Busy And Broke? Spend Time And Money On The Right Red Lipstick Anyway

It's absolutely worth hanging out with a Sephora sales associate until you find the right red shade for you. Then add her on Facebook so she can leave comments about how awesome you look in it.
Publish date:
March 22, 2013
lipsticks, sephora, Make Up For Ever, red lipstick

I’ve never been one for bright blush or bright eyeshadow. It looks weird on my face, and I end up looking like an '80s aerobics video reject. However, I’m a staunch advocate of bright, bright, BRIGHT lipstick. In the summer, I like to stick to bright pink, but the rest of the year, it’s bright red lips, betch!

One of my favorite things about bright red lipstick is that it can easily be a one-stop makeup fix. You may have only enough time put up your sweaty, pillow-dented hair in a messy bun before you have to be out the door, but with just one swipe of bright red lipstick, you instantly look more glamorous than most of the skanks walking up Bedford Ave.

FACT: Anyone can pull off red lips. Eh-nee-wun. You just need to know what the hell you’re doing.

The "what the hell" of which I speak can be broken down into two actions: flattering and balancing.

First, you need to find a red that works well with your particular skin tone. Although virtually everyone can pull off a true, classic red, you may prefer how you look wearing a red that's heavy on the orange, or one that leans a little blue.

Trust your eyes and your gut--if it looks a little off, try another color. (But do your best to not confusing perceiving it as a little off with just being nervous about trying something new.) TAKE. YOUR. TIME.

Once you've picked a bold red lipstick you love, you'll make the most of it by keeping the rest of your makeup in balance. An attention-commanding red lip should be the only bold element of your look, lest we wander into clown territory. Keep the eyes and cheeks subtle--practically bare. Mascara is often enough to make the look seem polished.

If you're truly not comfortable with picking out your ideal red lipstick alone, then go to Sephora, like, immediately. And when one of their thousands of employees assails you and asks if they can help you find something before you get the door even halfway open, turn to them and say--and this might take practice--“Yes.”

Although sometimes invasive, the ladies and gentlemen that work in my all-time favorite store of all time are really great at helping you find the correct shades for your skin tone, and they are vastly underutilized.

Last time I went red lipstick shopping, it took us a good 20 minutes to pick out the perfect shade for me. Moments after I left the store, a man stopped me on the sidewalk to tell me how perfect my lipstick was. Time well spent? I think so.

Sephora, who is not paying me to praise them but I'd be totally open to that, is perfect for figuring out which shade works for you because they have every shade imaginable from every high-quality line you can fathom. I know many of you prefer drugstore brands, but trust me, blowing $20 you don't technically have on the perfect red lipstick is worth every ugly state quarter, especially because you have the opportunity to try before you buy.

But even if you really can’t spare that kind of change, I’d say, go into Sephora anyway. (Bear with me.) Drop in 30 minutes before you have to be somewhere, befriend one of the black-clad beauty experts, and find your perfect shade. Once you do, say, “I’ll think about it,” and go about your business.

Read: leave the store wearing the awesome color without buying anything. I’m not here to judge.

My red lipstick of choice is by Make Up For Ever, but I’m a little mad at it. I can’t find the name of the specific shade name or number. On the bottom, it’s just a sticker of the color. Does anyone know what this shade is called so I can buy it again?

What’s your favorite red to splurge on? Have you ever taken advantage of the knowledgeable folks at Sephora? Have you ever taken advantage of the testers before going out?