How to choose the perfect red lipstick

Red lipstick says classic beauty; however, the perfect red lipstick can prove elusive because with so many finishes, undertones and opaqueness’ it can be hard to work out which is the most flattering.

An easy place to start is to choose a finish which best suits your needs, there are a few different options each with pros and cons.

Matte or gloss? 

A lipstick with a sheen or glossy finish is comfortable to wear and has a tendency to make the lips look bigger but do, however, wear off more quickly than the other available finishes. This means the colour tends to slip a bit when you eat or drink, but it does make this finish incredibly easy to remove with Velettà’s Cleansing Oil at the end of the day. Lipsticks with a sheen usually have a sheer coverage making them perfect if you want just a hint of colour on the lips and are more forgiving if you make mistakes.

Creamy or buttery lipsticks are a step between matte and glossy. They are a hybrid of the two finishes as they are still comfortable to wear but usually have more coverage and longevity than a lipstick with a glossy finish. These lipsticks are also easily smeared so will need to be reapplied after eating. This finish of lipstick is also easily removed with Velettà’s (vegan and halal-certified) Cleansing Oil.

Matte lipsticks are the longest lasting finishes but can be slightly less comfortable on the lips as they have a drier texture. They tend not to move around too much, so they seldom need to be reapplied, and usually, have quite a strong pigment, making them look bold. The downside is that you need to have a steady hand when applying these though as mistakes can be quite obvious.

You can get matte lipsticks in a bullet form or in a liquid that dries down to a matte finish; these, in particular, are quite drying but really long lasting and can be applied once in the morning with no need to touch up all day. They can be fairly hard to remove, so you may need to double cleanse at the end of the night.

Check your undertone

Once you have decided on the finish that suits your purposes, you need to choose a colour. This can seem intimidating as there are so many reds to choose from. Blue based reds are pretty universally flattering so will look good on most people (and the blue undertones help to make your teeth look white) or you could also match to your body’s natural undertones.

Unsure if you’re cool or warm toned? Take a look at the inside of your wrist at your veins. If the veins look green then you have yellow undertones, making you warm toned. If you see blue veins, then you are cool toned with red undertones. Some people are quite neutral and have a mixture of both blue and green veins which means they can swing between cool and warm-toned lipsticks and they will all look very flattering.

If you have yellow undertones, then more orange reds are going to look very flattering with your skin tone. These lipsticks can be quite bright, fun shades or can be more muted, brown based reds.

 If you have red undertones, then blue-based reds are going to look best. Blue based reds tend to be the more classic, “Marilyn Munroe” style reds. You could also go for a more cherry red or if that feels a bit too bold you could lean towards a more pink base.

Try before you buy

It is best to try the lipsticks on your lips if possible as they can look very different in the tube or even swatched on your hand; sometimes it's not until you have the lipstick on that you realise it’s not the right shade for you. As an aside all lipsticks look better on smooth lips – it’s worth using a DIY lip scrub as part of your daily skincare regime.

Of course, you can always just ignore all the rules, try on a few different lipsticks and pick whatever one makes you feel the best. Why not try one of the 11 best red lipsticks as chosen by Hello Magazine

The perfect canvas 

And remember that the perfect pout needs great skin as a canvas. Velettà’s New Zealand made, plant-based skincare products are exactly what your skin needs to become hydrated, nourished and beautiful. Why not read more about these natural beauties?