beauty 101 | how to rock a bold red lip

red lipcolors

Though I tend to stick to neutrals when it comes to my eyes, I love playing with color on my lips.

My everyday color of choice varies between a natural rose and light pink gloss, but on days when I really want to play up my pucker, I dig into my red lip color drawer (yes, I have drawers of cosmetics, and yes, they are color-coordinated).

red lipcolors

{My current stash of red lip colors is a mix of natural and conventional cosmetics.}

There’s something about wearing red lipstick that instantly boosts your confidence. People tend to compliment your bold choice and “wish that they could get away with that color.”

Guess what — you can! You just have to know how to pick the best color for you.

  • If you have fair skin with pink undertones, go for warm, orange-based pinks or brick reds.
  • If you’re like me and have a medium-to-olive complexion, spring for a true, blue-based red.
  • If you have darker skin, you will look radiant in plum-based reds.

Pair your bright red pout with light blush (I tend to go for a dusky coral shade) and understated eyes. Black liner and lots of lashes are fine, but scale back on lots of color here — you want your lips to stand out! Muted shades and neutrals balance best with a strong red lip.

In my red-hot arsenal, I go to Clark’s Botanicals “Rachel Red” Lip Tint for an intense wash of red gloss that’s perfect for daytime. It’s super-shiny, nicely pigmented and made with calendula extract — talk about moisturizing!

On days when I want to kick it up a notch, I apply Rachel Red over a light layer of Revlon “Fire & Ice” Super Lustrous Lipstick. (While Revlon isn’t typically thought of as a natural brand, I’m not as concerned using this color and formulation after checking it out on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, where it score a “2,” which is a low-hazard rating.)

clark's botanicals rachel redrevlon super lustrous lipstick fire and ice

A few of my other favorite reds include ILIA “Bang Bang,” which goes on sheer but intensifies to a beautiful shade of red as you continue applying. It’s packed with amazing conditioning ingredients, such as jasmine oil, beeswax and sesame seed oil, so it definitely nourishes your lips in addition to brightening them. (This shade is so popular that it’s out of stock until April 7 — mark your calendars!)

For a light pop of color with low-commitment, I love Hurraw! Lip Balms (reviewed here once before), Eco Tints Lip Balm in “Plush Red,” Yes To Carrots Lip Gloss in “Red Hot” and Yes To Carrots Lip Tint in “Ready Red.”

What are your favorite red lip colors, and for what occasions do you bring out the bold red lip? Tell me what you know in the comments section.


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  • Your header is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen. Love your makeup choices, by the way!

    • aww thank you! so glad you stopped by for a visit :)