I never knew how much of a red lipstick person I was until I tried to downsize my nail and lip collection and found myself subcategorizing the reds. For pink/vamp/nude lips, I'm fine with one go-to colour, but the reds...different story.
Most people have capsule make up collections, I have a capsule red pigment collection. I can't even begin to explain how difficult this is to curate for someone with such an olive skin tone as me. Coincidentally, it's Chinese New Year, which is the most perfect time to share all of the types of red lipstick and nail polish you need in your life.
Lips (clockwise from the left)
Orange Red: Hands down, NARS Heat Wave. It was the colour I used in my "How to Make Lipstick Last" video; it makes me look and feel more tan! It has a matte finish (like everything else I own), so it can drag a little, but on a well moisturized and blotted lip, it'll last ages.
True Red: Chanel Rouge Allure in 99 Pirate -- I LOVE this colour. It's also one of the more comfortable reds I own and the pigment is insane. All of these lip colours have mindblowing pigment, but this one just glides on SO easily.
Vintage Red: My first MAC lipstick purchase -- MAC Viva Glam I! This has a lot of brown to it, probably more than any other red lipstick I own, but I feel like a 40s movie star when I have this on. It's a matte shade so it's not very moisturizing, but I don't find it at all too drying.
Blue-Red: On those days when you need a little pick-me-up for your lips and your teeth? Look no further than Tarte Lipsurgence Matte in Fiery. I love the texture of these so much -- it's feather-light and ultra-smooth, leaving you feeling like you're wearing literally nothing. It also long-lasting but easy to remove with an oil-based makeup remover or Bioderma Crealine!
Vampy Red: Vamp lipstick is here to stay, and as much as I love Tom Ford Black Orchid, Le Metier de Beaute Color Core Moisture Stain Madaket is a more wearable version. I swatched this in my "How to Make Lipstick Last" video and got way more compliments on it than I could have imagined! Since it's also a stain, it's extremely buildable and lasts forever. One of my favourite ways to wear (besides full-on, of course!) is to pat it into my lips for the most natural berry-stained lip I've ever seen.
Nails (clockwise from the left)
Bright, Summery Red: I love the way Olivia Palermo rocks Essie Lollipop but it just makes my hands look dirty (I'm extremely olive toned, and my hands are probably about NC35-40). The closest orangey-red I can find for my nails is probably a true red on someone else, but OPI Big Apple Red was my first OPI polish ever, and it holds a special place in my heart. This also looks incredible on Tod who's an NC 15 (yellow undertone, pale-light skin) skin tone.
Go-to Red: Chanel Le Vernis Lotus Rouge technically leans a little blue, but this nail polish balances out perfectly on my olive skin. Chanel Polishes are a guilty pleasure of mine, but I have to say that the texture of this polish is far above and beyond any other I've tried. As much as I love their limited edition colours, this creamy red polish has the best pigment and spread of all of the Vernis I've tried.
Sexy Red: OPI Quarter of a Cent-cherry is one of those colours I spent days hunting down. I randomly picked it up in a bargain bin only to fall in love and have it meet a most unfortunate kitchen tile death a few months later. It took me a few years to locate another bottle; by that time, I never thought I'd see one again. It's a darker version of Chanel Lotus Rouge, lots of blue, with a hint of brown that turns it into the perfect fall/winter colour. It also goes perfectly with MAC Viva Glam I!