I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but recently I’ve been craving the ultimate red lip color. I never do a red lip. This is in part because I stick with my signature look–a touch of blush, bronzer, brownish shadows, lots of mascara, and illuminated cheekbones–but also because I can’t ever seem to find “my” red. The shades I’ve tried are either too orange, too bright, or make my teeth look weirdly yellow, none of which are attributes I particularly enjoy.
Red lips are kind of having a moment though! One of the most common beauty tricks at the Met Ball was a highly saturated, dark red lip. Rihanna just came out with RiRiWoo–a special red lipstick for MAC. And nothing looks better under an inkwell filter like a red lip. It’s classic, it’s sexy, and it’s feminine. I want in. So what’s a red novice to do?!
…Research, apparently. I checked out a myriad of different sources (and did a lot of scrolling on Pinterest) trolling for tips to finding the ultimate shade of red for my skin tone and budget without having to try a million different products or spend a million dollars. And by a million dollars, I mean like, $20. After all, though I’m currently crushing on these red shades, I strongly doubt I’ll be turning into an every-day-red-lip girl. The stuff needs to be cheap! Luckily for me (and potentially you as well) the internet was there to help me out. Information to the rescue! These are the best-of-the-best of the sources I consulted:
According to all of that info, apparently I should be looking for a scarlet lippy that’s a deep red with blue undertones. At least that’s a good starting point? It actually makes sense–I feel like I’m constantly searching for a red that is bold, but more dark and vampy than bright and warm. Actual specific product recommendations, however, were few and far between. Further sleuthing and comment-reading on other red lip posts uncovered a few shades that might be worth a try…
There’s a huge following for Kate Moss’ Rimmel collection, most specifically her lipstick in shade “01”. Supposedly, it’s a universally flattering color that seems to adapt to the wearer’s individual coloring. Plus it’s super cheap and they have it at Target.
Described as a “vintage cherry red” shade, Lush’s liquid “Decisive” shade comes in just below budget at $18.95 per bottle. Usually I would shun such a recommendation, but I was in a fashion show last weekend and the makeup artists used a Lush liquid lipstick on some of the other models and it was literally the best red lip I’ve ever seen. Like, I was instantly jealous of how perfect they all looked. I’m not positive it was “Decisive” (it could have easily been “Strong” or “Ambition“), but based on the swatches on the Lush site and the reviews around the web, “Decisive” is a premium pick regardless.
Rounding out the list is another inexpensive option: “Plum Wine” Satin Luxe Lip Color by Sonia Kashuk. Not only does this color promise anti-aging benefits, reviewers claim that it’s a genuine, true plum: a bit of red, a bit of purple, and perfectly vampy. Plum, wine, and burgundy hues are supposedly the “newest” way to wear classic red and the shades wear well on a rainbow of complexions. This may just be the red that’s right for me!
Do you wear red lipstick? How did you find your signature hue? Do you have any tips that might help those of us searching for our own?!
Liza, Editorial Director