As the temperature gets a little cooler than “ass-crack hot” and we transition into fall, I think more and more about what kind of lipstick looks are more appropriate for the season. To me summer is all about sexy corals and it makes me a little sad that I can’t as easily slap that ish on my lips like I was a drag queen at a drag queen trade show (this is not a disparaging comment, I would LOVE to be part of that theoretical).
The very definition of “hot, fierce bitch.”
Fall is all about the dramatic, vampy lips, and more than anything, fall is all about the red lips. There is nothing more classic and timeless and versatile than a red lip. There’s a reason why most of us ladies, if not all of us ladies, have a red lipstick we like to bust out on those special occasions. If you don’t have one, there’s literally no good excuse you can have for not owning one. High-end or drugstore, it doesn’t matter, every cosmetics company will have a red lipstick AND they will have many different shades so you will for sure find the one that best suits you. It might take some time, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it because you’ll have found it and can rock it forever and ever.
Okay, let’s operate under the CRAZY assumption that you don’t have a favourite red lipstick or the less crazy assumption that you have one, but you think you could do better. Here are some things to think about. Oh, yeah, please keep in mind, as much as I like to front like I know exactly what I’m talking about, I am in no way a professional. I’m just an enthusiast who reads makeup blogs and is friends with a real MUA and have read (ahem, skimmed) a few makeup-related books, so most of my knowledge comes from that. That being said, I have great taste and I’m the best, so listen to me anyway.
- The opacity – Depending on the brand and sometimes even the line within a brand, not all lipsticks/glosses will look exactly the same on your lip as they do in the tube. Opacity or how opaque a colour is, is essentially how much pigmentation is in the lipstick, aka how much coverage you get, aka does the colour match the tube once you put it on your lips? The less opaque a lipstick, the more your own natural lip colour will peak through underneath. Sheerer colours won’t usually show up as vividly, but they’re a good way to introduce darker and more dramatic colours to your palette. For hose ladies who prefer subtly and are more refined than, let’s say those addicted to obnoxious colours (me), you might think about wanting to get a lipstick that’s not so opaque and leans on the sheer side. But don’t go too sheer, because then WHAT’S THE GODDAMN POINT?
- The finish – Not all lipsticks/glosses are made equal. There are different finishes you need to take into consideration: Is the colour matte? Does it have any shimmer? Is it satiny? Is it frosty? Will it look slick on your lips? Of course gloss usually will never be matte, because, hello, it’s called “gloss” so there’s always gonna be a certain amount of shine. Depending on what your style or preference is, figuring out what finish suits you is half of the battle. Also, typically, matte shades are more drying than any of the other finishes because there’s little shine in it, so it has the tendency to highlight any imperfections your lips may have. My lips are dryer than (insert crotch joke here), so I typically stay away from matte colours, but if you’re good with exfoliating and keeping your lips hydrated (which I am not), matte reds are a super dramatic and sophisticated look.
- The tone – Let’s take a quick break from lipstick for a second and think about you. Are you having a good day? Are there things you wish you could’ve done today instead of just lying in your bed in your undies like me? While you’re thinking about these things, take a gander in your ol’ mindbox (brain) and also search for the answer to “What’s your skin tone?” Is your skin tone cool or warm? Do you not know what that means? I’m gonna be real, I don’t know exactly what it means either, I just know I’m warm/neutral. Luckily for you, instead of trying to explain it, I’m just gonna tell you to Google “warm vs cool skin tone” and you will surely find many explanations. And then come back once you’ve figured that out. Your skin tone will help determine which is shade of red will be most suitable for you, because, duh, like every other kind of makeup, lipsticks can either lean cool or warm. Basically warm reds are orange toned and cool reds are blue toned. If you’re warm, check out the reds that have hints of orange, yellow, bronze, cooper etc. If you’re cool, check out the reds that have pinks and blues to them. Of course, regardless of whether or not you’re cool or warm, this doesn’t mean you can’t wear the opposite of what you are. Warmness and coolness lies on a spectrum, right? Some cool colours are a bit warm and vice versa. As I said, I’m more warm than cool, but I prefer wearing blue reds because they make your teeth look whiter. That tip was for free.
No woman rocks the red lips better than Gwen.
That was a real quick and dirty run down of things to think about when shopping for any makeup, really. Other tips I can impart:
- Wear lipliner – Trust me, I know. Lipliner in my opinion is stupid and unnecessary. It’s just another stupid step in the glamification process that I see little merit in (like concealer and primer and deodorant). HOWEVER, whenever I do wear a red lip, I will almost always use a red liner because the fact is that red lipsticks tend to bleed and feather. The liner will help curb that bit of nonsense, as well as help you stay in the line when you’re actually applying the lipstick. Once you get red lipstick on your skin, it’s a bitch to take off because somehow it manages to tint your skin pink even though you had it on there for, like, 2 seconds. STUPID.
- Moisturize your lips pre-lipsticking – Sure you could be wearing a sexy red lip, but that means nothing if your lip looks like a scaly fish. That’s straight-up not hot.
- Check the mirror often – So you’re out of the house, you look like a hot, dirty mess (the good kind) and you decide to take a sip of a Slutini (one part vodka, one part too-short-dress, three parts regret). You’ll notice you’ve left a nice fancy lip mark on your glass. Guess what? That means that lipstick is no longer on your lip. DUH. REAPPLY AS NEEDED, GLAMOUR NERD.
- If you’re going super glam on the lips, tone down the rest of your makeup. I have yet to follow this advice, and it really hasn’t worked in my favour.
But above all else, the biggest piece of advice I can give, regardless of what colour your choose, is: OWN IT.
You wear the lipstick, the lipstick does not wear you. If you think fierce, you are fierce. Simple as that. You could be wearing the most perfect colour of lipstick suited to you and your complexion and you’d still look like some dummy clown if you don’t walk down the damn street like it’s yours for the taking. Because newsflash: IT IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING.