Surely the one product that divides everyone like no other?
There are those who love it. Obsessively. The glamorous red lip. I’m taking Marilyn Monroe levels of glamour. When you slick on the perfect shade and instantly feel 100x better.
There are also those who are scared. I get it. There’s nothing worse than smiling in the mirror (potentially 5 minutes after you’ve been talking to someone beautiful or important) and seeing red lipstick smeared on your teeth. I think lipstick on teeth is sometimes going to be unavoidable, because y’know… the vicinity of your teeth and your lips. BUT I get it. I totally do. Red lipsticks can be a complete mind field. I always get asked questions about red lipstick from my friends and family. I think the biggest factor in shunning a red lip is because you’re scared. I want to change that.
Red is red, right? WRONG. Red is a whole insane spectrum of different shades. You can have pinky reds, yellow-y reds, brown reds, clean reds… so many different reds. Overwhelming, Depending on a whole variety of factors, you will want different colours.
Which leads me on to…
People who try red lipstick and don’t like it have probably got a shade with the wrong undertone. I am not saying there is one right undertone for everyone, BUT the colours in your skin make a huge difference to how products look. If you want your teeth to look whiter (yellow teeth being a big fear with red lipstick) then go for something with a BLUE undertone. The bluer the better. If you’re pale, you will probably look best in blue toned red. Think Snow White vibes. If you skin is warm toned (green veins, tanned or darker complexion) you want to mirror that warmth with something with ORANGE undertones. Obviously, these are not strict rules, but worth considering if you have had trouble with an unflattering shade in the past.
Matte to glossy and everything in between. For me, matte is always the way forward, especially with a bolder colour. It simply stays put. If you have drier lips or just don’t like the matte finish then something glossier is better. A red gloss is asking for trouble, in my opinion. A balmier texture is good, though. If you can, it’s worth lining lips first to make sure colour doesn’t bleed. After that, go nuts.
What is liner?
It is not the devil. Ssh, don’t be scared. Liner is amazing and must be embraced immediately. It makes lips look bigger, helps lipstick to last longer and just generally is so handy. MAC Cherry is a must-have.
How do I apply it?
In an ideal world? With a brush and in excellent lighting conditions.
How I do keep it looking as good as it did when I first put it on?
If you want to wear a red lip (and you should!), you are going to have carry a mirror around for touch ups. I’m sorry.
Give me recommendations!
You got it. An obvious choice, but you can’t really beat MAC Ruby Woo. It’s a classic for a reason. With lots of blue undertones, this is the lipstick that makes my teeth look white, my eyes look brighter and it just generally complements my skin tone. I can’t imagine this lipstick looking bad on anyone! The formula is dry. Accept it. If you apply a good lip balm 10 minutes before you apply this, you’re golden. For a similar colour with a more forgiving formula, try Clinique Soft matte crimson. On a budget? L’oreal Blake’s red is amazing.
Lady Danger, also from MAC. The best orange-toned red there is. If you want a red with warm undertones, you will want this. If you have blue eyes, you will want this.
For a sheerer option – check out Lady Bug, from MAC. It’ll fade evenly and won’t dry your lips out. Also check out the Revlon lip butter in candy apple if sheer lipsticks are your thing.
For darker skin tones, you want a darker colour. Ruby Woo will work, but Dubonnet is good.
If you want something with shimmer (I won’t judge), New York Apple is worth a look. My (spanish) best friend wore this, and it really suited her.
Phew, long post! What are your views on red lips? Let me know!