When I was a little girl, one of my favorite aunts always wore red lipstick and had her nails and toenails painted red. I thought this was just the most beautiful thing in the world, and for years, I couldn’t wait to wear red lipstick myself. I always think of her when I see a tube in the store, yet I don’t buy it for myself because my skin tones are very different than hers. I don’t look good in red lipstick, despite the many attempts I’ve made to try it. In fact, once I walked home with it on and my family begged me not to wear it again. Being a makeup perfectionist for years, I couldn’t believe I’d make such a huge cosmetic faux pas! Don’t wear red lipstick the wrong way by following my simple rules. Red is classy, bold and so sophisticated, but it must be worn right to pull it off. Follow these steps so your family doesn’t have to be the ones to tell you it isn’t your best color like mine did!
1. KNOW WHAT SHADE IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Here’s the thing about choosing a good red lipstick: there are many color shades suited for various skin types. You’ll need to try on many before you find one that works for you. They come in a variety of shades, such as orange shades of red, pink shades of red, and even cool bluish-reds. A safe and general rule is that women with fair skin should lean toward true reds with no orangey tones, while medium-skinned women look best in pinkish or orangey reds. Dark-skinned women should go for darker shades and even sport purple and wine-colored hues of red. This may take some trial and error to find what works for you, so be patient! Finding a good lipstick shade can take years, but don’t just go for the infamous red light red and expect to pull it off the first time. With all the many shades out there, it might not hurt to go to a makeup counter and have a specialist make recommendations.
2. BRING BACK THE LIP LINER
Many people think lip liner is outdated, but when it comes to red lipstick, it is your best friend! The great thing about using lip liner with red lipstick is that you won’t see it like you will when wearing other shades, if you make sure to match up the lip liner to your lipstick correctly. The point of using lip liner with red lipstick is so it locks the lipstick on your lips. There’s nothing worse than finding you had smudged red lipstick on the outside of your mouth after a date! Or, worse, finding it above or below your lips. We don’t want you looking like Bozo the Clown, sweetie!
3. CHOOSE YOUR OUTFIT ACCORDINGLY
When choosing to wear red lipstick, you’ll have to base the entire rest of your outfit around it. Red is bold, striking, and can be brilliant if worn the right way. Yet, when it isn’t, it can be tacky, trashy and tragic! We want you to look your best, so wear red lipstick with a complementary outfit. Red looks great with solid black, such as little black dresses or a suit, and it also looks great with most evening gowns, and jeans with a leather bomber jacket for a more fashionable twist. It also pairs well with simple ballet flats, a brown or black outfit, and with a leopard accent such as a scarf. Just don’t overdo animal print with red lipstick; that’s a big no-no! Also, if you’re wearing sweats, leave the red lipstick at home and put on a gloss to keep things simple.
4. DON’T LET IT MIGRATE TO YOUR TEETH
5. MAKE SURE YOUR TEETH ARE PRETTY AND WHITE
6. PUT AWAY THE PINK
Whatever you do, don’t wear anything pink with red lipstick. This is a huge fashion no-no, and a red lipstick nightmare. This is a terrible clash of colors and will take away from the simple bold effects red can offer and seem overstated and tacky instead.
7. TONE THE REST DOWN
When wearing red lipstick, be sure to tone the rest of your makeup down by using subtler, skin-friendly shades. For example, red lipstick pairs well with light brown eyeshadows better than dark black eyeshadows, or purples. Don’t wear rosy red blush with red lipstick, but go with a softer blush shade. Also be sure to get a clean, pressed powder to keep your skin looking soft and polished. Make sure you don’t overstate your eyeliner and embrace a good mascara!
If you wear red lipstick, I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite tips for ladies out there looking to wear this iconic lipstick shade?