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A guide to finding the perfect red for you is here—and you’re going to want to make every day a red-lipstick day.
There’s a reason red lipstick has stood the test of time—it’s a universal shade that looks amazing on everyone, as long as you find the most flattering one for you. Consider it a makeup wardrobe essential, with the ability to take a graphic tee and jeans from plain to polished in seconds. And for special occasions, it’s definitely a game-changing accessory that’s going to level up that little black dress. If you’re new to the red-lipstick game, start with a lipstick that’s going to deliver plenty of pigment along with nourishing ingredients like argan oil, vitamin E and omega 3, found in L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick. That extra hydration helps keep lips smooth to avoid any dreaded feathering effect.
So, how do you find a red lipstick that suits you? First, you’ll need to figure out whether you have warm or cool undertones, to determine which hue will work with your skin tone instead of against it. Have a look at the inner area of your arm. Does it appear mostly yellow or golden with veins that are slightly greenish? If so, you have warm undertones. Are you detecting red or pink beneath the surface with bluish veins? If that’s the case, you have cool undertones. Don’t worry if you don’t clearly fall into either category—it’s possible you have neutral undertones, which means you get to choose from both sides. Just follow our foolproof guide to find your ideal match.
If you have fair skin with warm undertones…
This peachy-red hue is a softer take on the iconic red lip.
If you have fair skin with cool undertones…
This classic red lipstick with a tinge of blue undertone pops on a pale complexion.
If you have medium skin with warm undertones…
A slightly deeper red with hints of brick, this shade flatters tanned and olive skin.
If you have medium skin with cool undertones…
This bold crimson option brightens with a faint-blue tint.
If you have dark skin with warm undertones…
This shade, with its cinnamon, maroon and brownish undertones, is the ultimate go-to.
If you have dark skin with cool undertones…
This deep raspberry-red perfectly contrasts with a deep complexion.
Once you’ve picked out the right shade, take note of these tips on how to wear red lipstick. Number one rule of thumb? When lips are the star attraction, it’s a good idea to tone down eye makeup, especially for daytime wear. Groomed brows and volumizing mascara are really all you need for a fresh effect, but if you want to amp up your look a little more, go with a gentle eye contour on lids using a neutral palette of matte and satin finishes. A hint of cream bronzer on your cheeks adds a slight glow that won’t compete with your lips.
Experiment with different finishes, from matte to moisturizing to satin to glossy. You’d be surprised how much shine or no shine impacts whether or not you like how a colour looks on you. The very same shade can look drastically different depending on how much light it’s reflecting. Matte reds look superb on an oily complexion, if you want to tone down the appearance of shine overall. Glossy reds show off bright white teeth—it’s like there’s a magical ring light built right in! Keep in mind how often you’re willing to reapply, too. Long-wear liquid lipsticks are a dream for those who like to “set it and forget it!”
Lastly, try a matching lip liner to see if you like the result. If you have fine lines around the edges of your mouth, you will likely appreciate the extra definition and longer wear that a lip liner can provide. Meanwhile, those with a petite pout can draw just outside the lines for the illusion of larger lips. On the other hand, if you’re going for a more casual vibe, you can put the lip liner away for another day.
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