If a racy red isn't in your cosmetic repertoire, how do you find the shade that's just right for you? Debbie Ormsby, National Education Director at Estée Lauder Canada, says not to despair, there's a shade of red that's right for everyone.
Finding the right red means first determining your skin tone. "This is the first step in selecting the right shade," says Ormsby. "Determine whether your skin tone is warm or cool by looking at the inside of your wrist."
To determine what your skin tone is, stand in natural light and place a piece of white paper behind your wrist (or any place that receives little or no sunshine). In this light, you should be able to determine your natural skin tone. Is the tone a red-orange, red-blue, pink-blue, peach or yellow?
The guidelines go like this: If the skin inside your wrist shows red or orange undertones, your skin tone is WARM. If your undertones are peach, yellow or olive, your skin tone is NEUTRAL. Blue and pink undertones mean your skin tone is COOL. If you're still unsure, a beauty advisor at a cosmetics counter can point you in the right direction.
According to Ormsby, once you know whether your skin tone is neutral, warm or cool then it comes down to personal taste in selecting a shade. "Generally people with warm skin tones are more comfortable wearing a warm shade of red and vice versa for cool skin tones," she says. "Selecting the opposite, for example, a warm skin tone and cool shade will give you a bolder effect."
To determine the shade of lipstick you are looking at, follow the same trick for determining your skin tone. Hold the lipstick up against a sheet of white paper; it should be evident to you whether the colour is a warm shade or a cool one. Cool shades have a blue undertone and warm shades have a yellow undertone.
"Similar to fashion, there is no right and no wrong. It's really more about personal style and what you're comfortable with," Ormsby continues. "A classic office suit would call for a matte look and yet so would a beautiful retro-inspired evening dress. A cool leather jacket and pants for the office would look right with a slick of colourful gloss but a flirty little top and jeans for clubbing would also look great with a hot shade of red gloss."
If you're not sure what suits you better, a matte lipstick or a high-shine gloss, pick up one of each and experiment. Sport one, then the other, for a few days and see how you feel and how you look.
Get a few more great ideas on how to look fabulous in makeup with these expert makeup tips to create an amazing look.
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