Friday, 6 July 2012

'Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.'- Gwyneth Paltrow

Nothing can dress up an outfit more than red lipstick. It is the epitome of glamour, it oozes confidence and commands attention.

Famous Lovers of Red Lipstick
(From top left: Marilyn Monroe, Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani)

Can I Wear Red Lipstick?

I'm a firm believer that everyone, once they've found the right shade, can wear red lipstick. Don't worry if you're not particularly outgoing, or you feel you're too shy to pull it off- just try it and see. You'll instantly feel more glamorous and confident (and even if you don't feel it, you'll look it!).

How Do I Find the Right Shade?

If you're picking out a red lipstick for the first time, I would actually go into a make up department and ask for help. Make up Artists are trained, so they'll know what will suit you. I would definitely advise any Mac store- it's where I always go if I want to try a new colour. 
Otherwise, for a first- timer, you can use the following guidelines:


Those with a pinkish skin tone can go for bright reds with a slightly orange tinge- think Kate Bosworth or Naomi Watts. Those with more yellow undertones can wear darker shades like Sandra Oh.
(Below: Naomi Watts, Kate Bosworth, Sandra Oh)


Medium skin tones look best with coral or orangey shades of red.
(Below: Elizabeth Moss, Cameron Diaz)


Olive skin tones are lucky, as they can wear pretty much any shades of red, though pink-red colours will pop more.
(Below: Eva Longoria, Jessica Alba)

Dark Skin Tones:

Unsurprisingly, darker shades are more flattering. If you have golden undertones, go for more orange shades, otherwise, opt for cool shades.
(Below: Iman, Kelly Rowland)

How should I apply the rest of my makeup?

Generally, the rule is to keep the rest of your makeup plain. Just a slick of black eyeliner and mascara should do the trick. Remember to wear blush though- you don't want to look washed out. I would also use lipliner, as it is easier to apply such a bold colour, and it will last longer too.

You don't necessarily need to follow that rule though... red lipstick can be worn with heavier eyes, it just needs to be done in the right way- generally a smokey look works well, with metallic hues like bronze, gold or pewter (see Iman and Kelly Rowland above).

Any last tips?

Yes- first of all, if you still don't really know where to start with colours, Mac's Russian Red or Ruby Woo are very flattering colours. 

Second of all, you need to keep your lips in good condition if you're going to wear such a bold colour- exfoliate them (using a toothbrush, muslin, or actual lip exfoliator) and keep them moisturised (I always add a slick of lip balm before applying lipliner/lipstick).

Lastly, you don't need to wait for a night out to wear red lipstick, why not wear it with a daytime look? Mary- Kate Olsen is my new style crush:

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