When I got dressed for my dinner last week, I just realized how many red lipsticks I have. My dress was a pure white spangled cheong sam and wanted to wear my all time favorite lip color, red. Somehow non of my trusty reds such as Mac Russian Red, Ruby Woo, Burberry Military Red worked. After few more frustrating trials with more reds, Voila! Nars Mysterious Red with a touch of Palais Royal. Mysterious Red was just little bit too warm for my liking so I added a touch of Palais Royal on top and it was perfect!
Layering Palais Royal on top of Mysterious Red
When I finally found the perfect red for the night, my make-up table was full of red lipsticks, about 10 of them and I could have kept going with another 10 or more! Do I seriously need all these red lipsticks? Oh, YES! They are all different. Like my Mysterious Red, it’s never been one of my first choice of red but there it was for that night. Then, here we are, what can be a better topic than “Red lipsticks” for my very first blog post!
Finding the perfect red lipstick for you is really a matter of trial and error. A simple and quick way to find a perfect red for one is that (most beauty blogs and magazines tell you this too) for someone with pale skin should go for reds with blue undertone and someone with olive skins are best with brown or orange undertones and pink-toned reds look great on dark skins. Is it the best rule of thumb? Yes and No. Yes, it works generally if one has same skin tone all year around and uses same base makeup all the time and wears same color clothes every day. Is there anyone like that? You will have different skin tones in different seasons, your new foundation will have pink tone when your old foundation had yellow/beige tone. You used to love black outfits and now you are so in blue at the moment.
Your perfect red will change according to all these elements, your skin tone, your base make up, your outfits, jewellery and even your mood. I should say there’s no one single perfect red for you. You should have few reds to suit you perfect in different cases. I’m not talking about crazy many like I have. I have to confess that I am a lipstick addict, no one needs this many lipsticks. I can not possibly review all my red lipsticks in one post so I selected my 5 favorite Nars red lip pencils and one lip liner. These five reds are good starting points to understand different types of reds.
From left, Dragon Girl, Luxemberg, Mysterious Red, Cruella, Palais Royal and a lip liner, Jungle Red
From bottom, Dragon Girl, Luxemberg, Mysterious Red, Cruella, Palais Royal and a lip liner, Jungle Red
From left, Dragon Girl, Luxemberg, Mysterious Red, Cruella, Palais Royal and a lip liner, Jungle Red-Under warm LED light
From left, Dragon Girl, Luxemberg, Mysterious Red, Cruella, Palais Royal and a lip liner, Jungle Red-Near window, day light
- Dragon Girl-Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Dragon girl is described as a “Vivid Siren Red” in Nars website and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a bright red that isn’t orange rather leaning to little pink. A very cool red. It is matte but not a drying, flaky type of matte. Quite smooth and doesn’t dry out my lips at all. Like all Nars Velvet Lip Pencils, it has a solid matte finish which I love. I think the color pops better with it.
Best outfit with it : I choose my make-up according to my outfit, I’m sure most of you do same. I select outfits first and lip color and rest of my make up(skin, eyes and cheeks) follows the lip color. I found Dragon girl goes very well with white. Not an off-white, but pure white. Whenever I wear a white shirt blouse or dress, white t-shirt with jeans, I mostly go for Dragon girl.
Dragon Girl-Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
- Luxembourg-Satin Lip Pencil
Luxembourg is true blue under toned red which is bit pinkier than Dragon girl. As it’s a Satin Lip Pencil, it has a slight shine to it. This formula is much easier to wear, it glides on my lips and keeps my lips moisturized all day. The color difference between Luxembourg and Dragon Girl is very minimal, but it’s still worth having both.
Best outfit with it : Blue, definitely. It’s almost only lip color I wear whenever I wear light blue, clear sky like blue. Hang on, not entirely true… I have few others for light blue but yes, it is my first choice most times, to be compeletely honest with you. Luxembourg with a right blue, it makes my face glow, like a light reflecting plate under my face! I don’t wear it with dark blue though, somehow it doesn’t appear as flattering as it should be. With a darker and more intense blue outfit, I go for a coral.
Luxembourg-Satin Lip Pencil
- Mysterious Red-Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
It is described as a “Crimson Red.” It’s a subtly warm-toned, medium-dark red with a matte finish. It’s bold, bright, very intense and opaque. It lasts very long without touching up even for a long dinner party. Beautiful and classic, this warmish red is the one when you want to have a true classic look.
Best outfit with it : White or black. Mysterious red with white, gorgeously classy look. With black? Classic business perfect look.
Mysterious Red-Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
4. Cruella-Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Cruella is described as a “Passionate Scarlet Red. It’s a muted, medium-dark red with cool, blue undertones and a matte finish. Cruella is a slightly darker, cooler red than Mysterious Red. I would say it’s a grown-up’s red. It has a gorgeous depth and definite glamour to it. Imagine a true classic sexy diva, but never cheap but a classy glamour, that’s Cruella.
Best outfit with it : Black, black and black! I only wear Cruella with black. A combination of Cruella and black gives me a confidence in any occasion. Never been tried but I guess it will go perfect with fur as you can imagine from the villain it’s named after.
Cruella-Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
- Palais Royal-Satin Lip Pencil
It is described as “Sangria”. It’s a dark, plummy/berry red with a satin finish and slight cool undertones. It is not pigmented as others and there is definite translucency to the overall color. Very sexy but never looks cheap. If you can’t wear a ture red, try this. I would think it suits many different skin tones. I wear it intense with few layers or smudge it with my finger tip and make it sheer, looks like you just have berries. Beautiful finish, not too matte not too shiny but gives a satin finish.
Best outfit with it : It goes with lots of different outfits depends on how you wear it, intense or sheer. Generally I wear it with light gray, very pale blue and of course white. It goes with black very well too but I wear it with casual black outfits rather than formal black as it can make me look bit older with formal black look.
Palais Royal-Satin Lip Pencil
- Jungle Red-Lipliner
It’s my go-to red lipliner. It just seems to be perfect with most of my red lipsticks. I even sometimes used it as a lipstick by using it to line, then fill in the entire lips. Beautiful red. It’s good to have a lipliner to keep your lovely red from bleeding. It also helps defining the exact shape of lips or cheat a little bit the shape for the look I go for. I usually line the edges of the lip then fill in the entire lip with the pencil, then apply one coat of lipstick with a lip brush, blot, then apply another layer of lipstick. Your lipstick won’t go anywhere after that!
Nars lip pencils are easier to use than lipsticks due to it’s slimmer shape. You can almost get away with applying it directly to your lips without lip brush. Matte or Satin, they all have beautiful textures and amazing formula for great color pay off and long lasting power. If I must pick one problem of this lip pencils is that, not like lipsticks, you have to sharpen it. As the formula is quite soft, both matte and satin, it wears quite quick. Is it a big problem for me? It certainly doesn’t stop me buying them more and more.
As I mentioned earlier, the only way to find the perfect red lipstick for you is really a matter of trial and error. You’ll know you’ve found the right one when you just feel prettier wearing it, it brightens up your whole face instantly. When people ask “What is that lipstick you’re wearing? It’s beautiful”, then you know you have it. Once you find two or three red lipsticks with different under tones and textures, you will soon know which one is best for a particular outfit and look. I hope this post is a good starting point for your exciting journey to “Finding Perfect Reds”.
*Note : I am not sponsored and do not accept payment to write any of my posts on this blog. I write about things I like or sometimes I don’t like. Please remember this is only my personal opinion.