Ho Ho Ho! The holiday parties are in full swing, city lights are twinkling, people are merry and the generosity of spirit is contagious. Don’t you just love this time of year!? I love spreading holiday cheer. A surprise big tip to the lady who vacuumed my car, a secret wrapped trinket for the door man waiting for him at his post, telling the woman bagging my groceries that I love her nails, handing out rolled + ribboned $1 bills to people who ask or to those who don’t – it’s all little things and I know I am giving to others but the magic of it all is that I’m really giving to myself and my kids.
My friend Melissa says she doles out three compliments a day. Every day. And you know what, hanging around her lifts me up just because I witness her lifting up others. I love getting my kids involved and leading by example here. Sharing the holiday spirit is one of the most special gifts we can give. It puts a smile on someone else face, it makes the giver feel good and it’s a push towards the positive.
So in true holiday spirit, what would the holidays be without some red lipstick to celebrate!? It’s a little something you can do to put a pep in your step, tie a look together, be bold and conquer the world. Okay maybe not so much that last one but red lipstick is a fun way to play with color and style and just try something new!
I Can’t Wear Red Lipstick
For the longest time I thought I couldn’t wear reds so if you are like me- listen up! Pause all prejudgement and go into this with an open mind and a respect for the color wheel. There are basically two different types of red lipstick. Warm toned reds and cool toned reds.
Warm toned reds are going to be great for anyone with olive, medium and dark toned skin (skin with more of a yellow undertone). This will be reds with more of a orangey base.
Cooler toned reds are generally better for fair skinned people (skin with more of a pink undertone). These will be reds with a blue base.
But keep in mind these are soft guidelines. Really it is all about playing with color, taking a risk and seeing what works for you! I have warm toned skin but I realize I can do a cool red like the KW Red and really create a high contrast statement look. Or I can lean into more of a warm toned red with an orangey base like Axiology’s True and it sits pretty and defined without saying ALL EYES ON ME!
Red lips never go out of style – have fun with it and find one that works for you! Every woman should know her red! First, determine if you have warm or cool toned skin. Then pick a complementary red. I’ve tagged these colors below as more suited for warmer or cooler tones.
And you know it can’t be just any ol’ red. Because we put lipstick on our lips we are literally eating it. It transfers to our coffee cups and onto our food. No joke! And this wouldn’t be such a big deal except conventional lipsticks rely on FD+C coloring which are derived from coal tar which some say is carcinogenic. Another big offender is lead which is highly toxic but the list goes on an on with mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, hormone disrupting preservatives, benzene derivatives, phthalates, heavy metals, retinal palmate and more. Why invite all of this into your body when you can pick a lippie that is made from nourishing organic oils and butters?! Keep it nontoxic ladies!
Here are some of my faves.
Nontoxic Holiday Reds
True by Axiology: This warm-toned red is most flattering to warm or yellow-based skin tones. One of my fave formulas around. It’s moisturizing, light and conditioning for the lips because it’s made with organic oils, butters and waxes. So it also wont dry out your lips. It delivers a beautiful dense color like the one you see above. Comes in a chic gold click tube and packaged with recycled paper. Glam + organic + sustainable. You get it all here.
LOVE by Fitglow: This is the red that turned me! This red is flattering for both warm and cool skin tones. I was so happy I found this red. It’s truly the color that initiated my love affair with red lipsticks in general. If you don’t know where to start. Start here. LOVE is a crowd pleaser.
Christine by Erin’s Faces: This is a great budget pick. The formula is clean and at $20 it’s less than half of some of the other reds listed here. This is another warm-toned red and would look best paired with warm toned skin.
KW Red by Kjaer Weis: This cool toned red is a show stopper and my top pick for 2017! Pair this with a simple eye look and you have yourself a winner! This color looks best on fair skin but as you can see here, my warmer toned skin can also rock it to. Love this formula because it’s matte and it stays. Color wont transfer to your coffee mug or water bottle like a more moisturizing formula will. You will get some transfer but not enough to require a reapply. It really stays and it’s so pretty!
Salsa su/STAIN Lip Stain by AU Naturale: This warm toned red comes in a tube with a wand. The best way to classify it is it’s a moisturizing stain. Most stains are DRY. This one is dry too but it’s not drying. Really dense color pay off but with a very tiny hint of shine. It stays put but you will still have to reapply after eating. Smells so good too – like candy!
Nudist Color Balm in Cherry by W3LL PEOPLE: This is a red for those who don’t want to commit. No lip brush, liner, or prep required. This is basically a conditioning balm with a little bit of a tint to it. The red is more of a pink and makes for a fun pop without being too bold. Better for cooler skin tones but as you can see it still works with warmer tones too.
Suji Red Lip Whip by Kari Gran: This red works with both cool and warm skin tones and it’s a match made in heaven for people with dry lips. It’s essentially a heavily tinted lip balm. Made with butters and oil, it comes in a pot and you can apply a little for just a smidge of a tint or layer it like you see here for a fuller look. Best applied with a lip brush for a cleaner look. I LOVE how this color wears – it almost looks better as it fades. A little minty too.
Tips for applying
1. Rule #1. Buff yo’ lips! I mean there is nothing worse than cracked, chapped, flakey lips but then to layer that with a red lipstick – oh God. NO. Try mixing coconut oil and baking soda, rub on your lips and rinse off. Or if you are looking for a grab and go option I love ILIA’s Balmy Nights. Better yet, do this the day before so you don’t have any residual redness lingering because, rule #2.
2. Above all, when you wear a red lipstick, you want that to be the ONLY red on your face. So that means neutralizing any broken capillaries, blemishes, Rosacea, sun spots or redness with a foundation or BB cream that will cover. When there are other red spots visible on the face, the reds compete with each other and the viewers eye doesn’t get anchored to the lips like it should. It actually does the opposite and plays up the blemishes. No bueno!
3. Add a sheer layer of foundation on your lips. This basically primes your lips and allows the true color of the lipstick to shine though without having to compete with the natural color of your lips.
4. Try adding concealer to the skin right below your bottom lip – just on the corners – this will lift your skin color just a smidge and allow that red to pop.
5. If you have a lipstick that bleeds (you can see it crawling up your skin from your lips – not cute!), try using a lip pencil to line your lips first. This will create a barrier and minimize the color from bleeding into your skin. I usually don’t use a liner but sometimes I do, just depends on the color and how dry my skin is that day. The dryer the skin, the worse the color bleed.
6. Apply lipstick straight out of the tube to your lips but avoid the edges. Apply lipstick to the edges or lipline with a lip brush. This may seem like an extraneous step but trust me, it’s not. Getting precise lines will make or break wearing red lipstick. You want to use a lip brush with a really pointy end so you can get uber exact. I’ve tried a couple and I personally like Antonym’s. It’s sharp and it works.
7. Generally speaking you want to keep your eye look neutral/light when you do a bold lip. One star of the show friends. One star. I’ve heard this rule applied to jewelry wearing too. One big piece and the rest small so your pieces are not competing.
Any other reds you want me to add? Let me know and I’ll try my best!