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Your Red Lipstick

Your red lipstick...

might not be red at all. 

Could be, that's why it's been so hard to find. 

You got lipstick questions? We got answers.


The video is also here on YouTube. 

The Low-down on Lipstick

Your Season makes sense of lists like the one below. True red lips might never settle for you because your natural reds are not primary red. Let's start you looking in the right place for your answers; no more looking all over for everybody's answers. 

Some readers learn their Season and are itching to start trying on lipstick, comparing notes with other Season members, and comparing their own selfies. Others run the other way from those scenarios. When it comes to lipstick, everyone has to try the product directly on the face, for all ages, complexion colours, and Seasons. Mature women often look best in the brighter or darker colours for their Season. Young women may look perfect and plenty in the lighter or sheerer choices, or knock it out of the park in the deeper colours. A woman of darker skin colour may wear a softer colour than a woman of lighter complexion.

As any person who knows their colours has realized, the market is not divided evenly. Winter colours abound because they catch our attention, the same way that they do in media. In the real world, depending on where you live and work, softer colour is equally attractive, effective, vibrant, and impacting when worn by a person of soft colouring. 

As ever, opacity can often be adjusted with balm or clear gloss to meet your comfort level. Beautiful lip colour next to your skin is related to the pigments in the product, not transparency.

3 Howevers on transparency:
  • For some Seasons, ideal colour is hard to come by, so it's worth looking at the neighbour Season colours, sheered out with a balm to widen the options.
  • For some types of colouring, transparency looks great, and better than opaque in any colour.
  • A woman's essence or impression may influence lipstick formulation. A woman with a sculpted or curvaceous physical presence may wear opacity well in a Season where transparency looks better averaged over the group.
  • With some products, the pigments would be intense on any colouring. Lipstick is not coloured with hemoglobin the way we are and the pigments have different boundaries. Diluted down a bit, they may transform into gorgeousness.

Some colour suggestions below cross over into other groups. To create the Seasons, colours progress around the cycle, through the scales of warmth, darkness, and brightness, like Nature's Seasons, or a crowd of muppets, take your pick. All 12 groups have a little travel on each scale, and some have a lot of flex on one or more scales. A light gold shimmer in a cool True Summer lipstick or fabric could be great if it's the right kind of yellow. Because all 12 groups share certain properties and our colouring is over-simplified in a diagram, some of the crossovers may be with Seasons that are far away on a map.

Maps help us organize and show relationships.  Below, the 12 Season cycle:

The good news about lipstick

Lipstick has been figured out for you. Get your short list from your colour analyst or try a few in her studio. It helps so much to have someone impartial say too dark, meh, wow, dull, perfection, and overkill.

Go out there, choose broadly, and try a few.

Prices too steep? Swatch the colour on a piece of paper (1 inch square, heavy deposit) and match it in a brand you prefer. You have the ballpark in hand. 

We have come a long way, baby. These days, finding a truly great red lip can be a piece of cake, in the version of red that already lives in you.

Reds and Other Suggestions

I have my preferences for what I like to see, as does everyone else. I'm also curious about why things might work that logic talks us out of. Ever amazed at how colour can surprise us, I enjoy trying wide of the traditional targets and expanding a lipstick wardrobe, instead of buying the same lipstick or sweater or whatever 7 times. We sometimes grow into our best purchases.

Also surprising is how nothing new-to-me might catch my eye in Seasons that normally have a lot of choice, for example, Dark Winter in this list. I'll work on that without delaying getting this post to you, adding as things turn up.

The colours below were swatched on paper, not humans. Don't buy anything till you try it, right?

True Spring
.Shiseido Firecracker, and try Shock Wave when at the counter
.Dior Ultra 535, softer 'natural' look, also for Light Spring

Light Spring
.MUFE C306, nice base colour for adding balm or gloss, also for Bright Spring
.Lancome 122 Indecise, one for any of the 3 Springs, brighter on Light Spring

Bright Spring
.Shiseido Cherry Festival
.YSL Rouge Pur Couture #57, also one Light Summer should try
.Sephora Take A Bite, possibly better with balm or gloss on colouring where opacity may look chalky

True Summer
.YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick #48, also for Soft Summer, sheer and light
.Givenchy Framboise Obscure, cool option for Soft Summer
.Clinique Love Pop, also for Soft Summer, the gold shimmer for a cool Season that doesn't seem so bad with the palette, though I have not seen it on a person.

Light Summer
.Bobbi Brown Cherry, also a softer option with enough red for Bright Winter
.It Cosmetics Blurred Lines in Je Ne Sais Quoi, light and sheer 
. Chanel 165, bright option

Soft Summer
.YSL Rouge Pur Couture #9, also a soft choice for Dark Winter with enough darkness to define lips 

True Autumn
.Estee Lauder Slow Burn
.Buxom Evocative Petal
.Shiseido Liaison

Soft Autumn
.Lancome 124 Rose Petal
.Lancome Sienne Ultime
.Lancome 290 Poeme, also darker and warmer for Soft Summer

Dark Autumn
.Shiseido Toffee Apple
.Bare Minerals Hustler

True Winter
.Bare Minerals Alpha, mid-range fuchsia
.Dior Ultra 770, clear blued red also for Bright Winter
.Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl in #12 Rouge Insomnie

Bright Winter
.Mercier Mon Cheri, nice colour, adding balm if the product's opacity looks heavy or causes the colour to look darker
.Chanel 102, also possible for True Winter
.Shiseido Poppy, tending to the Bright Spring side, same notes as Mon Cheri above
.NARS Dragon Girl, pink-red, not too dark, very clear in colour and formulation
. Buxom Forbidden Berry, tending to True Winter

Dark Winter
.YSL Rouge Pur Couture #72, interesting but the yellows are strong, which may be great with eyes that have visible yellow or gold. As with all makeup and every recommendation, try before buying, especially given the price.
. MAC D for Danger
. NARS Under My Thumb
. MAC Party Line if you would like a lip with presence and harmony, and less intensity