When I was a young girl, I'd try on all of my mum's lipsticks in secret behind locked doors. My mother was very strict and the only time I was allowed to wear a red lip in public was during Halloween. Regardless of my costume, I'd always ask to borrow her lipstick because I knew she'd say yes for this one day of the year. Then I grew up and realized that not all reds are equal, and to my dismay, a lot of the blue-red lipsticks I was draw to previously where actually very unflattering for my olive skin. Through trail and error, and some really gnarly lipstick choices, I learned that orange-based reds are best for us with yellow undertones. I've made it easy for you guys and listed 5 of my all time favourite reds, along with lip liner pairings that work best with these unique shades. Pucker up!
- GIVENCHY LE ROUGE IN MANDARINE BOLERO 304
I love this colour as a daytime red so much, that I just recently repurchased it. It's a soft orange-red that leans more towards a deep coral and yet somehow, it almost looks pink on my skin (see swatch down below). The formula on this lipstick is matte and stays on pretty well but I recommend a nude lip liner for staying power.
- MAC MATTE LIPSTICK IN SO CHAUD
This lipstick is a touch more orange than red, making it appropriate for summer. I on the other hand, like a pop of bright lipstick in the cold months to help liven pale skin. I'd recommend wearing this shade when you want to stand out. Pair it with a deep coral lip liner for longevity.
- SONIA KASHUK VELVETY MATTE LIP CRAYON IN POPPY NUDE
Another bright red! It's pretty close to So Chaud, but this one leans towards being more red. The true matte formula on this lipstick means you can forgo a lip liner because it stays on pretty well. Also, it's a wooden pencil which means you can draw a nice precise line when you sharpen it.
- CHANEL ROUGE COCO IN GABRIELLE 19
Named after Ms. Coco Chanel herself, Gabrielle is the perfect classic red. It has more of a blue undertone than the other reds on my list, but it's still warm enough to compliment olive skin and those with yellow undertones. This formula is pretty creamy, so I like to pair this with a red lip liner for staying power.
- MAC MATTE LIPSTICK IN CHILLI
This is an old favourite of mine and I've been using Chilli since I was in college. It's the deepest red of all of the ones on my list, which is why I put it last. It almost looks more brown compared to Givenchy's Mandarine Bolero, but it's still very much a deep orange-based red. To bring out the red, pair it with a red lipliner and to let the true colour shine, wear it alone. On the days when I want a more natural flush on my lips, I dab a lit of Chilli on my lips, followed my lip balm. Voila, my version of "au natural".