Honestly, there’s nothing I love more than a red lipstick. Among the many reasons for this love is the fact it screams festive spirit (it’s the first of November, Halloween is over and Christmas is just around the corner), it makes you feel super sassy and a little bit invincible and completes a look at both ends of the spectrum whether you’re going all out to get dolled up or fancy adding some glamour to your adidas sweatpants.
The red lipstick epidemic took over my makeup bag subtly at first. Without realising, every makeup counter I approached, I walked away with a new shade of red lipstick in my hand. Every time I went shopping I’d pick up an item and without realising, start planning it around which shade of red lipstick it would look best with. One day during one of my many dramatic clear outs, I decided to count just how many red lipsticks I’d accumulated over the years. The final count? 23. Twenty-three variations of the colour red. Twenty-three variations of matte, glossy, liquid lipstick finishes. You name it, I had it.
The best thing about red lipstick is that there really is a shade out there for everyone. It make take some trial and error at first but you’ll soon find that one shade and finish that perfectly sets off your skin tone. Believe me when I say, once you find it you’ll treasure that lipstick forever. For me it was the cult classic, Dior Rouge 999. The blue undertones are perfect for my pale complexion without making me look drained, as can often happen with pale skin and dark features. It strikes the balance between hydrating and long-lasting, often lasting for several hours on end and doesn’t budge during meals (always key criteria when choosing the perfect lippy).
As a guide, when figuring out which best suit your skin tone, berry tones with a blue base are best-suited to fairer complexions and rich terracotta tones for warmer skin tone. Brown-based shades are seen to be most flattering for olive skin tones and darker skin tones can pull off bolder shades like no other.
One lipstick known for suiting everyone, is M.A.C Ruby Woo which coincidentally (and unoriginally) was my first foray into the red lipstick world. It’s my go to for a summery red lip when I have a bit more colour (olive skin tones tend to have green undertones so suit shades with orange or red tones in them). M.A.C Ruby Woo has racked up many an award and recommendation from prestigious makeup artists within the industry. It’s hailed as the ultimate, bold, cherry red. It’s impressive pigmentation make your teeth truly sparkly while its matte finish keeps it in check all evening long. My only complaint about this product is I find it very drying. To overcome the dried out, chapped lip look prep your lips with a good lip scrub and have a reliable lip balm on hand ahead of introducing Ruby Woo into your life. A word of warning though, once you start wearing it you won’t be able to stop.
A handy grab-and-go red lippy is Kiko Cosmetics Creamy Lipgloss in Fire Red. This one serendipitously landed into my life having voiced the need for an everyday, easy red lipstick a few hours beforehand. At £6.90 it’s no Dior Rouge but you get what you pay for with these things. Similar in concept to Clinique’s Chubby Stick, this is ideal for a fuss-free, easy to apply lipstick. In terms of long lasting, it’s not great but it’s saviour is that the wear-off isn’t blotchy or dry meaning should it come off without you realising, you won’t be walking the streets looking too bizarre.
Lastly on the list of red lipstick contenders is the Velvet Lip Glide in Le Palace Blood Red by Nars. Never has a product description been more accurate that that of this lip product – “Glides like a gloss. Looks like a lipstick. Feels like nothing else.” Unless I’ve made a conscious decision ahead of time that red lipstick is on the makeup agenda, nine times out of ten I usually forget to put any lipstick on at all. A lot of the time I hate the feel of lipstick so avoid wearing it everyday. It dries out my lips, smudges, gets in my teeth. It’s not a priority unless of course, it’s red. The Nars Velvet Glide however, makes wearing lipstick on the reg much more enjoyable. So much so that while my love affair with the product started with a red shade, it’s spilled into a selection of other shades too.
Many people find themselves intimidated by red lipstick when in reality, there’s no need to be. In my opinion, nothing pulls a look together like a classic red lip. Style icons swear by the trick, so why shouldn’t you?