red lipstick - why cant I get it right?

(53 Posts)
HappyHugs Fri 02-Aug-13 22:15:54

I really want to wear red lippy with a new red dress but every time I try it looks like I've got false lips on!! I usually wear a rosy pink liner and gloss and have dark hair and v pale skin. Im 40 ish. Is it really so difficult?!

SundaySimmons Fri 02-Aug-13 22:30:06

My own opinion is that bright red lips need to be matte, semi matte, velvet et but not glossy.

Leave off the lip gloss, but if you still need a bit of shine, dab a tiny amount of vaseline for lips in the centre of your bottom lip and then press lips together.

HappyHugs Fri 02-Aug-13 22:34:55

Thanks SS, I'll try any suggestion....

MrsLettuce Fri 02-Aug-13 22:44:37

Totally agree about the matte thing.

Which lipstick(s) one you have? Mac Ruby Woo is the red lipstick really, utterly matte and a butiful shade that honestly does suit most people. Rimmel Kate 101 (I forget the name) is worth a try.

Most of wearing red is getting used it TBH. You could always try just dabbing dome on with a fingertip and building up for there.

<declares interest>

Have you had your colours done? True red will be fine on everyone (and I think Ruby Woo is close to this), but all others will be either warm or cool toned, and if you're wearing the wrong tone it will look wrong.

I also agree that it takes a while to get used to your reflection wearing serious lipstick.

I can't wear red lipstick - I've got very thin lips and a small mouth .
I should in theory look like Clara Bow.
I look like a really rough transvestite hmm

The only way I can get it to work though- line all of my lip with a liner. Layer 2 layers of lipstick and blott.
I find a wine red more flattering.
I've got the Kate Moss Rimmel red.
I keep it for Hallowe'en witch/ Zombie Bride , grin

HappyHugs Fri 02-Aug-13 22:51:35

Indeed Mrs Lettuce I fear I am a creature of habit as much as anything and the red is 'different' for me. I might try the rimmel one first as i assume it would be cheaper, 1st world problems eh!

hellymelly Fri 02-Aug-13 22:56:25

Not everyone suits red lipstick. I have a really pretty friend with lovely shaped lips, but bright lipstick does not work on her at all. You can try different shades, probably a blue based red with your colouring would be a good bet. Matt gives a truly retro look but some lips suit gloss or sheer reds better. Revlon do a sheer balmy based lipstick that comes in a very soft easy red (candy apple), I think that would be a good starting point and avoids the false lips look. Or you can rub in a red to give a slightly stained look to the lips without the full on made up mouth. I wear matt reds but the full on shine reds of the 70s can look beautiful, they are very different from a 40s thick solid red. Sadly the best ever red gloss, done by Charlotte Tilbury for Helena Rubenstein, doesn't exist any more as far as I can tell. So experiment, spend a few hours in a makeup department trying them on, and if they don't work, find a rosy pink or something that you really love instead.

HappyHugs Fri 02-Aug-13 22:57:09

Zombie Bride not really what I'm aiming for, may actually go for the Mac after all! grin

tigerdriverII Fri 02-Aug-13 23:00:27

I've just gone for some very bright pinks, corals etc. they're not red but they work well.

HappyHugs Fri 02-Aug-13 23:04:35

You sound very knowlegable Helly, are you a make-up artist? I really suit gloss on lips, it brings my face to life and completes my make up but maybe a strong red matt could work...

MrsLettuce Fri 02-Aug-13 23:06:07

There are two rimmel kate reds the 01 and the 101, the 01 is dark, warm and shiny, not good at all (on me). The 101 is alright but nothing beats ruby woo for me.

Rimmel is about 1/2 the price of mac but it's easy to spend loads on a series of cheap products then end up having to splash out for the good stuff anyway <bitter>

MrsLettuce Fri 02-Aug-13 23:13:44

oops, 01 and 111 (kiss of life) that's the true(ish) matte red. There;s also 107 that's matte too but I didn't buy it. Not my bag.

MrsLettuce Fri 02-Aug-13 23:22:49

Ah, here - kate 111 at hte top, ruby woo at the bottom.

