Did you know lipsticks and most other makeup for that matter are categorized into warm, cool or neutral colors? Additionally, your skin tone can be categorized into these three basic tones. Therefore, those people with a warm skin tone generally look best in reds that have a yellow undertone, and those with a cool skin tone look best in reds that have a blue undertone. What about a neutral skin tone, well lucky them, they can wear just about any color red, however neutral skin tones will have a predominant warm or cool tone. Also, no matter what your skin tone, everyone will look good in a true red.
If you are unsure of what your skin tone is, here is a general guideline to get you started. Look at the inside of your wrist in a natural light, if the skin shows red or orange undertones your skin is considered warm, if the undertones are peach, yellow, or olive you have a neutral skin tone, and finally if your undertones are blue or pink this means you have a cool skin tone.
When shopping for your lipstick, hold the lipstick up to a white piece of paper, does it have blue undertones indicating a cool color or does it have a yellow undertone indicating it is a warm color. Additionally most people sample lipstick on the back of their hand, when actually sampling the lipstick on the pad of your finger is more indicative of your lip color and texture.
Now that you are armed with the perfect color, get the perfect application! First and foremost a lip liner is required for red lipstick as it has a tendency to bleed and the lip liner will keep your lipstick in place. Lip liner also makes a great lipstick base. Use the same color lip liner as your lipstick to avoid altering the color of your lipstick. Secondly consider a good lip brush, this gives you more control on shaping, and the amount of color you want to apply. Apply a light layer then blot lips and apply a second layer gradually working up to the depth you like. Apply light layers at a time and this will keep your lipstick working for you throughout the day. Thirdly, and this is new one I just heard about, prior to applying your lip liner or lipstick, brush your lips with a toothbrush. This supposedly exfoliates dead skin, promotes circulation and plumps up the lip.
When wearing a bold, beautiful red lipstick, keep your eye makeup and blush minimal. For a complete daytime at the office look, just define your eyes with a little black liner at the outer corners of the eyes and apply some mascara. Brightly colored eyes and red lips are only appropriate for the night life.