Finding The Perfect Red Lip That Suits You

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin – that, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwen Paltrow

Red lipstick is one of those things that we’ll always keep around and according to all women it should never be allowed to go out of style. It’s like a classic car, the roar of a 1989 3.2 litre  Porsche 911 with a flat six cylinder engine, will still make you feel as breathlessly outstanding today as it did during the eighties. It’s what connects us to women like Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe and the first lady of the United States.


To quote the City of Sin “There’s something for everyone” so don’t deprive your beautiful face of it’s well deserved red shimmer simply because you believe you’ve never had the right complexion for it. That is an old wives tale and a myth never to be spoken of.

That said there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing your perfect shade of red – yes ladies there is a colour especially designed for you!

First and foremost know your undertone:

Beauty editor Maria Del Russo has some advice when it comes to determining the undertone of your skin. Look at the colour of your veins that lie shallowly above your wrist. If you’re veins are blue then you have a cool undertone, should your veins be green you’re undertone is slightly warmer. Women with no distinctive colour are neutral and you’re one of lucky few who get to wear whichever shades of red you like.  Now this method may seem a strange and let’s be honest, the first time I heard of it, it seemed a little weird and yes it is sometimes hard to tell but never fear, another way to tell is by simply raiding your jewellery closet – if you feel you look better in silver then again you’re in the cool category and if gold pops on you, you’re more to the warmer side.


It might be easy to compare your skin tone to some of the world’s celebs, just so you can get a better understanding of  what it is to look for when shopping for the perfect shade of red, they are after all ambassadors for the product they wear so why not use them to our advantage. Would you consider your skin to be fair like Nicole Kidman’s, Natalie Portman sun-kissed skin tone, Olive like Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry or Eva Mendez’s hazel brown or dark like miss Oprah Winfrey.


Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way it’s time to look at the wonderful shades of red the world has to offer. Here the cosmetic store is your oyster.

Cool undertones:

Look for a blue based red colour, now I know what you’re thinking – blue and red? This simply means the signature words on the lipstick will say something like: “Chrisman” colours, “berry” tones or “rich” cooler undertones. Avoid pinks at all cost.


Fair skin: A true cherry red suit your skin tone perfectly. Finish it with a balm for a little extra shine. And pout.

Product: Shiseido Smoothing Lip Pencil in Siren (A pencil might give you more depth because it has more pigment than a lipstick)

Olive skin: Famous classic reds worn by classic stars like Marilyn Monroe.

Product: Tom Ford Beauty Lip Colour in Crimson Noir.

Brown skin: One of the lucky few to pull of any red, so go crazy and rev it up with which ever mood you’re in.

Product: NARS Matte Velvet Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl.

Dark skin: With a little gloss to it look for dramatic blue based hues

Product: MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo.


Warm undertones:

Look for more orange to Russian red based colours, maybe even hints of pink in them, matte to deep coral colours should work beautifully.

Fair skin: Choose a warmer red, and instead of applying it directly use your fingers to pat the colour onto your lips.

Product: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in Somptueuse.

Sun-Kissed skin: Sheer reds with a hint of pinkness coming through

Product: Laqa & Co. Ring of Fire Fat Lip Pencil.

Olive: Try sheer glossy reds with somewhat specks of gold in them.

Product: Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine SPF15 in Sunset Bronze (Don’t be alarmed by the “Bronze and “Brown” mentioned on the label, the product is red)

Brown skin: Go for a deeper red with blue undertones and red undertones in them – it should be labelled. It will compliment your skin tone a little more.

Product: Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick in Dragon.

Dark skin: Chesnutt tinted reds will stand out from a vibrant dark complexion add a hint of dark glosses and you skin is bound to shine.

Product: Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Blackberry.


Celebrity Makeup artist Suzy Gerstein (who worked on stars like Leighton Meester and Helena Christensen) Says “Yes you can wear red!” and with her expert advice and tips above how can’t you go wrong. Now don’t go crazy just yet, test little swatches out on your hand first to see if the colour suits you. Remember that when you’re buying a red lipstick it’s almost like getting married – don’t get me wrong of course you can explore with different shades, but once you find that classic colour that suits you, don’t lose your grip on it. It’s what makes us a pure breed of women and it’s what leaves that perfect lip imprint on your man, a statement or declaration that he is yours because the red has spoken.



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