Let’s talk red lippy !

Officially the hottest trend of 2022, red lipstick is an iconic part makeup.  A classic look that is almost an equal mixture of glamour and edginess!

From prostitution to witchcraft to murder! From empowerment to rebellion and civic duty to the glamour of the silver screen –  the humble shade of rouge has quite a history and holds a fascinating magnetism.

I am known for my red lippy. It is my signature look if you like. . I love it.  I wear it from day to night. I own too many of every shade and my collection is growing!  

And whilst I am often complimented on my signature lip and my “bravery” for wearing red, people always tell me that it doesn’t suit them. Doesn’t suit their skin tone, hair colour, face shape, eye colour, under-tones. Red lipstick makes them look ‘weird’. I have even been told “I’m not confident enough, it makes me feel self-conscious”

No doubt, wearing red lippy is a thing. That doesn’t mean you cannot wear it at all, it is all about finding the right shade.

Yes, everyone can wear red lippy, so which shade is right for you?

It all comes down to the undertones of your skin. Take a look at the veins on the underside of your forearms at your wrists.  

  • If the veins look predominantly blue or purple – you have a cool undertone (pink, red blue) A great indication of a cool-tones skin is if you burn easily in the sun.
  • If the veins look predominately green – you have a warm undertone (yellow, gold, peach) and lucky you, you probably tan easily in the sun!

What if your veins look both blue and green or you can seek pink and yellow undertones,  then you are lucky enough (like me) to have neutral undertones – meaning  you can get away with wearing  ANY TONE OF RED YOU LIKE because your neutral skin tone adapts to the shade you are wearing!  Wooohoooo!

Here is a little guide I like to follow – 

Fair Skin Tone  – more red in the skin and tend to burn easily  

Warm Undertones – you want to stick with an orange-based shade or a warm brown shade. 

Little tip though, too much orange tone will accentuate any yellowness in the teeth, so the warm brown shades may suit here.

Cool Undertones – more blue based shades will suit you or even slightly raspberry based tones for a less dramatic look.

Medium Skin Tone skin leans towards a more golden yellow, can burn but tends to tan.

This skin tone has by far the most options – aren’t you lucky?! Avoid corals though, as the golden yellow of the skin can make you look washed out with this colour.

Warm Undertones – Warmer orange and earthy reds look fabulous with these warm yellowy tones

Cool Undertones- Staying with those blue based tones – you could even suss out more ‘true reds’ and edgier raspberry based tones  

Olive Skin Tones – can be light, moderate brown or tanned with greener undertones and rarely burns

Warm Undertones – lean towards brick reds or rust reds – brick red is a very warm reddish brown colour, and perfectly complements warm-toned olive skin tones.

Cool Undertones – Earthy, blue-based shades of wine reds look amazing on cool tones olive complexions

Caramel Skin Tones-   skin with warm, golden, buttery brown tones of caramel

Earthy hues look amazing on this skin tone – even two toning with strong golds. Some strong reds that are too bright can actually make this skin tone look dull so the earthier tones of reds bring forth that goldenness in the skin.

Dark Skin Tones –  Skin that produces a lot of melanin giving the skin a dark colour

Warm Undertones – This skin tones stuns in gorgeous strong orange based reds. The orange of the red counters the golden undertones of the skin and really makes it pop

Cool Undertones –  Vampy red browns look amazing with the coolness of this undertone as does a plum based wine!

Clear as mud??  No stress, have I got some good news for you!

The perfect universal shade of red is said to contain the correct balance of blue and yellow pigments – creating a shade that all skin tones can pull off! 


So, if you are confused by all this skin and undertone business, companies like MAC, Stila, Nars and even Maybelline have created their version of the universal red lipstick to match all skin tones!

There’s that witchcraft I was talking about above!