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Well-Red: How to Find Your Most-Flattering Shade of Red Lipstick

Well-Red: How to Find Your Most-Flattering Shade of Red Lipstick

When it comes to finding the “right” shade of makeup, it’s exhausting enough trying to match foundation to your face… Luckily, lipstick is pretty much a free-for-all…almost.

Yes, you can wear whatever shade you like — makeup is nothing if not a form of self-expression, no? — but some can certainly be more flattering than others and it all has to do with your skin tone. Unlike foundation, this I can help you with. The red lipstick stains on your coffee mugs and shirt collars? Not so much.

A note before you continue: Unfortunately, the beauty industry has not evolved much in terms of classifying skin tones and the spectrum by which they’re generally measured is pretty basic. I am fully aware that skin is a complex, fluid thing and that it makes very little sense to slot someone into one of only a few narrow categories (see below for said categories). For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to stick with this silly breakdown but know that I know it is, in fact, silly. I myself am “medium fair with pink Undertones and cool veins” (what?!) but no makeup counter I’ve ever been to has that as an option, so here we are.

If you’re “fair”…

“Fair” skin typically comes in two varieties: extra-fair and normal-fair. If you fall into one of these two categories, you likely already know it. The fair among us sunburn extremely easily, find it near-impossible to tan naturally and are intimately familiar with full-body SPF. They usually have pink undertones, which are complemented by blue- or pink-reds, like raspberry. A color like Stardust from Kosas will pick up your complexion’s pink undertones beautifully without overpowering them.

If you’re “light”…

Think of “light” complexions as somewhere between fair and medium. Not super-clear, I’ll admit, but “light” is a pretty large spectrum. What differentiates light from fair is that the latter can typically see their blue-ish veins under their skin pretty easily, while the former may have a more opaque time. Light complexion also favor yellow undertones, which means the perfect red is an orange-y red, like RMS’ Wild With Desire Lipstick in red. Colors like this will pick up and brighten your yellow undertones.

If you’re “medium”…

Consider yourself lucky: medium complexions have the greatest range when it comes to flattering shades of red and can get away with pretty much anything depending on the season. If you’ve got a tan during warmer months, go for an orange-red to pick up those gold undertones and when you get a pit paler in the winter, opt for plum-reds, like burgundy. Spela’s Paint & Play Matte Liquid Lipstick in Happy Hour is an ideal shade for all the mediums out there.

If you’re “olive”…

Your fair friends probably hate you for your seeming superpower of always looking just a little bit tan, naturally. You can thank your yellow-green undertones by making them look their best: a coral- or orange-red will warm up a bronze complexion beautifully. Try a coral-y red like Vapour’s Siren Lipstick in Saucy or brick-orange like their Courage. Both shades are also shiny rather than matte, which will help them pop against olive skin.

If you’re “caramel”…

This golden dark complexion has a yellow undertone, and therefore plays nicely with a true, cherry red lipstick. A color like Spela’s Tinder has equal parts blue and yellow undertones, so it’ll not only pick up the warmth in your skin, it’ll also brighten your complexion and smile.

If you’re “dark”…

The world of red lipstick is your oyster, so have at it! Highly-pigmented, vibrant shades beautifully compliment the yellow and red undertones that are characteristic of dark skin, so play with color. Hot pink? Try matte Spin from Spela for something cute and playful. Orange? Started At The Bottom from Ice + Jam is a bright pop of color. True red? Reach for beloved Lip2Cheek from RMS for a sheer but powerful wash of color.

+ Shop all lipsticks & lip makeup here! 

Free People Blog



This post first appeared on Bldg 25 Blog – The Free People Fashion & Inspira, please read the originial post: here

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Well-Red: How to Find Your Most-Flattering Shade of Red Lipstick

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