The power of a red lip is well known in that it can transform your make up look in one swipe. It instantly adds a pop of colour and creates the perfect power pout, bringing sophistication or sexiness to any look. There is a known psychological phenomenon called ‘The Lipstick Effect’. This relates to the fact that wearing make up can help people to feel more confident, attractive and increase self-esteem. This is certainly true with red lipstick as the colour red is warm, positive and energising; giving confidence especially to those that need a boost of boldness. I would say I can definitely relate to this.
Often my make up clients will say to me ‘I can’t wear a red lipstick’ but I genuinely believe there is one out there for everyone. The right shade of lipstick can brighten a face while the wrong red could overpower a make up look. There are so many shades and textures that settling on the right one can be daunting, but it can be done. So where to start?
It all depends on your skin colour and its undertones so whether you have yellow, red or blue tones plays a part in the colour you should select. Here are a few tips when shopping for that show stopping red lipstick in time for the party season.
Dark skin can really take a bold lip so be brave and choose a bright, intense colour like a deep red and reds with blue undertones. Wines, berries and brick reds can all look amazing on darker complexions. You can choose between a gloss or a matte texture – whichever one is your preferred choice.
Fair skin and complexions tend to be naturally pinker so cool toned reds with blue or purple undertones are preferable to oranges. A muted burnt red would look gorgeous in a matte or cream texture.
My skin is a medium tone so I’m delighted that my go to red lippy in this season is a berry red with plum or blackcurrant tones. For daytime I like to brighten darker tones with a lighter red gloss. A tip here when applying a gloss over a lipstick is to dab it in the centre of the lips, concentrating on the middle of the lower lip to create the illusion of fuller lips.
If you have an olive skin tone go for warmer shades to help brighten so reds with an orange or coral base are best. So hotter reds with an orange undertone look fab on warmer faces and work really well in matte finishes.
You might need to experiment a bit before you find your perfect red shade. It’s worth noting that lipsticks look different on everyone and its texture (cream, matte or gloss) can have an effect on the way the shade looks on your lips too. If you still don’t feel quite ready to commit to lipstick then you can ease yourself into wearing red with a sheer lip gloss or a lip stain to gradually add colour.
I have a rule that if on the rare occasion I get my legs out then no cleavage should be on show and vice versa. Less is definitely more at my age of late thirties! I apply this rule to my lip and eye colours too so pair minimal eye make up in soft and neutral eyeshadows with a bold red lip. My absolute go to product is my eyebrow powder, then I add an eyeliner and mascara with this look along with a fresh, simple base. Red lips make a big statement so make sure to plan the rest of your make up look to compliment your lip colour
Remember to also look after your lips in the colder weather as lipstick always looks better and stays on longer with well-conditioned lips. I recommend using a lip exfoliator a few times a week or gently brushing the lips with your toothbrush each night before applying a moisturising lip balm. You could also use a lip primer before application to prep the lips for longer lasting wear. Finally, for more precision I apply red lipstick with a lip brush then line the lips with a slightly deeper colour for added definition. Follow these simple rules and everyone can have the perfect red lip.