My Holiday 2010: Favorite Things (Red Lips)

Every year, someone comes out with some guideline about finding your perfect red lip… and every year the method of finding that perfect color seems to be more and more confusing! ‘Experts’ have folks thinking that if you don’t have a certain undertone, then you can’t wear a certain ‘color based’ red lipstick. Untrue. It’s all about the pigmentation level. If you’ve got yellow undertones and you want to wear a blue-based red lippie… just know that it’s gonna go a little pink on you. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I’m going to post my favorite reds (I have yellow undertones), and you’ll find that the base colors run the gamut. I’ll separate them by base color. Here’s hoping it doesn’t make things MORE confusing…


Illamasqua’s red in ‘Box’ gets a lot of play in my kit. It’s a matte finish, and goes on a ‘true red’ — regardless of any skintone. It’s considered a blue based red, but I find it to be pretty universal. It can be a little drying, so a healthy dose of lip balm before use is recommended.
Dolce & Gabanna’s red in ‘Scarlett’ is a true blue base. This goes on a little more pink and less red on me, but I LOVE it. The formula is creamy and lasts me all day. This is a good lipstick… from an excellent makeup line. I imagine that D&G tends to get lost in the makeup shuffle because it’s not widely distributed (I have to get mine from Saks) and minimally advertised.
NARS offered a lovely brown based red called ‘Rouge Basque  ‘ with their Autumn 2010 collection. I think that this color might go a bit muddy on the fairest skin tones, but it holds well with olive complexions, as well as medium and deeper skin tones. This is what I like to call a ‘fool proof red.’ It goes on easily, and is so flattering that you don’t have to stress about it looking garish.

Now I might get a little pushback on this one. YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Red Taboo looks like a true blue red in the tube, but it looks MORE like a true red on yellow based skin tones. Therefore, it falls in my category of yellow based reds. This color is DIVINE. The formula is DIVINE. I cannot say enough about this formula. You have to be careful with it… because it has so much slip that it’ll feel greasy on first contact. It’s not. It’s highly pigmented and lasts for hours. I’d recommend a lip pencil in a nude color for this… it’s easy to overdo it. I prefer to draw the lipline, then use a brush to fill it in. Using this lipstick straight out of the tube may prove to be a challenge.

Same for this one. La Prarie’s Lipstick in Rouge Claire looks the BEST (in my opinion) on olive and yellow based skin tones. I find it a little dark for fair skinned clients. The perk about this lipstick is that it plumps the lips (without any tingly irritation reserved for most plumping products). I get a really awesome boost in my cupids bow, everytime I use this lipstick. Love it!


Yes, there are some red lipsticks that are considered orange based. They’re typically described as ‘orange red.’ The best one to fit this category for me is Illamasqua’s Lipstick in Ignite. It would likely look more red on fair skin, and more orange as you go darker (with skintones). It’s a very deep orangey red on me. I keep it with the reds, because it’s more that than orange. It’s a nice twist on the classic red lip. I highly recommend it.

That covers lipsticks…

I feel like no one realizes they need a red lip pencil, until they start digging through their makeup stash and realize that they don’t have a red lip pencil.
Here are my favorites:

This Make Up For Ever pencil in 9C stays in heavy rotation. It goes on smooth, and has enough of a brown base to be flattering on just about everyone. I’m on my third one.

Urban Decay makes a fabulous line of lip pencils (and eyeliners) in their 24/7 line. This gel pencil in Gash goes on a dark red, and wears beautifully. Because of its formulation, it doesn’t crack or bleed into the sides of the mouth like a lot of darker colored pencils can.


This is my favorite product EVER. Not kidding. Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon (75) is the most flattering red lippie I’ve ever used. I love this lip color! It’s the deepest red I’ve come across… without going burgundy or brown. It wears a true red on just about every skin tone… I have no idea how they did that! Think of it as a stain, a gloss, and a lipstick all rolled into one. Highly recommend this! This was my first laque, and I’ve been buying repeats of it ever since.

Beaute’s Weightless Lip Creme in Masochist runs a VERY close second. It features the same properties of the laque, with a much lighter feel. I’ve sometimes forgotten that I’m wearing it and wiped my lips… with tragic results. I would say that I use this one about as much as I use the laque. Sometimes, it comes down to which one is within reach at the time that I need it.

I have a LOT of red lip glosses. Too many, in fact. But I do have some standouts that I consistently go back to…

DEX lipgloss in Bond Street rose quickly to to the top of my favorites list. I’m relatively new to this vegan brand, but I was instantly impressed by the ‘non sticky’ consistency and long wear. Love this stuff. I keep one in my purse, because just this gloss with a little tinted moisturizer and mascara … and I’m good to go!

Rock & Republic makes an awesome red lipgloss in Cougar. I LOVE the name, by the way. But, like most Rock & Republic makeup items, this one may soon be hard to come by. I hope they keep the makeup line around. It’s really good.

That’s it! My favorite ‘red lippies’ (and lippie helpers) for the season… and beyond. I hope I didn’t make things MORE confusing. Thanks for indulging me… Ciao for now!

2 Replies to “My Holiday 2010: Favorite Things (Red Lips)”

  1. I keep hearing sooooo many good things about Chanel's Rouge Allure Laques but have yet to fork out the money. Maybe Santa will bring it for Christmas! Thanks for the post!

  2. You're welcome! It really is a great line. The formula and performance are unmatched.Many of laques are flattering on a wide range of skin tones. They range from light pink to that Deep Red (Dragon). I hope you get one for the Holidays!

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