As it is February and basically has red, pink, and hearts on it, I figured now would be a good time to pull out my soapbox and preach the gospel of red lipstick. Anyone can pull off red lipstick. There are so many shades, levels of pigmentation, and finishes anyone and everyone (even guys, if they are so inclined) can find their perfect red.
But it can be tremendously daunting to figure out what you want out of a red lip – matte? glossy? a stain? a tinted balm? sparkly? warm and orange-y? cool and purple-y? dark? bright? As a novice, the sheer amount of options thrown at you can deter any interest in even trying to find Your Shade; but thankfully, I am here to help!
“I’m scared of a bold red lip.”
That’s perfectly fine. It takes time to build up the confidence to be like
“YEAH! I’m gonna rock a red lip today. For no reason. Yay for me”
If you’re a bit timid when it comes to red, starting with a tinted balm (my favorites are Fresh’s Sugar balms and L’Oreal’s Color Riche). These tinted balms are the easiest to apply, and are okay for work or when you’re not feeling bold enough for a bright red lip.
“How do I know what red will look good on me?”
Skin tone and hair color are what make the biggest differences in how good a color will look on you. Try out both orange and purple based red lipsticks and decide which you think looks best. Once you have a preference, try out varying lightnesses and darknesses. Lighter shades are more playful, but darker shades are great for nighttime or making a statement.
If you’re still unsure, take a friend with you who knows makeup or ask one of the people that work at the store to help you. Give them the basics of what you’re looking for, and a price range and they’ll be able to help you find something nice!
“I’m still scared. Where’s a good place to start?”
It all depends on your budget! This is where I suggest going to Sephora or Ulta and going crazy. Swatch on your arm or try it on your lips (a lot of places carry little swabby things so you can clean off the sample lipstick before trying it on). Both Sephora and Ulta can run a little pricey, but if you find Your Shade, I think it’s worth spending the money on it. Plus whenever you wear it you feel brave and beautiful and just generally awesome. A well done red lip says “Look out world, I AM HERE AND I AM ME”
If you’re feeling brave, are on a budget, or have $20 to spend, go to your local drugstore/target and buy several different shades and brands of cheap red lipstick to find what color you like.
“There are different finishes for lipstick?!?”
Indeed there are. So many.
Matte (my favorite) is a flatter finish and is generally more pigmented (last longer), but require a lot of upkeep.
Shine is … well, shiney. More like a lip gloss than what you might think of as lipstick. These don’t last as long, but are quick and easy to apply.
Satin is your normal finish for a lipstick. Somewhere in between Matte and Shine. Satin finish is great to build up, so you have more control over how Red your lips actually are.
“Do you have any suggestions?”
Of course I do. I am a red lipstick addict.
Brand: Mac. They’re 15$ a pop, but well worth it. And pretty cheap as far as high end makeup goes. You get a lot of bang for your buck with Mac.
Drugstore Lipsticks: the Revlon Lip Butters. They’re easy to apply, and super pigmented for a drugstore brand. I have like 6 of them, but my favorites are Candy Apple Red and Red Velvet.
For Balms: Fresh’s Sugar balm in Cherry. These are expensive so I don’t say this lightly: this is the best tinted lip balm I have ever owned. They’re SPF 15, buildable, and stay on forever.
For Lip Creams: On a budget: NYX’s Lip Creams are great and come in lots of colors (not just red, but their red one is gorgeous). And not on a budget: Bite Beauty’s Cashmere Lip Creams. Your lips will feel like butter and look gorgeous.
For RED: Mac’s Russian Red. It’s actually my favorite lipstick in general. It suits most skin tones, isn’t drying or flakey (a big problem with a lot of ‘matte’ lip products) and is very easy to apply.
That’s basically all you need to know about red lips. Any hair color, any skin color, any time of day, any occasion: red lipstick for all! Everyone can wear red lipstick. And should.