beautygrind

The Power Of Red Lipstick: What To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Red Lip For Your Complexion.

In beauty, makeup on May 31, 2018 at 2:30 pm

A red lipstick is like an LBD.  Every woman should own at least one.

Remember the first time you wore a red lipstick?  I remember my first time.  I was a young teenager, perhaps 14 or so.  I don’t remember the color but I do remember purchasing it from the local beauty supply store and excitedly hurrying home to try it on.  I ripped open the packaging and remember just slapping it on my lips.  No prep and prime.  No liner.  No technique.  Honestly it wasn’t even really that red.  It was more of a berry color because I didn’t think that with my deep complexion I could pull off such a color so I played it safe.  Whatever the case, I was still excited and felt like I looked perfectly fine.

And then there were the stigmas.  The negative thoughts about women who wore red lipstick.  Whore.  Harlot.  Slut.  Jezebel – Jezzy for short.  Only immoral women and women of the night wore red.  And oh no- you didn’t dare wear red lipstick (or red anything) to the workplace or church.  Yes the ancient Egyptians wore it and even our favorite screen sirens but that was for them.  Not you.

Fast forward to today.  The negative mindset around wearing red lipstick has relaxed for the most part and many more woman are wearing it on a regular basis.  You see, women with cajones wear red lipstick.  And they wear it wherever and whenever they like.  Red is bold.  Sexy.  Iconic.  It commands attention and it is powerful.  Red lips are also the quickest way to look pulled together, like you have your entire life together- even if you really don’t.  Not for the faint at heart, red lips announce “I AM HERE”.

But what do you do if you aren’t comfortable with wearing a red lipstick or you haven’t had success in selecting a shade that actually looks nice on you?  You see your friends and favorite celebrities rocking a red pout but you aren’t sure about your ability to pull it off.  Or maybe you tried to actually wear a red lip outside of the house but you felt more like a clown instead of a sophisticated grown woman.  Whatever the case, if you are just exploring the possibility of wearing a red lipstick, there are options for you.  For example, if you are just starting out, you might opt for a sheer lip stain, balm or gloss.  Liner and balm is always an option to help you test the waters of wearing various shades and tones until you are more comfortable with the look.

As you journey through figuring out what looks good on you, here are some things to consider:

  • Formulation and finish.  There are many formulations and finishes of lip product that can influence the way a color looks on you.  Do you prefer a formulation that is an actual lipstick or more of a balm, gloss, stain or a hybrid like a liquid lipstick?  Would you prefer a glossy finish as opposed to matte (usually wears the longest), frost (shimmery with a pearl finish), satin (opaque without the dryness), or metallic?  Formulation sometimes determines finish (like a gloss) and taking both of these factors into consideration helps when you are deciding how you want the product to wear and what you want it to look like when creating certain looks and focuses for make up design.
  • Time of day.  The time of day, the occasion, or the setting can determine what color/finish you wear on your lips altogether.  Is it day or night?  Is this something you are going to wear on a daily basis or occasionally?  Do you work in a conservative environment where a sheer lip stain might be the only acceptable lip look? Are you going on a job interview at a law firm vs a trendy creative job?  These are just some of the factors to consider when shopping for a red lip (or any lip color for that matter).
  • Subtle or bold.  Are you going for a subtle or bold look?  What will your focus be – eyes, lips or complexion?  The answers to these questions can be used to determine the intensity of the red.  If you have a more dramatic eye, you might choose a more subdued red vs wearing a more bold/brighter lip.  If the latter is the case, leave the eye more neutral with liner and lots of lash and add blush for a neutral but not naked face.

What’s Your Undertone?

What exactly is an undertone?  It is the tone that is just under the first (or top) layer of your skin.  This information is used to determine what tone of lip color would look best on you.  How does one determine their undertone?  Two common ways to make that determination are jewelry and veins:

  • Jewelry Test.  If you feel you look better in silver jewelry, you most likely have cool (pink/red) undertones.  If you feel you look better in gold jewelry, you most likely have warm (yellow/golden) undertones and if you feel that you look good in both silver or gold, you most likely have neutral undertones which can be considered to be equal parts cool and warm undertones or the absence of both, depending on how you look at it.
  • Veins Test.  If you have blue veins, you are most likely a cool undertone.  If your veins are green, you are most likely a warm undertone.  If your veins are blue/green, you would most likely have neutral undertones.

Keep in mind that when it comes to finding the right red, you also have to consider more than complexion, although that is usually the main determining factor.  It’s also hair color and what you are wearing as well.  Ever notice that when you change your hair color, you may not be able to wear the same colors and tones that you did before you changed your hair color?  With undertones, you can complement and illuminate the complexion or create a beautiful contrast in skin tone and therefore should be used as a guide and not law that will keep you confined to a particular beauty box.

Once you have determined what undertone you are:

Keep in mind there may be overlap in regard to which undertone can wear what, as well as personal preference so again use this as merely suggestions and not law.

Ultimately, when choosing to wearing a red lip, wear what you are comfortable with.  The boldness of red lip is something you have to commit to and wear with confidence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: