THE IN-TRAY

Find the best red lipstick for your skin tone in celebration of red (Taylor's version)

AFTER MUCH SPECULATION FROM SWIFTIES, MUSOS AND POP CULTURE OBSESSIVES ALIKE, RED (TAYLOR'S VERSION), THE 2021 RE-RECORD OF TAYLOR SWIFT'S FAMOUSLY POP-LEANING 2012 ALBUM, IS HERE. ALONGSIDE A MARATHON LISTENING PARTY OF THE ALBUM OVER THE WEEKEND, WE KNOW ALL TOO WELL THAT A RED LIPSTICK RENAISSANCE IS IMMINENT. ALAS, WE’RE MAKING IT EASY TO FIND, WEAR, AND FEEL CONFIDENT IN A SIGNATURE RED LIP, JUST LIKE SWIFT DOES IN NARS' 'DRAGON GIRL' AND MAC'S 'RUBY WOO'.

A classic red lip; it’s the beauty staple that looks good on everyone, but can feel so daunting to wear. With thousands of hues, textures, and finishes to choose from, half the hesitation of wearing a red can be undone by finding the right red—one that compliments your skin tone and depth, wears (and fades) in a way you need it to, or feels just right for the occasion.

It’s time to make the red lip your thing for 2021. We called on MECCA Colour and Artistry Education Manager Jen Horsley to help.

If your skin shade is medium to deep…

Try Shiseido’s LacquerInk LipShine in ‘Red Flicker’. “It’s a pigment-packed gloss that...lasts the distance, says Horsley. “This warm tangerine-like red makes for a summery pop on medium and deep skin tones.”

If your skin shade is more on the porcelain side…

Describing it as “a creamy red hue with a hint of a coral undertone,” Horsley considers Laura Mercier’s Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick in ‘Rouge Eclatant’ to be the “perfect” shade for porcelain skin tones. It lasts for up to six hours without bleeding, feathering, drying, fading, or settling into lines.

If you skew warm, golden, or olive-toned…

Go warm with your red, too. Horsley suggests bareMinerals’ MINERALIST Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick in ‘Inspiration’, “a bright pop of red with a touch of warmth,” formulated with lip-loving oils and minerals. There’s the option of Smashbox’s Always On Cream to Matte Lipstick in ‘Bawse’, too, “a classic red that works beautifully on olive and rich skin tones hoping to rock a bold red-lip,” or Hourglass’ Confession Lipstick in ‘I Crave’, which Horsley describes as “the ideal fiery red for warmer complexions, and the perfect summer lip for a striking statement.”

If you’re unsure of your tone, or want an all-rounder that suits everyone, try these…

“An iconic bold and bright red that suits all skin tones, Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in ‘Beso’ is Alexandra Ocasio Cortez’s go-to red lip,” says Horsley. In our minds, this makes it the tried and tested choice for making power moves in.

If you’re into more orange hues, try Tom Ford’s Lip Color in ‘Wild Ginger’, which is “the perfect red lip for a warm summers night,” according to Horsley, or Shiseido’s VisionAiry Gel Lipstick in ‘Ginza Red’, “a vibrant and warm orange-red, with a fresh creamy finish.” Both have a silky, satin-y finish and are spiked with hydrating ingredients, making them feel more like a weightless balm than a coat of drying paint.

If you just can’t decide, opt for Westman Atelier’s Lip Suede; a sleek and innovative compact delivering on four luxurious, soft-matte reds that cover your warm, cool, bright, and dark needs. Horsley suggests mixing and matching your own shade of red for a customised colour pop.

Want to learn more about finding your perfect red? Makeup artist Yen Hoang is teaching us how to find the most flattering shade of red lipstick for your complexion, while sharing her pro tips for perfect application. Watch here

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