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The red lip is a classic, timeless, sexy, feminine, and bold look that suits quite literally everyone. Though there is depth and detail in finding the perfect red lip, it’s essential to note that you can wear any red lipstick you want, because it all comes down to what makes you feel good. While this is true, having some basic guidelines to refer to will always help narrow down your options.
There are so many things that go into finding the perfect red lip. You have to consider your skin tone, your undertones as well as the tone of the product. And keep in mind that a lipstick’s texture- whether it’s a cream, matte, or gloss, could have an effect on the way it looks. So it’s understandable why finding what’s right for you can be tricky. This guide and red lip roundup have got you covered.
Let’s start by identifying your undertone. Your undertone is a secondary shade showing beneath your skin that never changes. There are three types of undertones you can have: warm, cool or neutral. Here are a few tricks to check:
If you seem to have an even mix of these qualities, you have a neutral undertone.
Cool undertones are best complemented by red lipsticks that have blue or purple hints. Opt for shades like berry, maroon, or crimson, which align with these cool undertones, enhancing your natural complexion.
For those with warm undertones, seek red lipsticks featuring warm hues and hints of orange, coral, ruby, yellow, gold, or brown.
People with neutral undertones can effortlessly wear various shades of red lipstick. They have the freedom to try cool, warm, and true reds, all of which harmonize well with their tone.
Taking your skin tone into account is generally the biggest indicator of what shade of red will suit you best.
To achieve a bold look, opt for an orange-based red, which will enhance your lips prominently. For a subtler appearance, go for a blue-based red like merlot, offering a more natural red hue. Both types of reds work well with deep complexions, regardless of warm or cool undertones. Wines, berries, and brick reds are excellent choices for deeper skin tones, complementing the richness of the complexion.
To enhance your bronze complexion, choose a red shade in brick or rust tones. These earthy hues will naturally blend with your skin, adding warmth to your overall look. It’s common to choose warmer undertone lip colors for olive skin to avoid a potentially washed-out appearance that cooler undertones may bring.
Medium skin tones offer versatility in choosing red lipsticks and you can adapt your red lip shades as the seasons change. During Summer, opt for an orange-based red to complement your bronzed complexion and add a radiant touch. However, be cautious with corals, especially if you have a cool undertone, as they might dull your skin. Given medium skin tones usually have a warm or golden undertone, warmer-toned lipsticks are recommended for a flattering look.
Light complexions usually have neutral or warm undertones. In this case, choose warmer reds for a vibrant touch against the fair skin or opt for a red lipstick with a very subtle orange base. These shades will complement the golden undertones and add radiance to your complexion. Alternatively, cool reds or berry shades with blue undertones, like cranberry, can also be flattering.
Fair complexions often have a pink undertone, which can be accentuated with blue-based or pink-based reds, such as raspberry shades, for a complexion-enhancing effect. If your undertone is neutral or cool, opt for reds with cooler undertones that incorporate blue and purple bases, as opposed to orange. Cool reds can even create the illusion of whiter teeth.
A red lipstick that tends to universally flatter a wide range of skin tones is often referred to as a “universal red.” These shades are typically true reds with a balanced mix of warm and cool undertones, making them versatile and flattering for many different complexions.
Though it seems like the perfect red lip is not a one-size-fits-all affair, remember that confidence is the most important thing to consider when finding your ideal red lipstick.