to the darker side of the spectrum, things become a bit tricky since red and STRONG blue undertones come into the picture! The best way to detect what your undertone is at that point would be to identify with a public figure and seek out what products they use, OR to endure the test and fail idea which literally means try out a bunch of colors and find the best suiting for you. If you identify with me here is my answers based on the questions above of coloring: I NEVER burn, tan rarely, and am of Eastern European heritage (French, Ukrainian, German, English)! My natural hair color is a deep golden blonde, my natural eyes are typical of Ukrainian women a mix of blue and yellow, and my natural skin color is a milky ivory!
Cool Undertones: Blue Reds; Pink Reds (blue contrasts the red in your skin)
Warm Undertones: Orange Reds; Deep Red (blue/red might create a pretty contrast)
Neutral Undertones: Orange Reds; Blue Reds (any red WORKS, congrats, join the club)
Now that we've unveiled the proper way to discover your undertones, and the loop holes that follow, let's talk FORMULA! Those with chapped lips should ALWAYS aim for moisturizing formulas, but with extra moisture comes extra oil, thus the product will more than likely fade quickly. How do you cope? Demi Mattes! Demi Mattes are toned down matte formulas with a more natural finish as opposed to full on drying mattes, thus more hydrants are included, but the same wearable and long lasting texture withstands. Hold on a second, what if you LOVE liquid lipsticks and still have that chapped lippie issue occurring? Thick soufflé's love. You never want to have a liquid lipstick that dries down completely to a crusted finish, the thicker the formula the more coverage it'll yield, thus gliding RIGHT OVER patches of icky skin on your lips! My personal favorite, although my lips are supple, is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick formula (spicy on my lips, view photo to the left), partnering closely with the Dose of Colors Liquid Lipstick formula as well, despite this being a bit thinner. Both have NEVER failed and last up to 7 hours untouched with constant talking, laughing, and smiling! It truly comes down to wether you'd prefer a matte, or a cream and your overall skin condition at hand, below I once again will type out a compressive list this way it'll sum things up in a concise mannerism.
Dry Lips: Thick Liquid Lipsticks; Demi-Matte; Creamy
Moist Lips: Long Wearing Lipsticks
Hydrated Lips: Regular Liquid Lipsticks; Any Bullet Lipstick
MY TOP 5 RED LIPSTICKS
By this point you should be completely set! In all honesty, once you find your undertone and understand how certain formulas work the rest will follow and you shall never run into an issue of "which red should I choose?" again. The second half of this blog post is dedicated to my personal top 5 favorite red lipsticks! As being one with neutral to warm undertones, it works to my advantage since I can show you loves an array of hues, not the same boring classic red. Each color was chosen because I tend to wear them often with makeup looks, or because they hold a special place in my heart! As a disclaimer point, EACH PRODUCT was purchased with my OWN money, this is MY PERSONAL review, and MY PERSONAL preference. Everyone is different-- if you have a favorite red, or a suggestion for a red lipstick for me to try out, comment below! We're a community of love bunnies, not evil snapchat bunny filters...hopefully someone picked up on that reference point.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick, Temper
Red-Orange with warm undertones and a satiny finish.
This semi-dark in tone orange-red in my opinion look best on me,
and is muted enough for everyday wear!
2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick, Spicy
Vivid Red-Orange with STRONG warm undertones and a matte finish.
Extremely bright, but is a very fitting red against my skin tone.
Reminds me of a fire engine!
3. Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick, Merlot
Alluring cool toned red with a comfortable and blendable matte finish.
On my skin it is the PERFECT candy apple red!
Extremely comfortable finish, and very long lasting.
4. Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick, Rich Ruby
Medium-Dark cool red with STRONG blue undertones and a satin like finish.
Classic red that is flattering on most fair skin tones.
Lightweight texture that is rather long lasting!
5. Besame Cosmetics Lipstick, Blood Red
1922 replica of flapper's lipstick colors.
Semi-Matte finish, wearable for both warm and cool tones with warm complexions.
VERY pigmented; leaves a stain after wear time is up
What red lipstick will you be rockin' this Fall?