I prefer ruby by a mile but it is rather dry so it might be a bit difficult to apply if you're used to gloss.

HappyHugs Fri 02-Aug-13 23:30:52

Decisions...decisions, actually think I prefer the top one though it is marginal. Thanks for the effort Lettuce, above and beyond the call of duty!

SorrelForbes Fri 02-Aug-13 23:47:01

I keep trying different reds but they all just make me look like a haggard old drag queen (verified by DSis and Sis in Law!). I have the Revlon Candy Apple which is ok (ish) and Mac Lady Danger (fine for a big dressy night out) but I'm still not convinced. I tried Chanel Rouge Allure in Inimitable today and it just made me look hard bitten and old.

I've tried Ruby Woo and Russian Red and they both looked awful. I've asked the sales assistants on the MAC, Chanel, Clinique, Estée Lauder and YSL counters to tell me which types of reds I should look for and have had different answers from all of them.

I have a small mouth and thin lips. I'm fair (yellow based complexion) with mid brown hair and green eyes.

I think I probably need to go to every single makeup counter and ask them to put each red on me in turn and hen take a photo. It could take hours!

MrsLettuce Sat 03-Aug-13 09:19:42

Do you add (a little more) blusher when trying on reds sorrel? Can make all the difference.

MooMinCow Sat 03-Aug-13 09:32:57

this Lisa Eldridge video is useful. I rate Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks, 'Fire & Ice' and 'Cherries in the Snow' aren't true reds but may suit your colouring?

It takes a bit of getting used to bright lipstick if you've never worn them. The first few times I wore bright reds and pinks I felt everyone was staring at my mouth, but you get over that quickly! I think it's just confidence and finding a shade/formula that works for you. Good luck.

MooMinCow Sat 03-Aug-13 09:34:42

Oh and MAC ''Dubonnet' is a nice deep wine red that might suit

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Aug-13 10:32:29

Yep, I think the blusher thing is key and I probably do need to slap a bit more on!

I've watched that video and it's great but didn't really help me decide on which colours to choose/avoid? The Chanel counter lady yesterday said I should avoid reds with too much blue in them?

I do a lot of am-dram and use this Max Factor one in 120 Hot for most shows as it doesn't move. I think I don't mind the brightness so much then as I've got a lot of other make-up on as well!

MrsLettuce Sat 03-Aug-13 11:20:31

Eye make up needs to be minimal too, that's another cause of the drag look. Blusher needs to have a similar base tone to the lipstick - in fact that might be a good starting point. What is the base the base colour in your blusher?

To the counters with you dear! wink

MrsLettuce Sat 03-Aug-13 11:28:22

I'd start with mac though - they have a plethora of reds

lady danger
scarlet ibis
runaway red
brave red
lady bug
mac red

all warm. there are more too but can't bring 'em to mid atm.

Would try ruby woo again too.

MrsLettuce Sat 03-Aug-13 11:32:53

Oh, heck, I know I'm obsessed with red lippy - sorry.

One last tip. Eyebrows need to be groomed and filled in will make a massive wap of a difference.

MrsLettuce Sat 03-Aug-13 11:41:09

Hell, I fear a summery is needed now hmm.

To wear red (once you find your colour and whilst trying them on) you need: (more) blusher, filled eyebrows and minimal eye makeup (liner on the top lid and lashings of mascara will suffice. Honest.). Your colour is unlikely to be particularly dark or deep because of your colouring and the shape of your lips.

SorrelForbes Sat 03-Aug-13 12:16:09

Brilliant tips and info, thanks MrsLettuce I tend to really only wear liner and mascara anyway and my brows are pretty groomed.

My usual blusher preference is a cream one (I have dry skin and like a nice dewey look) and I'm currently using this No7 one in Rosebud.

I've just put on another layer of blush and had another go with both Candy Apple and Lady Danger. I can see that my blusher is a totally different shade to Lady Danger but I do like that pink, rosy cheeks look. Possibly though, it isn't right for me! Candy Apple is definitely a softer look and not as orange but again, makes me look, I think, quite mumsy.

I adore red lipstick and refuse to give up looking! I'll take a trip into town tomorrow or Monday and visit the MAC counter. The girls didn't seem that interested last time so I think I need to find a keen one who's willing to help me try lots of colours!

charitygirl Sat 03-Aug-13 12:53:43

If they're all making you look dead try a really orangey red (something that even looks more orange than red in the tube) and see if there's a difference. Because of my colouring (HoC autumn) an orange red looks like a true red on me.

no 17 Love Note is a v cheap one to try.

AlwaysSleepingBeauty Sat 03-Aug-13 13:28:52

Lipstick Queen do some excellent red shades, I love Deep Red Sinner though I am more of a pink complexion than you are.

Vibbe Sat 03-Aug-13 15:30:00

It takes time to get used to how it looks with a red/bright/darker lipstick than usual. So you might feel that it looks strange when you just put it on, but after a while, you should get used to how it looks.

Instead of going for a full red mouth, how about starting with a stain? It's still red, but not as much in-your-face as a classic red lip.

Also, if you need to use a lip liner, either use one in the same colour as the lipstick or a clear one. I personally don't think it works with a pink one, nor does a nude one look right.

I always match my blush colour to the colour of my lipstick. You can even use the lipstick as a blush by applying it in thin layers with your fingers.

Depending on your skin tone, consider a warm toned red instead of the blue toned like Ruby Woo.
You can also go darker or lighter. I personally love Tom Ford's Black Orchid lipstick (I'm fair with warm undertones, medium blond hair, blue eyes). Revlon Fire & Ice is nice too - used as a stain, it looks coral on me, while used as a classic lipstick, it's a bright red.
I have MAC Absolute Power and Ronnie Red, which are similar to Ruby Woo, but less matte (and Ronnie Red is brighter). They are nice, no doubt, but they are very drying (which I find with all MAC lipsticks), to the point of my lips being very flaky. Also, they leave a very pink stain on my lips and after a couple of hours, the lipstick looks pink on me, not red.

A neutral red might be better for you - such as MAC Russian Red.

TeddyPickleStick Sat 03-Aug-13 16:35:14

Revlon lip butter in candy apple is bloody good

Vibbe Sat 03-Aug-13 17:44:09

Something slightly darker, such as the colour of Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon looks really good on pale skin as well.

It's been discontinued, but you can probably find dupes and pictures of it on google.

MrsLettuce Sat 03-Aug-13 17:54:04

Yy to darker shades on pale skins, of course. They are less flattering on slimmer lips and smaller mouths, unless one is prepared to go for a really stylized, drawn on look.

HappyHugs Sat 03-Aug-13 20:53:47

There's plenty to think about here, thank you all. I also have green eyes with the pale skin, dark hair combo and tend to use a rose toned cream blusher for my dry skin, i probably need to change that colour too. I have tried various red lippys that end up looking orange or pink. I am now on a mission to crack this!

Lottapianos Sat 03-Aug-13 21:07:39

'Revlon lip butter in candy apple is bloody good'

Agree - I'm reallly quite scared of red lipstick but really like Candy Apple, it's a very wearable colour and texture

TallulahBetty Sat 03-Aug-13 21:32:49

Another vote for Candy Apple - I find it very wearable and i'm scared of red lipstick!

coffeeinbed Sat 03-Aug-13 21:42:35

Try a sheer one.
I have Candy Apple but it does nothing for me.
The red Revlon Chubby stick - which I can't read the name of, at the moment, is perfect.
Nars Gypsy is very easy as well. And sheer.

Your colouring sounds similar to mine from your description (check out my profile pic) and although it sounds like typical cool colouring it's actually neutral/warm. I too have to have a bit of glossiness in my lipstick or I just look weird/wrong/old.

