Remember when red was the sinful colour and the only lipstick colour you could see everywhere at the same time?
One evening I was out for dinner with two of my girlfriends and red lipstick came up in conversation. One friend had just found out that she could wear a red lip any time of day with very little anywhere else on her face and was loving the revelation. My other friend, who is a little more reserved, thought that she didn’t need red and it was too bright. I found it my duty then as I do now to let her know that not all red is the same, nor is all lip wear created equal. Red can be transparent, glossy, bright, subtle, outrageous, fun, quirky, even downright naughty. But…
Red is more than just red and it took a while for me to adjust to the goodness of a confident red lip for any moment, not just for that night out in the little black dress! Red isn’t just that shade of danger or seduction, for me, it’s a celebration! The right red is important for the look you’re going for, your skin tone, and even your teeth colour. Undertones, baby! Orange, pink, and blue undertones will change the tone of your red! Which red are you wearing?
Let’s take a look at the different kids of reds available in both drugstore and luxurious retail experiences found in my lipstick drawer.
My first real red was a NARS jumbo lip pencil called Cruella I bought a few years ago and still have. It was the first time I experienced matte lipstick gliding on like velvet! It had a blue undertone which made the red appear deeper and cooler in tone and helped my teeth look whiter. This lip was also great under a gloss or lip stain.
I received a sample size of a NARS lip stain that was a buildable red. This red was deceptive and I used it on top of my first Red mentioned here. It seemed to fill my lips with colour but as it dried it became darker giving the lips that blood colour as seen in the first picture on the left below. But in the rest of the pictures, it’s brighter as I only added a light amount to the Jumbo Lip Pencil. Either way, I’m game!
My third is one of my favourite reds ever and I’ll probably mention a 3B here since they are made by the same company. Pioneer and Dancer by Superstay Matte Ink are absolutely phenomenal colours. Pioneer has a blue undertone and Dancer has orange undertones and makes no joke about staying onto your lips all day and night if you let it.
A recent find of mine is this deep almost want to be burgundy Red by Milani’s Satin Matte liquid lipstick line called Elegant. It looks great while it’s wet but settles into your lips and dries without pulling all the while giving you lips you can still smack together knowing that the coverage of colour is still present, It’s a win for me. I found this one at the drugstore and I couldn’t be happier. This one also looks great on a Zoom call. (see it below wet and dry)
As you can probably tell, I love a solid matte lip, but I was recently blessed with a red by Bobbi Brown as a shiny lipgloss. Now, I have a confession to make. I was that girl in the 6th grade wearing that shiny oily roll-on lipgloss thing and if the teacher or the lesson were boring, I would sit there rolling it on over and over again. We had no devices or social media with which to fiddle in class, but by the end of the lesson I looked like I had kissed all of the fried chicken in the bucket and no one said a word, because it was what was popular in 6th grade. As I got older, I leaned into coloured glosses, also very oily in texture. Shine is not oil People! but let’s save that for another post. As I matured and came into knowledge about lipstick, I left the gloss behind because I was scarred by the pictures I had as proof of my oily lip failures and the stains left to my clothing and the memory of all of the sticky-ness. Then came this beautiful sample of “Red the News” in the Luxe Liquid Lip High Shine line by Bobbi Brown. It was absolutely fabulous and had me believing in shiny glosses again. It had full coverage and a yellow-blue undertone which I usually try to stay away from because of my own yellow undertones in my skin, but the colour was full and had really good staying power. I was impressed, to say the least.
Some honourable mentions that I pull from the lipstick drawer every now and again are listed below. They are also fabulous but have not made it to pictures yet.
- Liquorice by Bite beauty if you want your red to be healthy and full of nutrients, this deep blood burgundy satin red is perfect for you.
- Guinevere by PatMcGrath in her MatteTrance lipstick line don’t play! This pout screams confidence and feels like decadence. Come on, Somebody!
- Elson also by Pat McGrath (see pictured at the top of the post)
Wherever you wear your red, wear it confidently. Wear it like you mean it. Red looks good on you boo, no matter your personal shade.
Feel free to tag me on IG @thelipstickblogger and let me know what your go-to reds are. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #wearitlikeyoumeanit. I’m so excited about adding to the Red part of my lipstick drawer. Are you? I also know there are some local and POC owned as well as Black Owned companies making some of the most gorgeous Reds out there. I can’t wait to try them all! 💋