The Perfect Shade of Red for Ethnic Skin

The Perfect Shade of Red for Ethnic SkinThe color red is indicative of seduction and passion. Additionally, according to scientists, red is the color of attraction. With that said, it’s no wonder why every woman wants to wear a bold red lip color at some point. It may seem simple, but choosing a red lip color is not cut and dry as there are hundreds of shades of red to choose from. While choosing the proper shade is essentially the object in finding a red lip color, finding the best shade is only part of the process. Finding the right shade for your skin tone is equally important, and for ethnic skin tones, the feat is even more difficult. It seems that red lip colors intimidate most women with ethnic backgrounds, especially African American women. Finding the right shade seems almost impossible as red lipsticks appear bold or too bright for darker skin tones. Although red lip colors exude intimidation, there is a suitable red lip color for anyone of any ethnic background.  In order to choose the right shade of red, begin with your own skin tone.

Your skin tone is not one dimensional. In fact, there are facets to your skin tone including your skin’s undertone. Your undertone helps determine the best shade of red. There are two different types of undertones: cool and warm undertones. Typically, people with yellow or golden undertones have warm undertones and those with pink or red undertones have cool undertones. People with neutral undertones can wear both warm and cool shades.

To determine your skin’s undertone, use either the jewelry method or you can also determine your skin’s undertone using simple observation of your skin’s features. For the jewelry method, take gold jewelry and silver jewelry and place both pieces next to your skin. Carefully look at your skin to determine which jewelry tone best compliments your skin. If you are partial to silver or gold jewelry, it’s best to have a non-biased outsider determine if gold or silver jewelry compliments your skin better. Typically, if gold looks better against your skin, you have warm skin with warm golden undertones. If silver jewelry complements your skin tone better than gold jewelry, you have cool skin with cool pink or red undertones. If both gold and silver jewelry compliment your skin, you have neutral skin with variations in of both cool and warm undertones.

If you are having a hard time using the jewelry method, determine your skin undertone by looking at the color of the veins in your wrists. If your veins are blue you have cool undertones. On the other hand if your veins are green, you have warm or neutral undertones.

If you are still having a hard time determining your skin’s undertone, you can stop by any makeup counter and ask a makeup artist to determine it for you. In any event, when you have determined your skin’s undertones, you can now begin selecting red lip colors. If your skin is cool you should opt for a cool red lipstick. If your skin’s undertone is warm, warm red lip colors are best suited for your warm skin. Warm lip colors have more orange pigments while cool red lip colors have a blue pigment or a blue undertone. If you have the chance, try out lipsticks before buying. Always look at lip colors in direct sunlight to see how it looks on you before buying. If you are still unsure, then a professional makeup artist can assist you in your quest for the perfect red lip.

Now that you have found your perfect shade, you can enjoy wearing your red lip color. Always remember to exfoliate your lips before applying any lip color. Also, keep lips moisturized with lip balm to prevent creasing. African American women should apply a brown lip liner before applying red lipsticks. Some red lip colors seem to blend beyond the lip’s natural outline. Utilizing a dark lip liner creates subtle dimension.

Author: David Mercy

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  1. Good article. I’ve been so afraid of wearing a red lipstick so I just stayed faaaaar away BUT I took a leap and I thought it worked but after reading this and looking at myself and getting some feedback I think my shade is too orange for my skin tone. Also, I got a red lip liner and instead of brown and the contrast from my skin color to the red makes me look like a clown :(. I tried it with a brown lip liner and it looks sooo MUCH better but my shade is still too orange. Going to use these tips to get a different color. Thanks!

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  2. actually, a brown lip liner is not automatically required for a woman of color if thats not the affect you are going for visually. to keep lip stick from bleeding past the lip line, there are clear liners & many folks use concealer/ powder or a red lip pencil similar to the lipstick shade they are wearing. It also depends on the formula or the brand of lipstick as well. i have several shades of red lipstick by several different brands & most of them dont bleed past my lip line.

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