Lip Service : Your Perfect Red

-SLH West Coast Fashion Editor:

Is it any wonder why we love a good red lip? Maybe it’s because a red lip reads upscale glamour? Or maybe it’s because it draws the eye like no other color? There’s definitely evidence to support that, as a University of Manchester study found that when presented with several photos, the guys spent a whopping 7.3 seconds staring at the red lipped ladies versus 2.2 seconds on ladies with nude lips.

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Now, here at SLH we love all the beautiful shades, but truth be told, after a successful hunt for the perfect dress, hair and accessories, we also find ourselves seeing red. Easy choice? Definitely, but before we get into our fav choices of the red shades for 2018, we highly recommend reviewing our article on How to do a Perfect Red Lip.

You may have heard that finding your perfect shade of red can be tricky. There is truth to this, especially if your idea of finding it is heading to your nearest beauty counter and just “having at it”. Plus, there is plenty of room for personal choice…after all, one person’s passionate persimmon is another person’s ‘meh’. But there are a few basic rules that will help you narrow things down to your most flattering shades. From there, it’s up to you to find what tugs at your heart strings!

So let’s start with the basics.

  1)  SKIN TONE – This really is the first and most important of the basics you should follow if you want to find your most flattering shade.

Alabaster – your best bet is for cold red shades. Anything with a slight violet tint or raspberry

Shop This Look : Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Blackberry, Laura Mercier in Merlot





Porcelain – Cherry red is your best friend, helping to warm up those pink complexion undertones

Shop This Look : Bobbi Brown in Retro Red, Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Red






Ivory – Cranberry reds are the perfect complement to your lighter tone

Shop This Look : Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick in Pink Cranberry, M.A.C. in Ruby Woo






Light Tan – While some folks refer to your skin tone as “neutral” we know those sunny, warm tones of yours love a color that’s anything but! Vibrant reds with slight orange tints make you pop

Shop This Look : Lancome Color Design Lipstick in Retro Rouge, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana





Medium Tan – Your beautiful natural tan complexion craves those berries best. Cranberry, Blackberry-red or just about anything with hints of plum

Shop This Look : Lancome Matte Shaker High Pigment Liquid Lipstick in Plum Plum Girl, Smashbox Be Legendary Femme Fatale Plum Matte




Olive – You, my dear, are the Goldilocks of skin tones. Your range can go from Coral reds to Punch Pinks without skipping a beat.




Caramel – The classic, true red was made for you. Not too orange, not too pink, this red is also referred to as a Neutral red

Shop This Look : Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Fire Ball, NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Don’t Stop





Mocha – This skin tone loves a deep plumy purple-red

Shop This Look : Dior Addict Lipstick in Deep Plum, CARGO Gel Lip Color in Jamaica





Mahogany – Dark brick-red shades will complement your warmer, rich skin tone nicely

Shop This Look : Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Burnt Red, Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Visionary






Expresso – Talk about a bolt from above! Orange-red shades look absolutely electric on you, creating the perfect complement by way of eye-catching contrast.

Shop This Look : Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Hi-Lustre Lipstick in Hot Chills, M.A.C. Lipcolor in Lady Danger




   2)  WARDROBE – Red is a dramatic effect whether you’re wearing a white T w/boyfriend jeans, or a red-carpet-worthy evening dress. Even if you’ve found your “it” color for your face, it may not mesh well with the neck down. The great news is, clothing is changeable! If you’re dying to wear that killer red, here are a few quick tips to help pair it well.

Cool Colors – If your perfect shade of red is on the cooler side, steer towards similar cool shades, such as Silver, Blue, Green and Gray.

Warmer Colors – If your perfect Red leans warmer, experiment with Gold, Terracotta, Brown, Yellow and Orange.

Pale Pastel Colors – Very Fair and very Dark skin tones can pull this look off pretty handily, but otherwise tread carefully when mixing pastels with Red. Stick closely to the Cool/Warm shade that works best for your skin tone or you may risk your colors fighting each other in a very bad way.

Red on Red – Red lips and a red dress?  Yes, you can rock this look! The trick is to choose the dress in the same tone as your flattering Red lip. They don’t have to be completely matchy-matchy but so long as they can play in the same sandbox, you can definitely pull of this vibrant look!

3) LIP SHAPE – The last element to help guide you to your perfect Red is your lip shape.

Small Mouth – Small lips definitely call out for Reds with sheen. Look for glossy, bright and shimmery versions of your perfect Red so you can really rock out your hue. Additionally, if you’re looking for a little plump, add some highlight in the center of your bottom lip and right above your cupid’s bow.

Thin Lips – If your lips tend to be on the slimmer side, you are in good company with a shimmery and shiny Red. Coveting a plumper pout? Apply your liner just outside of your natural lip line, then add your color. A slightly darker shade of your Red on your bottom lip will also help your look pop.

Full Lips – An all-around plump pout was made for rocking a matte Red with a layer of gloss on top. If you’re looking to tone things down a bit, you can move your liner to inside your natural lip line, then add a little foundation around it before applying your color.

Flat Lips – A fab Red will really help add some curves to this lip shape. Make sure when applying your liner that you really emphasize the top of your cupid’s bow. If your bottom needs some boost, move your liner line outside your natural lip line under the center of the bottom lip.

Bottom Heavy Lips – Most people will agree this is the ‘coveted’ lip combo. You’ll maybe want to add a little highlighter up top of your upper lip if you feel you need some extra attention there. Otherwise show off the pout your momma gave you in matte, gloss and anything in between. With this shape you really cannot go wrong.

Top Heavy Lips – Focus on a creamy Red for this lip shape, applying a darker shade of your color on the top. Adding a touch of shimmer gloss to the center of your lower lip will really help pull your whole look together.

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