Monday, December 5, 2011

How to find your BEST red lipstick?

The holiday season is in full gear and this is the time that most women like to sport a red lip.  I don't know if it has to do with red being a colour associated with Christmas or just that red is a classic party shade - its probably both!  You've probably read in numerous magazines that women with cool tones should go with a blue toned red, women with warm tones should go with a more orange/yellow red, while women with neutral skin-tones should go with a true red.  Do I agree with this advice?  Yes, to a certain degree!  The more I learn about style - the more I realize that red has more to do with the look you're trying to achieve and then using that inspiration to find harmony so that your 'look' is balanced with a colour that suits your skintone, colourtype and personality!  Its not as complimated as it sounds.  Here are a few examples:

The 'experts' are interesting to me because on one hand, they say 'if you're going for a red lip, go very natural on your eyes' and their next sentence is 'there are no rules with makeup' - so which is it?  Catherine Zeta Jones is a stunning Winter woman (some say True Winter, others say Deep Winter).  I personally think she is more of a Deep winter because she really suits reds with a brownish base.  Her style is a mix of glamourous and classic.  She is not overly dramatic, overly 'look at me', she has more of a subtle drama about her.  Would a true red glossy lip suit her colour wise?  Of Course, but does it suit her style wise?  Not as much in my opinion!  So even though the experts would say, as a neutral skintone, true red is her best, I think she looks the most harmonious and elegant in this deeper red with a hint of brown undertone.  However, if she decided to change up her look, go for something more black leather, 'come hither', femme fatale inspired - then she would steal the show with a true red lip.  But this post is about finding your 'best' red - one that suits YOU - your style, your personality, your colouring!

If you're going for that uber Jackie O Dramatic-Classic look, this is where a woman can really rock a true red, especially if she is a cool or neutral season.  So why does true red work here so well?  Is it the colour itself?  I don't think so - its how the red works in harmony with everything else - style, personality, colouring.  Have you ever met a a woman, perhaps with Soft colouring and a dominant natural style - can you see her sporting this look?  She would probably be the first person to tell you - I can't do red, red looks too 'hooker-ish' for me.  The interesting thing is, she is right - on her, this look would be hooker-ish because its not in harmony with who she is as a woman.  I find that soft seaons look beautiful in a softer, more pinky-brown based red.  Perhaps its not the dramatic red we know, but SHE is not that woman, so why is the makeup industry forcing her to be???

A woman with a more natural, softer air and mystery about her looks a million times more elegant in a softer red or even a pinky-red gloss.  She doesn't look forced or uncomfortable in the makeup and lipcolour she's wearing, yet she looks just a stunning because she's wearing a red that is in harmony with who she is! 

The women of the Clear colour palette, amazingly enough needs a clarity to her red lipstick.  The clarity looks elegant.  Look at Liv Tyler in the photo above, her striking clear blue eyes, her striking clear aqua gown and her striking clear red lips - her look is 'striking', her colouring is striking, her personality is 'striking' so with this look, she is in full harmony.  If you put this same look on a soft and muted women who has a natural style and personality, well I'm going to stop there actually, because you would never even do that in the first place - its just not who that woman is!

Before I became familiar with my style, colour harmony and personality type, I thought that this was the best and most elegant red for me:

I was going to a very glam event and my knowledge of makeup application made this look believable, but what do you notice first?  The makeup!

Learning that my style type is 'Soft' Classic, that my colouring is a warm-golden True Autumn, that my personality is more about being elegant and classic vs dramatic and over the top, I now see just how harmonious this look is for me.  What do you notice first?  I see my eyes, my glowing skin, how naturally elegant that 'Chili' lipstick looks against my skin.  I don't see makeup first and formost - I see 'Me'!  This is how you know you've found your best red - it works in harmony with who YOU are!!!

Here is a side by side view - the right look should be clear to your eyes right away:

So what kind of women are you???  Whats your style???  Whats your personality??? Whats your colouring???  Are you dramatic and clear?  Are you soft and sensual?  Are you classic and soft?  Or Classic and dramatic?  Who are YOU???  Go out and find that woman you are meant to become!!!


singularfocus said...


As a soft summer and romantic I gotta say BRAVO on your post. Heck, I even call red "hooker red" on me! I tried my whole life to follow the two lipstick rule (one neutral, one red) and always felt stupid in red. Anything that veers too far away from the mediumness of my face is like a spotlight.

The only red I feel I can do is a soft brown-berry gloss thats more medium in depth. It's a shame because I love makeup but anything other than somewhat soft and natural makes me look worse rather than better.

Renata said...

SIngularfocus - wow, I can see a soft brown-berry shade being a perfect 'red' for softs - thank you for sharing. Also, thank you so much for writing and for your feedback. In the future, I hope to do more posts that speak to 'everyone' be it their colourtype or style! I really want this blog to be a place of inspiration for others!

Anonymous said...

Hi Renata! Thank you for this post! I was wondering if you could post the links to the tests where you found out your body and personality types?

Jeanine Byers Hoag said...

Great post, Renata! As a warm autumn and a natural, I am amazed at how much better (and how much more natural) the warm reds look on me.

Even when my lipstick is more terracotta and my shirt or scarf a warm red, they work together well.

Renata said...

Thank you very much for your request about where to go to find your style type - check out my most recent post for links and more info:
I love when people send requests, so thank you very much!!!

Pete said...

I found your Pic searching for Elegant Red. You are gorgeous in that soft red lipstick!!!

Renata said...

Thank you so much Pete!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow the more i read your blog the more wisdom I get from you! I guess maturity and wisdom cannot be earned over a night? Knowledge is one thing and applying it properly is another thing. You basically teach us how to tailor the general knowledge for each one of us! Thank you

Renata said...

Thank you so much for such a lovely comment Annobymous! I've really learned the hard way - all my 'experimentation' has eventually led to embracing what works for me. More and I more I realize that beauty and elegance are very personal and different for each woman - embrace YOU and your own style!!!