I think it’s safe to say that if you’re a true Vintage Doll nothing gets your juices flowing like that perfect shade of red lipstick it’s not only the pistereistance to that perfect ensemble but when you find your perfect shade…there’s nothing in the world that makes you feel sexier. But on the other hand nothing can also be more complicated. The millions of brands, shades, tones the choices are endless and confusing, not to mention the countless number of beauty rules that we can never seem to keep up with. Are we a summer or winter, cool or warm? Do I tell this by my veins? Or skin tone? And if its skin tone how the hell am I supposed to determine that, I’m not a makeup artist? Then they’re the different undertones to consider for example brown-based reds, blue-based red, orange-based reds and so on. I mean let’s face it Dolls finding your perfect shade sometimes can feel like rocket science. However in my opinion like most things we its way more hard then in needs to be, so before we go on I must admit I am by no means an expert on makeup. In fact to be honest I’m not a big makeup wearer but, I never leave the house without my lipstick so I can tell you a thing or two on the subject. So first I’ll share tips I’ve picked up along the way that’ll help everyone. Then I’ll share some special tips for all my fellow special Bronze Goddesses out there.
There two ways to do this, we’ll begin the original. The easiest way to successfully hunt down that perfecto red is to find out your personal undertone.
The easy way but also potentially costly is to go to your local department store makeup counter and have your colors done, however you can easily do it yourself. Here are a few ways how.
*I must start off by saying that this test won’t work for everyone so if that’s you no worries I have another one that might work.
*Look at your veins if they are blue you are in the cool category if they are green then you are in the warm category. If you can’t tell consider yourself Sweden or neutral.
*After washing your face get a couple of fresh crisp white sheet/towels, etc…, wrap one around your head and face and the other around your neck and shoulders and chest. You should be completely surrounded in white with only your face visible. Be sure to do this in a room abundant with natural light, any artificial light will corrupt the results.
* Look in the mirror; if your face has a yellow tinge to it your undertone is warm. If you have a more bluish tinge your undertone is cool, and in-between means you’re neutral.
* If you come out greenish that means you don’t have enough sun in the room and you need to either move to another room or open the shades up.
Using your undertones to determine colors has been used to a very long time but in the end it's not a fool-proof system. Though this system is great for people who find it easier it is flawed it’s full of these rules that…well most of the time don’t work for us anyway. My next tip for finding the perfect red is to forget all the rules. I personally have discovered that if you let go of all those loco rules about undertones and skin tones and just go with what compliments your complexion you’ll never go wrong. One of my favorite shades of red which I get the most compliments every time I would wear it was a shade called ‘Cranberry Tango’ by LA Colors that I found by chance at a dollar store. However even though ‘Cranberry Tango’ technically wasn’t my shade had I not taken a chance I wouldn’t have found one of my favorite shades. I recommend the wrist test (and that one Dolls is self-explainable) cause as a serious germ-a-pope it wouldn’t be right to tell you to go trying on makeup at the counter and drugstore (EWW). Broaden your horizons and don’t be afraid to try colors that you’ll even be positive will look bad; that includes bright reds on deep to dark skin and dark- brown and brown-reds on pale to fair skin; Dolls you’d be surprised what works for your even when you have to break a few rules to make it happen. But the key rule is now matter what shade of red in the vast spectrum you decide to try out remember this, when you put on you lipstick it should instantly brighten your face (i.e. think after your aveno skin brightening scrub), if your skin looks dull, teeth less white along with the obvious then this isn’t the shade for you and we move on to the next.
Now for all my fellow Bronze Goddesses out there of varying shades and tones I have a few tips and tricks for you Dolls but really these can go for everyone.
*Women of color tend to have highly pigmented lips (this is not a generalization if this doesn’t apply to you then that’s great) which on one had it makes you have contributes to those full, lush lips that everyone admires you for but on the other had when wearing shades like reds, pinks, and lighter colors our own natural shade conflicts with the color of lipstick. So before you apply your lipstick you want to do two things exfoliate and apply a base. You don’t need to go out and buy anything fancy your foundation or concealer will do, apply a small amount to the lips but enough where your natural color no longer shows through. Allow it to dry for about 5 mins (about the time it takes to get dressed) then apply you lipstick.
* If you’re a Doll with really pigmented lips a red-red or true red is more what you’re looking for in this case because your undertones will work with the lipstick.
* Lighter complexioned women of color look very flattering in Orangey and coral reds (I personally prefer a shade by wet n wild called ‘Orange’) Darker complexioned often look their best in brick-reds and wines.
*If you’re one of the many Dolls that has two-toned lips like many African American women here’s what you do; if it’s subtle go with the concealer/foundation trick I told up earlier. Otherwise if the difference is a bit more noticeable grab yourself a lip pencil the same color as the darker lip and fill in the entire lighter lip effectively evening the two out before you begin you lipstick application.
*For Women of Color a great way of finding the perfect red is by using your natural pink, red, or brown tones in your lips as a starting point for finding your perfect shade.
Don’t feel bad if you feel like you’re search for a red lipstick is taking forever, in my experience your either a red lipstick girl or you’re not that doesn’t make you any less Vintage in the end. However if your just plain dag-gone stubborn than a trick makeup artist are known for doing to tone down a too bright red lipsticks is to mix it with a brown or wine. In turn you can lighten a red by mixing it with your pink or beige lipstick. Clear Lip-gloss is another way of toning down, if you want to go for a more authentic vintage look than you’re wanting to go for matte lipsticks. However that doesn’t look good on everyone especially if you have lips with a lot of lines in them, or very thin (and you need to be honest with yourself on that one). If matte isn’t your thing you can also splash a bit of gold lip-gloss over your lipstick, or to add a bit of dimension choose a shade of lip-gloss that’s a shade or two darker than your lipstick. I also suggest not placing your lip-gloss over your entire mouth because it will make your lipstick bleed out- instead, place it in the center of the top and bottom lip and blot.
I hope I’ve helped with the endless hunt for perfect red lippie as well as taken some of the mysticism out of it for you. No matter what your coloring, race, etc… there is in fact a red lipstick for you and I think I’ve proven that with these tips the old excuses are taken right out of the window. Like everything else you just bend the rules a bit and make it make for you. But at least next time you’re ready to go makeup shopping I’ve helped you make your way there a bit more prepared.
Fashionably Speaking…Joie Cuentista