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How to Choose Red Lipstick

At The Haute Life, we love a red lip. But, admittedly, the wrong shade can lead to a Ronald McDonald disaster. While I was busy researching how to choose that perfect shade of red, I sent Kim on a mission to find the perfect red lip for her.  She texted me this picture and told me she purchased Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kit.

Kim in “Bite Me” from Kylie’s Lip Kit

Feeling a little sassy she chose “Bite Me.”

Hmmmm. Maybe she was trying to tell me something?

Sorry, Kim, I owe you a Dunkin iced tea for being such a great sport! Oh, and BTW- you knocked it out of the park. You’re looking simply GORGEOUS!


How to Choose Red Lipstick

So, back to my research. How does one find the perfect shade of red? To determine which shade works best, you need to determine two things: your skin tone (color) and the undertone of your skin.

1. Determine Your Skin Tone and Undertone

To keep it simple, let’s focus on the three primary skin tones: fair, medium, and dark; and the three undertones cool, warm, and neutral. 

The undertone is the subtle hue underneath your skin. To determine your skin’s undertone, look at the veins on the inside of your wrist and neck. 

  • Blue or Purple Veins – You have cool undertones. Cool undertones also tend to burn rather than tan.
  • Green Veins – You have warm undertones. Warm undertones tan nicely from sun exposure.
  • Both Green and Blue Veins – You have a neutral undertone. People with a neutral skin undertone both burn and tan.

2. Combine Your Skin Tone and Undertone

Next up, is combining your skin tone and undertone to find the perfect shade. Those lucky gals with neutral undertones can choose either shade within their skin tone column.

Skin ToneSkin UndertoneShade of Red
FairCoolBlue-Based, Jewel Toned Cool Reds
FairWarmCooler Coral Reds
MediumCoolBlue-Based Reds
MediumWarmWarm Orange-Toned Reds
DarkCoolA True Red or Crushed Dark Berries and Plums
DarkWarmDeep Red Wines
Red Lipstick Chart Skin Tone Chart

With all of this said, find the color (and finish, which is an entirely different post) that speaks to you!


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