I tend to wear neutral to slightly warm reds applied with my finger so it's sheer and then I put some red sheer gloss (like the lip plumping ones Soap and Glory do) in the middle.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 04-Aug-13 05:08:00

i love red lippy but i always go for red with blue tones or it makes my teeth look yellow. (so darker reds)

i have very full lips so if i go for red (full on!) i keep eyes simple - just a smudge of eyeliner and mascara.

i always use lip liner and a brush for a full on colour, and blot it its too much.

gloss tends to make me look a bit 80;s

motherinferior Sun 04-Aug-13 12:20:04

Try Revlon Really Red and/or the Revlon lip crayon in Romantic. Both are terrific on me - other reds go horridly pinky.

coffeeinbed Sun 04-Aug-13 14:27:42

My Revlon Stick is Romantic as well.
Really nice colour.

hellymelly Mon 05-Aug-13 13:46:00

Oh ta op-I was a make-up artist and stylist, yes.
I am similar colouring to you, but with lighter hair, and I can't wear much lipstick except for red! Nude shades do not work on me at all for instance, I look better with nothing on my mouth at all.
It isn't just about colouring, lip shape is also a big factor. Very chiselled edges to the lips, which look lovely when natural and left alone, can sometimes look very drag-queeny with red or brights. Strong features can look amazing with red, or hard, it is all just trial and error. I love hot pinks on other women, but they don't often suit me. Strangely I suited gloss much more when I was pregnant, I think my lips plumped up a bit!
I wonder if just getting a few mates round with all their lipsticks, and all of you having a play with the pool of colours and seeing what suits over cake and a glass of wine might be easier than a department store and a lot more fun. Then you will at least have narrowed it down a bit.

Branleuse Mon 05-Aug-13 13:47:59

Red lipstick always looks good.

if you think you cant wear red lipstick, its more because of how you feel about yourself than about the shade.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Aug-13 14:01:25

Hmmm, I'm not sure that's true. I think I look pretty good. Groomed, clear skin, hair blow dried, natural glowy makeup. I look better now at 43 than I did in my 20s. I'm no super model but I'm attractive.

Whenever I try red on and show other people, not one of them likes it on me.

I'm going to go and so some trying on in town this week.

Sorry for the hijack OP!

Housewife2010 Mon 05-Aug-13 14:04:22

Sheer lipsticks are a lot easier to wear. A strong red needs a certain amount of confidence. I've recently discovered Lipstick Queen in Medieval. It's a lovely sheer red which you can build up. It feels like a balm & is very easy to wear and very comfortable on my easily irritated lips. It looks just as good with a full evening face or a bare one. It reminds me a lot of the discontinued Bobbi Brown Ruby Stain which I used to wear every day.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Aug-13 14:08:17

Has anyone tried the lipsticks from Besame Cosmetics?

hellymelly Mon 05-Aug-13 14:11:38

I have a couple of besame reds. I like the tube a lot, but the colours are not amazing on me. <pulls very fussy face>. They are strong and a good texture though, so might be perfect on someone else.

Keztrel Mon 05-Aug-13 14:27:50

Sorry if this has already been suggested, but if you find Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple too warm, try the Red Velvet one - it's a deeper, cooler version and very wearable.

motherinferior Mon 05-Aug-13 14:31:12

It's not enough, though, I found. I have just slicked on some more Romantic - it's a lovely clear red.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Aug-13 14:35:16

I'm now so confused about what's warm, cool etc. I need to scuttle back to the bra threads wink

Keztrel Mon 05-Aug-13 14:36:00

motherinferior do you mean the Red Velvet? It's not a proper bright red, no, but v useful and goes with everything.

Keztrel Mon 05-Aug-13 14:37:31

Sorrel I tend to go buy the rule of if it looks at all orange, peach or brown and makes me look terrible, then it's warm!

motherinferior Mon 05-Aug-13 14:46:15

I found it a bit purply. I like a red, me. RED red.

Keztrel Mon 05-Aug-13 14:50:34

That's funny, it doesn't look at all purple on me, just a muted dark red. Skintone makes a massive difference to how reds look I think. Lady Danger looks like a true red on a friend of mine, but like horrible bricky orange on me.

SorrelForbes Mon 05-Aug-13 15:23:01

Lady Danger looks slightly neon on me!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now