What’s your shade of red?

Ok, before I share the deets on how to choose the perfect red lippie for your beautiful melanated skin tone, let me first proclaim that you can wear whatever shade of red you choose.  You’re beautiful in any and every shade sis, and I mean that.

Now that I’ve addressed the elephant in the room let’s get down to business.  If you grew up in the 80’s like me, you’re probably used to thinking only women of a certain class were able to pull off a glamorous red lip.  The wealthy, the sophisticated, the debutant, the err dare I say…’lady of the night’. You were led to believe that good wholesome women were to stay clear of this proud and self-centered color because it gave the wrong perception. Personally, it wasn’t until I was somewhere in my early 30’s that I finally gave this vivacious color a try.  I purchased a cream based lippie that had a hint of sheen to it.  I was so excited to try it on that I almost applied it while sitting in the parking lot of my apartment complex. I rushed upstairs, fought for a few minutes with the quality control seal and finally unwrapped it.  After waiting so many years, my moment had finally arrived.  As the angels rejoiced, I smoothly applied my first shade of red lipstick and you know what? I hated it. I flat out despised it and I was too eager to toss it into my tiny bathroom trash can. Who else can relate?… Sis you are NOT alone!  That is why I’m going to tip you off to knowing how to pick the perfect shade of red lipstick each and every time with just three easy steps. 

Step one, when shopping for your go to red lippie you want to know your skin’s undertone.  Knowing your undertone will help you narrow down the shades that best compliment your complexion. There are three types of undertones – warm, cool & neutral.

A person with warm undertones has a skin type that can easily tan but does not burn. This is the most common undertone for those with higher levels of melanin. Additionally, the vein under the wrist is a greenish color. 

Photo by Terricks Noah on Unsplash (Warm Tone)

A person with cool undertones will likely have – skin that can easily sunburn and the vein under the wrist is more of a bluish color.

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash (Cool Tone)

Neutral undertones are a mix of both warm and cool tones. 

Photo by Andre Adjahoe on Unsplash (Neutral Tone)

Step two, once you’ve determined your undertone it’s time to select the shade that best compliments your complexion. Since all red lipsticks are not created equal, knowing which color base works for your complexion will help you to narrow down your search. Red lipsticks that have an orange base are best paired with cool undertones. A few examples of these include:

Meanwhile those with warm undertones are better paired with a red lipstick that has a blue base. Examples of these include: 

Neutral tones can wear either but it’s best to try on the shades whenever possible.

Step three, research and ask questions.  If you’re shopping online for your lipstick, do a quick google search to determine the color’s undertone. If you’re buying in store from a retailer such as MAC or Sephora, ask an associate to assist with suggesting shades that compliment your undertone. 

You may have to try a few before you find the perfect match however I promise you it will be worth it and hopefully these tips will help you narrow down your search. 

Happy shopping ladies!