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The ultimate red lipstick guide

Red lipstick suits everyone it’s all about finding the right shade that works for your skin tone. We’ve put together the ultimate red-lip guide to help you pick your poison.

How Dark Do You Dare?

When choosing the depth of colour, we are talking fire-engine red to deep burgundy. Consider two things: The size of your lips and your surface skin tone – meaning pale, tanned, olive or dark skinned. If you are pale, start with classic red, move to tones of wine red for olive skin. If you have dark skin, you can easily wear bold shades of burgundy. 



Warm or Cool?

Have you ever tried on a T-shirt in a colour that just pops on you, then tried on something in a similar shade and it makes you look washed out? This has everything to do with your skin tone being either warm or cool. If you are cool toned, shades with a blue undertone will look best on your skin. Yellow undertones will complement warm complexions best. There are a few ways to find out if you are cool or warm toned. The easiest being the vein test: On your forearm, do your veins appear greenish or bluish? If there is a green tinge, you are probably a warm skin tone, and if they are blue you may be cool. Another way to check is the jewellery test: Does gold or silver look best on you? Not which one you prefer, but what looks best on your skin. If gold is your best complementary bling, you are warm. If it’s silver, then you are cool toned. 



Staying Power

How to apply red lipstick that stays all day? Start by prepping the lip area with a non-greasy lip balm, followed by a bit of powder, or a lip primer, to create a base to work on. Line the lips with a lip pencil that matches your selected shade of red. Work in small strokes. Starting at the top, create the arches of your lip’s bow, then work to the outer corners and the lower lip line. It’s okay to overdraw your lip line ever so slightly if you have narrow lips, just be subtle. Fill in your lips straight from the bullet or, for extra precision, make use of a lip brush. Seal the deal by dabbing a bit of powder over the lipstick with a clean brush to set the lipstick, then go in again for a final coat of colour.



Choose Your Texture

When it comes to red lipstick, matte is the classic go-to texture that is flattering on everyone. The lack of creaminess in the lipstick also means the lipstick has more staying power to last all day. On the other hand, a more cream-textured red will be less drying on lips and will also make thin lips appear fuller as anything with shine reflects light, giving the illusion of fullness. 


Words: Jade Leggat-Smith | Photography: Samantha Pinto