It’s interesting how a lot of readers that I’ve spoken with say they aren’t confident to wear red lipsticks. I remember, in fact, gaining so much more confidence whenever I sport a sizzling red lipstick. I love how it seems to tell people that I’m bold, I’m glamorous, and I’m not afraid to flaunt it.

But I understand the hesitation. Red lips so hot that if it’s your first time wearing something as bold as it, you just aren’t used to its intensity. I urge you to put down those fears, because everyone can wear red lipstick. Yes, everyone! You just have to find the right shade for you.

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Determine your skin’s undertone

Thinking Curious 1

This is actually an important exercise because not only does it help you determine the right shade of red to wear as lipstick, it can also help you decide which shade of colour to wear as a dress. (In fact, if you’re very confident of picking out the right shade of red dress, just follow the same shade for your lipstick!)

The rule is that if you have warm skin undertone like Nicole Kidman, you should be choosing a lipstick with warm undertones too; and if you have a cool skin undertone like Scarlett Johansson , lipsticks with cool undertones look best on you. What if you’re a neutral like Victoria Beckham? Good for you! You’d probably look good in all kinds of shades!

There are a few “tests” you can try to determine what your skin’s undertone is:

1. Vein test: Under natural light, look at your wrist where your veins appear.

Warm – Veins appear green.
Cool – Veins appear blue.
Neutral – You see a mixture of both.

2. White towel test: Pull your hair away from your face and thoroughly cleanse your face. Put a white towel around your shoulders. 

Warm – Skin appears more yellow.
Cool – Skin appears more blue.

3. Jewellery test: Wear silver, gold and bronze jewellery.

Warm – Gold jewellery looks more flattering against your skin.
Cool – Silver jewellery looks better on you.
Neutral – Bronze looks good on you compared to the rest.

Try the lipsticks

Actually the best way to see which shade works for you is to try it on yourself. If you can, apply the lipstick directly onto your lips to gauge most accurately. If hygiene is an issue, apply just a spot somewhere on the outline of your lips and see how the colour looks against your skin.

Wear it out

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If you have the chance to, perhaps, try a lipstick for a day – whether is it trying on your best friend’s lipstick, or wearing one from the beauty counters. Take a photo of yourself and see if you like how the colour look on you. Ask someone you trust for his/her genuine opinion too!

More lips tips

  • Bold lips need to be paired with a bold spirit. So don’t be afraid to experiment!
  • The comfort level of the lipstick is just as important as its colour. So choose wisely!
  • While you should keep the rest of the makeup minimal to allow the red lip colour to stand out, don’t go too bare. Your eyes, for instance, should look bright, instead of like you’re wearing no eye makeup. Wear some eyeliner and be generous with your mascara. This way, the look will be balanced. Also, don’t forget some blusher.

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About the Author
Kristen Juliet SohKristen Juliet Soh is the editorial director of Daily Vanity, and has spent more than a decade in journalism and content strategy. When she's not at h...Read More

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