50 Shades of Rouge

The color red symbolizes many things.  Love, romance, strength, desire, courage, power  and passion.  With that said, no wonder so many women decide to paint their pouts with such a provocative color! 

Makeup trends are constantly changing but red lipstick has always remained a timeless, classic staple in the cosmetics industry.  It is one of those trends that will never go out of style.  A red lip is bold and daring.  It oozes confidence.  Red lipstick wearers give zero f*cks.  Think of fashion icons like Madonna, Selena Quintanilla, & Marilyn Monroe, all of whom are known for their bold red lip and being inspirational babes.  

Why wear a red lip? Countless studies have shown red lips cause others to perceive you as younger, confident AND more competent (hello new raise you’ve been dying for!)  There are even studies suggesting women in the service-industry who wear red lipstick receive significantly higher tips than those who don’t (Get that $$$ sista!)    

As we begin the new year, red lips will dominate the makeup scene once again.  What’s different about it for 2018? The trend seen throughout the Spring 2018 Fashion shows was bold, red lips but the difference was many models strutted the runway in crimson lipstick paired with barely-there makeup.  This season, the focus will be solely on the bold lip paired with glowing skin.  Less is more people! This trend requires minimal eye-makeup so it makes for the perfect quick-glam look.  There’s no need to spend tons of time blending away an intense eye look with tons of different shades.  Think simpler and toned-down eyes.  Red lips are paired best with neutrals on the lid like champagne, brown & gold shades.  

My go-to? I like to pair a sweep of gold eye cream, a subtle cat-eye and a dab of clear gloss on the lid.

How to Find Your Perfect Shade:

Not sure what kind of red to wear? Walk into Sephora and there are an overwhelming amount of shades to choose from and each one is unique (or at least that’s what I tell myself when I add another to my collection.)  They range from cherry to brick, and deeper reds like burgundy and oxblood.  

Rule of thumb:

  • Fairer skin tones look incredible in true-reds with cool blue undertones.  Any cool, blue-based lipstick makes teeth appear whiter (um, SCORE.)  
  • Medium skin tones are best complimented with plum shades or even a fiery orange-red.  
  • Darker skinned complexions can rock oxblood shades & candy apple hues the best.

Below, I’ve dished out a few of my favorite shades that are universally flattering for ALL skintones.  

My Personal Favorites…Drum roll please!

1.) Fenty Beauty – Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored 

My current, undisputed favorite comes straight from the lipstick Queen herself, Rihanna. Fenty Beauty recently launched their Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored and it is EVERYTHING.  Touted as a universally-flattering shade of red, this liquid lippie will not budge for 12-hours.  The applicator is an unrivaled precision wand that allows you to effortlessly shape your lips.  

Fenty Beauty – Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored ($24)

2.) Mac Cosmetics – Ruby Woo ($18) 

OB-SESSED.  A cult favorite and for good reason is Ruby Woo by Mac Cosmetics.  A very matte red with blue undertones, it is an absolute essential in your makeup bag.  This is another universally flattering shade so if you’re unsure where to start, you can’t go wrong with Ruby Woo.

ruby woo
Mac Cosmetics – Ruby Woo ($18)

3.) NARS – Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella 

If we put aside her unforgivable animal abuse attempts, Cruella did manage to rock a meannn red lip, which is why NARS named this passionate, scarlet red shade after the villainess.  This chunky lip pencil has a matte texture and is a slightly darker shade than the previously mentioned lipsticks.    

NARS – Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella ($27)

How to Apply the Perfect Red Lip: 


Anytime you’re getting ready to apply ANY lipstick, prep is key.  Especially in wintertime, dried, cracked lips are inevitable but I’ve got the solution.  Lip exfoliators! Just like your skin, lips need to be exfoliated regularly.  My favorite tool for the job is Fresh – Sugar Lip Polish ($24).  This product is a winter essential for me because like many others, my lips get super chapped and nothing seems to help.  This scrub gently buffs away dry flakes with brown sugar crystals, shea butter & jojoba oil, leaving soft, smooth lips that are ready for lipstick application.  Massage a small amount onto the lips and then wipe away with a wet wash cloth.  After exfoliating, I swipe a layer of Mac Cosmetics – Prep + Prime Lip ($17), a colorless lip base that locks in moisture, smoothes & refines.


Liner: Liner is necessary, especially with red lipstick because you don’t want it to budge or bleed outside the lines.  You could use a red liner that matches exactly or you could even go a little darker if you want the lip to have a some dimension to it.  Sharpen the pencil if necessary and then carefully trace the natural line of your lips.  I use Mac Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Ruby Woo ($17.50) if I want it to match perfectly.

Lipstick: I usually start filling in my inner lips first, then work my way outwards to layer over the liner.  TAKE IT SLOW.  The last thing you want to do is smudge lipstick across your perfectly flawless face because I am not gonna lie, that sh!t does NOT come off easy and you’ll most likely have to re-do that particular area.  I prefer liquid lipsticks because if you like to over line your lips like yours truly (I’m guilty of over lining to Kylie-size proportions,) the line where your lip actually starts is much less noticeable.

Went outside the lines a little? No worries.  Take some concealer and an angled concealer brush and cover the area until it’s blended and your lines are perfect.    

Voila! Now you’re ready to put your show-stopping lips out there for all to see, so go out and paint the town red.  Be bold.  Be a bad ass.  Show em` what you’re made of.


What are your go-to red lipstick shades?





6 thoughts on “50 Shades of Rouge

  1. Love, love a red lip. I own the first two!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They’re great! Try Cruella for a darker, more crimson shade 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will thanks for the suggestion


  2. Yes! My Stunna Lip Paint is also my absolute favourite. Since I’ve bought it, I haven’t picked up another red lipstick x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! I love the formula bc it’s not in the least bit drying. And I’m such a sucker for pretty packaging!


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